Rev. Lee Roy Ooton
United Pentecostal Church International
Reverend L.R. Ooton was born June 18, 1896 in Frankton, Indiana, the son of Wallace and Hattie Antrum Ooton. He was married in June of 1922, to Edith Neal. Two children were born to this union, Thomas and Polly Ooton.
At the age of fifteen, his mother, realizing that the hand of God was upon him, dedicated her front parlor to him to be used for his devotions and Bible study. So great was his fervor in the things of God that he prayed earnestly night and day for a considerable length of time. Of this period of time he wrote, "My studies began with an open Bible in my mother's front room where I spent many hours a week, most of which were upon my knees. I simply opened the Bible and let God speak to me, and I closed it and talked to Him. Upon a number of occasions the Lord spoke verbally to me, and afterward I found it in the Bible. I most certainly have heard His voice many times, and once I looked upon the Master in person (hanging) on Calvary."
Consecration such as this, inevitably led to a life of service, and sometime later Brother Ooton left the comforts of home for the work of the ministry. "It was quite a battle of faith," he wrote, "For a boy of seventeen to leave father, mother, the grocery store and home to launch forth by faith, singing and preaching the gospel to all the world."
Thus began the marvelous ministry of this man of God, which covered more than half a century, extending through all the States of the Union, the greater part of Canada and sections of Mexico. His gift of song was equal to his preaching. Brother Ooton was ordained to the ministry as a young man. He pastored a number of churches including, Midway Tabernacle in St. Paul, Minnesota, from 1924 to 1927.
He was a renowned Bible teacher and evangelist for many years. He was known and in great demand as a speaker from coast to coast. Brother Ooton was elected to serve as Secretary of the Pentecostal Ministerial Alliance in November, 1925. He resigned from that position in October, 1928. In 1930, he was elected Secretary of the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.
He became the first Treasurer of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ. Concerning the (PA of JC) Brother Ooton stated, "I know of nothing during the past two decades that has been more blessed of God." Concerning the merger that produced the United Pentecostal Church in 1945, Brother Ooton remarked, "There is no greater need among the Spirit-filled children of God today, than the unity of the Spirit. There are entirely too many divisions or organizations seperating Oneness brethren, and the eternal God is viewing this situation today. If we preach Oneness, it is also necessary for us to practice the same."
Brother Ooton was General Secretary of the Apostolic Ministerial Alliance for (50) years. Brother Ooton was a composer and author of many beautiful songs. One of the best known is, "To Be Like Him," which he composed during a severe test of faith while in Ft. Smith, Arkansas in the year 1923. He is also the author of many wonderful books.
On December 31, 1975 at 11:45 P.M. at the age of 79, Brother Ooton of Tipton, Indiana, went home to be with the Lord. It was a cold snow-covered and wind swept cemetary called "Fairview" located near Tipton, Indiana that Brother Ooton was laid to rest. Medical records indicated that he died of a heart attack at Tipton County Memorial Hospital. The funeral service was conducted at 2:00 P.M. Monday, January 5, 1976 by Elder W.A. Kessinger of Bloomington, Illinois, and Elder Carl Nave of Peoria, Illinois.