Funeral for Geoff Adams

Yesterday at 11am in the sanctuary at Jarvis Street Baptist Church a funeral service was held for Dr. Geoff Adams, long-time faculty member and former principal of Toronto Baptist Seminary. Dr. Adams passed away on Wednesday August 9, 2006 after a battle with cancer. He was 83.
The funeral, if one can say this about funerals, was outstanding. Although it was a time of great mourning over the loss of one so great as Dr. Adams, it was markedly a celebration of his life and of the God he served. Everything about the funeral was a celebration and was rooted deeply in the glory of Christ. Dr. Adams would not have had it any other way. I truly came away with a sense of awe for the God of Geoff Adams.
There were numerous people there to celebrate the life of Dr. Adams. It was very encouraging to see them all, considering that the funeral was on a Tuesday. People came from great lengths to pay their respects.
As well, a number were involved with the funeral itself, attesting to the great influence that Dr. Adams had on so many. Stephen Kring opened beautifully in prayer, Ed Fry read a number of passages of Scripture, Bert Oatley-Willis recalled his time spent with Dr. Adams on the HMS Indomitable during World War 11 (he was instrumental in Dr. Adams’ conversion), Dr. Haykin, at Dr. Adams’ request, spoke on the needs of TBS (it can be read here), Peter Ryttersgaard shared his experiences as a student of Dr. Adams at TBS. As well, Glendon Thompson preached a great message on resurrection from 1 Corinthians 15, and Norman Street committed Dr. Adams’ body to the ground. Although he was billed to do the benediction, a certain mistake made unfortunately left Rudy Wiebe out. I felt bad for Rudy, I know he would have loved to do that.
I intentionally left Doug Adams, Dr. Adams’ son, out of the list. He spoke first, right after Ed read from Scripture, and I must say, Doug’s words were beautiful and powerful. I sat captivated by him and had tears streaming down my eyes as I listened to what life was like having Dr. Adams for a father. Doug truly preached the Word of God as he explained to us all the devotion that his father had for Christ. It was such a hopeful and gospel oriented sermon. One that I didn’t expect to have such power and emotion. I was really taken aback by Doug and deeply impressed with the strength he had to say what he did.
Dr. Adams lived a life that was full of meaning and he has left a lasting legacy of Biblical fidelity and love for Christ. He truly was an example of godliness to us all. I marvelled to a friend after the service that I wish I had known Dr. Adams better. How wonderful would it have been to have taken Dr. Adams’ Old Testament Biblical Theology class in his prime! To hear the stories of what he was like as a teacher left me wishing I had known something of it.
May those of us involved at Toronto Baptist Seminary, by God’s grace, continue the work that Dr. Adams laboured over so many years for. May his torch be carried and may God be glorified forever. Amen.
The following is a poem by Mrs. Betty Adams, Dr. Adams’ wife:

An Answered Prayer
You prayed for me continually;
You asked the Lord to heal.
You pled that I would find relief
From agonies so real.
But eyelids closed in gentle peace,
And all at last was calm.
Your prayer had found its answer;
His pure, refreshing balm.

Was poured on one so sick and sore,
Oppressed by many an ill.
He graciously released His child
As always was His will.

So now I see that matchless face
That on the mount had shone.
No tears remain, no fear, no pain;
All trial and trouble gone —

If only you could catch a glimpse
Of glory here revealed
You would not wish me back with you,
Heaven’s glory still concealed.

Such joy, such bliss to worship here!
Such wealth of praise and love!
If only you could see me now
At home in heaven above.

That body, weak and faltering,
Exchanged for one like His,
The glorious, eternal Lamb,
I see Him as He is!
(1 John 3:2)


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6 responses to “Funeral for Geoff Adams

  1. Elisha Galotti


    Thank you for recounting this. Dr. Adams truly was a man of God, inspiring his students to live for Christ. As you know, I was blessed to be able to sit under his teaching for OT theology. Those are hours of my life that I will always cherish. Being the first theology course I ever took, my understanding of redemptive history increased beyond measure. But Dr. Adams gave so much more than that… he gave his heart… right til the end. I would walk out of his class praising the Lord, loving Him more, strengthened in my faith.

    I am thankful that the Lord made him, and entrusted him with such gifts. He sure did use those gifts well… At this moment in time he must be so full of joy.

    Again, thank you for sharing this event with those of us who were not able to be there.

  2. Ian

    It’s funny, but I thought of you during the funeral service. Peter Ryttersgaard spoke on being a student of Dr. Adams, and he mentioned that when students first met him, they were terrified of him. I remembered you saying how you were intimidated by Dr. Adams when you first had his classes. Good to know you weren’t alone eh?
    We’re looking forward to you guys coming back!!

  3. elisha


    Either I can’t recall how I initially felt, or you have me mistaken with someone else. It is possible, because I dont have a good memory, but as far as I can remember I always loved Dr. Adams… right from the start.
    You sure that was me?

  4. Ian

    I’m pretty sure!

  5. BeachLover

    I did not attend TBS, but I was a part of Dr. Adams’ Sunday School class (College and Careers) at Jarvis St. Baptist Church for several years. He always put his best into teaching that class and I was always impressed with how well prepared he was every Sunday morning. His faithfulness to the Word and his unwavering commitment to the truth were foundations of my developing faith as a young man. God bless his family and loved ones — we sorrow not as those without Hope.

  6. Ian

    BeachLover: Thank you for your words about Dr. Adams. I’m sure there are hundreds around the world who share similar sentiments. Praise God!

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