Rev. John Eric Lamb, 66, of Allentown, PA, entered eternal life on Monday, August 3, 2020, at Lehigh Valley Hospital. He died of complications due to an aggressive brain tumor. Born in Plattsburgh, NY on April 17, 1954, he was the son of the late Eric and Bernice (Colgan) Lamb. Together with his two sisters, Joy and Judy, his childhood was spent on a dairy farm in Churubusco, NY where he learned the values of hard work, dedication, and the importance of family. With a passion for reading and writing and a lifelong appreciation for the works of Shakespeare, he received his B.A. in English Literature from Houghton College in 1976. Recognizing his call to ministry, he attended Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA and later completed his M.Div. at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. From 1981 to 1987, John's generous spirit compelled him to volunteer in El Salvador during a tumultuous political landscape. He volunteered in San Salvador with Lutheran World Relief and taught at a Mennonite Central Committee orphanage in Zaragoza, El Salvador. Always motivated and eager to learn, he became fluent in Spanish and served as a translator for Catholic Relief Services. As an ordained minister through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, John's first assignment called him to San Juan, PR where from 1990 to 1992 he served as pastor to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of San Pablo. While living in San Juan, he met his soon-to-be wife, Maritza Robert, on a blind date. They were married in San Juan on Nov. 22, 1992. On September 22, 1993 in Harrisburg, PA, John and Maritza gave birth to a beloved son, Robert James Lamb. While in Harrisburg, he continued his ministry serving as pastor to the congregations of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and then Our Saviour Lutheran Church. In 2007, John and his family moved to Allentown, PA. For the last 13 years, John served as pastor to the congregation of St. Luke's Lutheran Church. Active throughout Allentown, John served as a member of the Housing Association and Development Corporation, Spanish Speaking Pastors Organization, Mayoral Interfaith Clergy Group, Lehigh Mission District, and the founder of the English Language Learners program at St. Luke's Lutheran Church. In 2018, his widening mission also called him to serve as pastor to the Lutheran Congregation of Cedar Church. Through over 30 years of ministry, he served as a disciple of Christ's greatest commandment: to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and to love your neighbor as yourself.
Survivors include wife Dr. Maritza Robert; son, Robert James Lamb and his partner, Macklin Fitzpatrick; sister, Judy Lamb; sister, Joy Barcomb and her husband, Francis; aunt, Marguerite Colgan; sisters-in-law, Elsie Milagros Robert and Teresa Robert; nephews, Col. Kris Barcomb, Dr. Timothy Barcomb, Brandon Barcomb, and Kenny Kohler; niece, Keira Kohler; along with a multitude of first and second cousins; grand nephews and nieces; and many close friends.
Memorial gifts in John's memory can be sent to "Community Outreach Programing" at St. Luke's Lutheran Church 417 N 7th, St. Allentown, PA 18102. Donations will be used to continue his ministry in programs such as English Language Learners, American Citizenship, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Due to restrictions, a service for immediate family members is being held privately. Memorial services to be announced at a later date by St. Luke's Lutheran Church and Cedar Church in Allentown, PA. Arrangements entrusted to Bachman, Kulik & Reinsmith Funeral Home, Allentown.
Published in Morning Call on Aug. 16, 2020.