Christian activist Jerry Luquire dies at 75

Jerry Luquire, president of the Georgia Christian Coalition and a longtime activist for Christian causes, has died Thursday night at his home. He was 75.

Luquire was born July 27, 1938, in Durham, N.C. He moved to Columbus to take a job in broadcasting in 1961 and worked in radio and television for WRBL and WLTZ. He also hosted television and radio call-in shows. Later, he would work for Aflac.

He founded Brentwood Christian Press in 1982 and ran the company until 2006, when he sold the business. He continued to work as a consultant to the company.

Luquire was a member of Edgewood Baptist Church for more than 50 years, serving as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, a member of the choir and even as a bus driver.

Josh McKoon knew Luquire for years and said he was greatly motivated by his Christian faith, and not just on the weekends.

“Faith was central to his life, and not just in church on Sunday,” McKoon said. “He was animated by his faith every in all the things that he did.”

He was active in politics, both as an operative and a candidate, having sought seats on Columbus Council, the Muscogee County School Board and the Georgia House of Representatives. He twice served as U.S. Rep. Jack Brinkley’s chief of staff in Washington D.C.

He served on the city’s Charter Review Commission and served on the steering committee of “Say Yes,” which led a successful campaign for a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for schools.

Later, during his tenure with the Georgia Christian Coalition, he led the fight against Sunday alcohol sales in 2012, which was approved by voters that November. Luquire said at the time that his opposition wasn’t base on religion, but a concern for public safety, particularly young people.

“He loved Columbus and was a consummate people person,” McKoon said. “He had a real intense interest in this community. A lot of the things he did, he didn’t toot his own horn about.”

In addition to his parents, Luquire was preceded in death by his brother, L.C. Luquire, Jr. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joyce, and their two sons, Brace and wife Susan of Columbus and Bryan and wife Sandra of Birmingham, and seven grandchildren.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Edgewood Baptist with the Rev. David Howle officiating. The family will receive friends at the church following the service. There will be a private interment following at Parkhill Cemetery.