Leonard Newton, a 47-year veteran of Seventh-day Adventist ministry, died in Anniston, Alabama, on June 14, 2009 at age 79, six weeks short of his 80th birthday.
During his nearly five decades of denominational service, Newton was pastor of Adventist congregations in seven states, founded church schools in Texas and Virginia, and concluded his work life as a missionary to French-speaking Africa, first as Ministerial secretary of the Indian Ocean Mission in Madagascar, and finally as president of the Central African Union Mission in Yaoundé, Cameroun.
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Newton’s family moved to Los Angeles, where the young man first encountered the Adventist Church. He was baptized at age 17, following tent meetings and Bible studies. He attended Oakwood Academy for his senior year of high school, and earned a theology degree from what was then Oakwood College.
After a long string of church pastorates, Newton served as the stewardship director for the Northeastern Conference from 1976 to 1985 and later as president from 1985 to 1988. It was during that time Newton was called to the mission field, which he and his wife embraced.
Following retirement from denominational service in 1995, the Newtons retired to Anniston, Alabama where they unofficially worked with the Mount Olive congregation in whatever capacity they were needed. His wife, Ora Lee Newton; children Leonard G. Newton, Jr., Gayle Newton-Taylor, Leonora D. Coopwood, Valeria F. Newton, and Lionel D. Newton; seven grandchildren, and one great granddaughter, are among his survivors.
-Adventist Review Staff