Fire Kills Two AG Ministers in Louisiana

firefighter fights fire
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A fire that broke out in a Louisiana trailer Wednesday night took the lives of Annie Mae Farmer, 84, and her close friend, Mary Greer Oliver, 81.

Farmer was the pastor of Pioneer Assembly of God in rural northeast Louisiana for the past 53 years, and Oliver, wife of 80-year-old ordained minister David Oliver, was a licensed minister.

The AG Louisiana District Office reports that the Olivers were staying with Farmer in a trailer parked next to the church. Close friends, the Olivers were assisting Farmer, who had been having some heart problems. The three would stay overnight at the trailer on Wednesdays instead of trying to drive home after church. The Olivers would take turns sitting in a recliner, watching over Farmer during the evenings.

A fire, which is believed to have been electrical, began Wednesday night, waking David Oliver from his slumber in the recliner. Failing in his attempt to beat the fire out, he dashed outside to get a hose. But then the trailer exploded with fire, and David was unable to get back inside; the front door was impassable and the back door was locked. He broke a window in an attempt to rescue the ladies, but he was not successful.

Fire crews would later find the bodies of both women near the back door of the trailer. David Oliver was taken to the hospital for treatment for burns to his hands. Although the trailer was parked near the church, it is believed the church building only suffered some exterior “scorching” due to the heat of the flames.

Louisiana District Superintendent Douglas Fulenwider traveled to the church on Thursday to meet with David Oliver, presbyter John Skinner and church members. According to the district office, having served for decades in the rural community area, “Sister Farmer” was deeply loved with the community knowing Pioneer Assembly of God simply as “Sister Farmer’s church.”

“Our hearts were deeply grieved to hear of the sudden death of two of our ministers who were lifelong friends,” Fulenwider says. “They will always be remembered for their steadfast walk with God. We are asking for prayer for their children, grandchildren, church family and community.”

Visitation for Farmer was held on Saturday and Sunday, and the funeral service was Sunday at Harvest Assembly of God in Oak Grove, La. Visitation for Oliver will be from 9 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. Monday, at Seigle Assembly of God in West Monroe, La., with the funeral service beginning at 2:30 p.m. Superintendent Fulenwider will be officiating both of the ladies’ services.

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