Reverend Gerald Linhares was born to Bud and Irene Linhares in Independence, MO, on August 17, 1940. From his youth Jerry felt a call on his life to serve God as a minister of the gospel. The scripture he based his life on was Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart.”
Upon graduation from Junipero Serra High School, he began his ministry journey at Maryhill Seminary in Pineville, LA where he received an Associate in Arts degree. He then attended Notre Dame Theological Seminary in New Orleans, LA to prepare for the Catholic priesthood. After eight years of seminary, he was ordained as a priest in the Diocese of Alexandria. During his time at St. Jude’s in Bossier City, he became a part of the charismatic renewal, and felt the Lord placing in his heart a desire to minister to people of all faiths. After seven years he left the priesthood and began the journey that marked the rest of his life as a pastor, counselor, and bible teacher. Premarital counseling, preparing couples for Christian marriage, and performing wedding ceremonies became a significant part of his life’s work. He received a Master of Divinity from Evangelical Episcopal University and Theological Seminary. All through his life, he mentored and discipled men of all ages in the ways of God. He served churches in six states; his twenty years as Associate Pastor at New Covenant Church in Starkville, MS, he considered highlight years of his pastoral work. Jerry also served on numerous missionary trips to Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, and Honduras.
As Jerry left the priesthood, he prayed, fasted, and asked God to choose a wife for him. He and Susan Broomfield married on January 19, 1974. They lived in Monroe, LA, Midland, TX, Shreveport, LA, Atlanta, GA, Starkville, MS, and six years ago returned to West Monroe, LA. He joined the ministry of Covenant Life Fellowship and became a member of Christ Church where he served on the prayer team, Wisdom Club, and men’s ministry.
One day while working in Atlanta, Jerry came home and told Susan that the Lord was showing him that they should adopt an Asian child. Against seemingly impossible odds that dream became a reality in 1991, when they traveled to China and received their two-month-old daughter Lindsay Su Ling. In his eyes, she was the greatest gift God would ever give him and the bond between them was beautiful to behold.
Jerry never met a stranger and loved people fiercely. He saw every single person he met as an opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ, which poured forth from him so freely. If you were in his line of vision, you were going to hear about Jesus. Gratitude was a hallmark of Jerry’s character. Jerry was a mercy extender who gently brought others to understand the biblical principle of forgiveness. Every single day before the world was awake, he was in prayer seeking the face of his Savior.
Susan says, “In 47 years of marriage, he never once turned down any request for prayer or counsel as he made himself available at all hours of the day and night. He was simply born to love people and he did that better than anyone I’ve ever known.”
Jerry passed away on January 4, 2021 at St. Francis Medical Center. Thank you to the incredible doctors and nursing staff who lovingly cared for Jerry in his final days.
Jerry is survived by his wife Susan and daughter Lindsay, a resident of Washington, D.C., and his four sisters June McCabe, Rosemary Toomey, Beverly Hebert, and Mary Dabaghian.
A celebration of Jerry’s life will be held on Thursday, January 14, 2021, in the sanctuary of Christ Church at 2 p.m. Masks and social distancing will be required. Visitation will be held from 1:00 P.M. until Service Time. The service will be available via live stream at live.christchurch.la and www.facebook.com/christchurch.la. The service will be officiated by Rev. Tom Lowe and Rev. Bill Murphy. Pallbearers are Terry Barnhill, Curt Eberts, David Trapp, Lonnie Shows, Ken Fletcher, Glen Hummel, Dave Stewart, and Gene Norman.
Memorials in honor of Jerry Linhares can be mailed to Christ Church, 208 Lincoln Street, West Monroe, LA 71291 or given online at Christchurch.la/give and select “Memorial.”