The Rev. Dr. Robert F. Sims
1936 – 2021
A private memorial service for family and invited guests was held at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer on Saturday, August 11th at 11:00 am. If you would like to view that service, please visit our Online Worship page. A Celebration of Life for Pastor Sims will be scheduled at a later date.
When Pastor Sims retired as Redeemer’s Senior Pastor, a scrapbook was joyfully assembled, capturing the essence of his time and impact.
Below are some of the pages from that scrapbook. Tap or click on a page to zoom in and view or relive the memories!
Share your Memories!
Please contribute a memory, a story, a quote, a tribute, a prayer or condolences with a comment below. Comments will be available once thoughtfully reviewed. You can also post on Redeemer’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/redeemeratlanta
On December 31, 1989, Pastor Sims baptized our son Alan. In June of 1990, he was at my mother’s bedside at 2:00 a.m. in Piedmont Hospital when she died. His presence brought so much peace and reassurance to my father and me. Pastor Sims was indeed our family’s pastor. I had the honor of serving six years on Church Council during the time that Pastor Sims served our congregation. In this capacity, I witnessed Pastor Sims as leader and visionary. We are filled with gratitude for his ministry among us and celebrate his life of faith.
Pastor Sims brought much joy to my life, as he helped us to know our Lord and Savior, what He taught about living, and how we as Christians were to live in today’s tumultuous world. He was a caring and calm person and exhibited a way to be followed. His sermons, which were even more powerful because delivered straight from the heart and without the distraction of notes, were memorable. Several of the ones I remember are as follows: he had the ushers distribute small stones for us to take home and, I think, remember the Rock of our Salvation. Mine still sits on the sill of the bathroom sink, now at Lenbrook and in all the places I’ve lived since that sermon. Another was when he had the ushers give each congregate a ten dollar bill, to spend or give away. Sometime later he told us of some of the uses to which the money was put…all was given for helping others, and some was added to by the congregant before it was given away. It was very inspiring; this church benevolence fund had enormous impact on many lives, for many worthy causes, in this manner. The exercise was blessed by God. I am so glad other sermons are presented here for us to read and reflect on and continue to learn from.
A very special memory is when Pastor Sims devised a house blessing for my then-new home on Highbrook Drive. Mother Beatrice had come to live with me. We went to each room with a lit candle, and he offered a prayer just fit for that place. Our home was thus dedicated to comfort for us and hospitality for others, all in the name of the Lord, who provides. He provided us with Pastor Sims, who led in the thriving of LCR, its impact on our Atlanta community, and in care for our lives and spirits. We thank Pastor Sims for his ministry, and we thank God for his presence among us. May his soul rest in peace.
Pastor Sims leaves us all better people because of his steadfast love, compassion and support. Those who knew him knew of his many gifts, being on staff at Redeemer I had the privilege of getting to know the “human side” of Pastor Sims. I’ll remember Pastor in many positive ways with his big smile and great sense of humor, always great with stories-especially during staff meetings, and Lunches. We all shared so many laughs. Our family shared a long history with Bob, he was the Weinhold’s Pastor in McLean, Virginia. He was suppose to Baptize Bob Weinhold but got called away, but Pastor Sims ended up Baptizing all 3 of our Children at Redeemer. Pastors Funeral Service was GREAT-he would frequently comment on how he liked conducting a great funeral. His was very, very special. We were with you in Spirit watching the live stream from Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Suzanne, I’m lifting you up in prayer, I know your heart is aching. I’m sending you love and peace.
Kimberly & The Weinhold Family
In 1988 prior to Pastor Sims moving from SC to become our Senior Pastor at Redeemer in September of that year he requested a Communications Committee be established to help our members become informed through small groups in our congregation prior to his arrival about his Pastoral Care and Leadership. Dan Eakin and I were Blessed to be asked to Co-Chair the Committee. That was the beginning of a long and meaningful relationship that I developed through working directly with Pastor Sims. I was also privileged to work with him on his vision to offer televised services throughout the year at Redeemer and put us on the map in Midtown Atlanta…which eventually led to our now Live-streaming of our weekly services. He was indeed progressive and a visionary and a first class leader for our congregation. He left a legacy that will live on for generations to come. I will dearly miss his warm smile and his meaningful presence as our Senior Pastor Emeritus. May God Bless Suzanne and his children in this time of grief. God’s Peace.
I have known Bob Sims for many years, dating back to our days at Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory. I was his “elder” as he would remind me that he was born in November and I was born in October of the same year 1936. Bob was a good friend and confidante who helped me in many ways, particularly at the time of my son’s death in March 2004. He was not only a steadying influence with his words, but also simply by just being in his presence. Bob’s early morning Bible study classes (7 a.m.) were a delightful mix of scripture, current events, and sharing news of one another’s lives. I remember well being in attendance at these sessions with the likes of Joe Bell, Merrill Awtrey, Harry Baxter, Charlie Lofstrom, among others. I remember an anecdote from Bob’s ministry: He was attending a funeral, attired in full clerical dress, and after the funeral he was approached by an individual who said: “I ain’t no member of a Catholic church, but I want to ask you a question, the individual obviously mistaken Bob’s religious affiliation. Bob’s reply: “Well, I ain’t no Catholic priest, but I would be more than happy to talk with you.” Just one among many examples of his willingness to help all people. I remember some strikingly rare characteristics Bob possessed… a total lack of any self-importance coupled with his devout belief that all people were children of God. I can sincerely say that the Rev. Dr. Robert Sims was a true follower of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Bob Sims and I attended Lenoir Rhyne College (now LRU) together, graduating with the Class of 1958. We were fraternity brothers in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity where he was known as “Butch”. Even in college, he knew that his future was to be a pastor.
After college, our paths did not cross again until we both ended up in Atlanta, we in 1980 and he came to Redeemer in 1988. While surfing the TV channels one time, we were surprised to see none other than Dr. Bob Sims, sharing his message with all of Atlanta and we were very impressed.
We became members at Redeemer in 2012, after he had retired but thankful we had the opportunity to see him on Sunday mornings to renew an old friendship .It was great to renew an old friendship and reminisce about bygone days.
Thanks be to God for Bob’s gift to all!
Pete (and Anne) Burr
Pastor Sims was the best. So many memories. He was there for me when my mom passed. Such a pillar of strength. Truly a man of god — kind soul. He will be missed.
Pastor Sims hired me at Redeemer in 1996. I learned so much from him. I was fortunate to be able to work with him every day until he retired. There are so many memories, but I especially remember staff retreats and numerous staff lunches. He would talk about a dream he had, or a movie or documentary he had seen. He was always learning something new. Yes, his sermons were memorable, but I will especially remember his constant compassion (he did a GREAT funeral!), patience, love and support. I am confident that he is now in the loving arms of God and that we will meet again.
Beautiful service, with you in spirit, Suzanne! Love, Jane and Mitch
Pastor Sims was a wonderful inspiration and leader. He inspired our family every day and we are truly a child of God. We will surely miss him but know he is with God.
Peace and Love to his family
Patti, Alison, Meredith and John Steinmetz
The Rev. Dr. Sims was a wonderful pastor and preacher. He was such a comfort to me when I lost my parents and sister. I have strong memories of his sermons. Being from NC and going to Lenoir-Rhyne I felt a special connection to him. He was truly a great pastor for Redeemer and I am so glad I was part of that.
In 1970, I attended a youth retreat led by Pastor Sims, at Caroline Furnace in Va. It was while talking to him, and then praying, underneath the stars one night that God first became real to me. I still go back there every year or so to commemorate the experience, and I’m also writing a song about it: The Witness Tree. I regret that I won’t have an opportunity to share that with Pastor Sims. Thank you for the role you played in a teenager’s spiritual life!
There are special people that God puts on this earth and, if you’re fortunate, these people cross your path at some point in your life. Pastor Sims was one of those blessings – a true Man of God. His wisdom, genuine kindness, wry sense of humor and willingness to always be there were such incredible gifts to both me and my husband Michael. While Michael is a member of All Saints, Pastor Sims walked into his hospital room before 6 a.m. one morning to pray with us before Michael was having surgery as he battled cancer. When we were married by Pastor Sims, at my request the very meaningful communion verse I’d been given years before was used in the message. And, every time I saw Pastor Sims and Suzanne as I left the jazz service and they were arriving for the 11 a.m. service, he took the time to smile and stop to say hello. His sermons touched my life at whatever point I was at when I heard them – as if God knew what I needed to hear that very day. To have had the opportunity to know this man was one of the greatest blessings Michael and I have ever experienced and we thank God for the gift of Pastor Sims.
I have too many memories to even count. All are of a very compassionate, full of wisdom , incredibly spiritual and peaceful gentle soul of a man! I was so thankful to have Pastor Bob and Susanne with me during the birth of my twins! His blessing on them made my heart sing of love. He was and is a very very special person in my life. Probably the most influential person to touch my life. My heart aches for his passing but know that he is with God and is shinning down on all of us daily. Love him to the moon and back!!! Gods peace , Kim Smith.