“There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light.” – John 1:6-7
On the night of May 8, Pastor John Ost left his wife and children, who surrounded his bed, holding his hands and singing “When He Calls Me, I Will Answer”, and went to be with the Savior who he had served so faithfully for so many years. Pastor John Ost, or “Pastor Juanito”, as his congregation at “Iglesia Bíblica” knew him, will be remembered for his devout commitment to Jesus, his love and dedication to his wife, Clara, his family, and his untiring love and devotion to the people of South Texas and Mexico.
After attending Taylor University and the University of Mexico (UNAM), Pastor Ost came to McAllen as a young man in 1953, where he began his ministry as Pastor of Iglesia Bíblica.
John Ost served faithfully as Pastor until 1966, when he became General Director of Christian Fellowship Union, and began traveling extensively in Mexico, encouraging pastors and opening new areas to the Gospel. When he wasn’t in Mexico, Pastor Ost would travel throughout the United States, urging American Christians to get involved in the task of reaching our neighbor, Mexico, for Christ.
In 1986, John Ost once again became Pastor of Iglesia Bíblica, and flourished for 20 years in what he called his “highest calling”. Throughout his life, both as a missionary and pastor, he gave himself to the people of Mexico and South Texas through his preaching, teaching, visitation, counseling, and officiating hundreds of weddings, funerals, quinceañeras and baby dedications.
Every day, Pastor Ost would start his morning with his cup of coffee and his Bible. After reading his Bible and praying for literally hours, he would make long lists (in his many notebooks) of hurting people to pray for and visit throughout the week. Even when eating at Denny’s with the family, he would get up and walk around the tables to, in his words, “see if I can cheer somebody up.” If you live in the Valley, you no doubt know someone who was touched by John Ost’s ministry.
Pastor Ost’s ministry could be summed up by Paul’s words about Timothy in his letter to the Philippians: “I have no one like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare.”
John Ost was a great son, brother, husband, father and grandfather, and a role model of the ideal pastor and man of God to all who knew him. For all of us who remain, Pastor John Ost will be missed, but we will see him again in heaven, worshiping at the feet of Jesus.
He is survived by his wife, Clara R. Ost of McAllen, children, Samuel C. (Linda) Ost of McAllen, James A. (Esther) Ost of McAllen, Deborah L. (Lance) Krueger of Mission and Stephanie F. (Eddie) Martinez of Mission, 6 grandchildren; Joel, Nathan, Elizabeth, Caroline, Lorien and Rachel, 3 sisters; Virginia Corbin, Betty Omley, and Grace McElhannan, a brother, Stanley Ost, many nieces and nephews, and father-in-law, John A. Riveness.
A visitation with memorial service will be held Thursday, May 11, 2006 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Ric Brown Family Funeral Home, 621 E. Griffin Parkway, Mission. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 12, 2006, at Iglesia Biblica, 306 S. 26th St., McAllen. Burial to follow at Valley Memorial Gardens, McAllen.
Services under the direction of Ric Brown Family Funeral Home in Mission.