A Steadfast Brother
On October 17, 2004, at 87, Adam J. Thropay of Montebello, California entered into his rest. Our beloved brother was saved as a child, along with his parents, during tent meetings held by T. Dempsey in Los Angeles, in 1924. While in the Jefferson Street assembly, he joined his father in gospel work in East Los Angeles, where they saw a new assembly established in 1950. Brother Thropay learned Spanish at that time, and ministered fluently in both Spanish and English for many years. He conducted numerous home Bible studies, where souls were saved and taught, and believers were built up in the faith. During the years he worked in the post office, his vacations were always spent in preparing and holding two-week daily vacation Bible school for hundreds of children. He took an early retirement at age 55, and was commended by the Culver City, Monrovia, and Long Beach assemblies to continue his work for the Lord. Rather than choosing an itinerant ministry, he remained where his heart was, and continued as a godly overseer in the East Los Angeles assembly, while keeping up a schedule of meetings and visitation that would have worn out many a younger man. As one of his grandsons stated, “He was a text-book example of a Biblical overseer.”
The assembly in East Los Angles was established in a dangerous gang-infested community. Brother Thropay never wrote about his difficulties, victories, or losses to other brethren. This might have brought him much sympathy and support from men, but he chose to trust his God for his earthly deliverance and wait until his Lord would reward him at the judgment seat. His faith produced a tremendous courage in the face of danger and won him the respect of the community that he served.
Brother Thropay was best characterized by the words of I Cor. 15:58 – “steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” He never sought acclaim for himself, but he was sought after for his sound wisdom, discernment, and advice. He was unassuming in character, but powerful in presence. While the very large funeral services bore eloquent testimony to the respect and high esteem in which he was held, only the Lord knows the full extent and results of his ministry. His “record is on high” (Job 16:19).
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mariana Thropay; four sons – John (Maricela), Adam (Heather), Reuben (Carol), and Joseph Thropay; one daughter Ruth (Bill) Novador; and twelve grandchildren.
There was a Spanish-language memorial service held on Friday evening, October 22, in which various brethren took part. The English service on Saturday, October 23, was taken by his four sons, Joseph, Reuben, Adam, and John Thropay, with singing by six of his grandchildren. Two Spanish-speaking brethren and two grandsons, Matthew Williams and Adam IV Thropay, spoke at the graveside service.
“Whose faith follow…” Heb. 13:7