Obituaries » John Douglas “Doug” Oliver

A memorial service will be held at: Heritage Baptist Church 219 Breezewood Dr, Lynchburg, VA 24502 on March 13, 2022, at 3 p.m. or may be viewed on:

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John Douglas “Doug” Oliver

December 11, 1952 - February 5, 2022

John Douglas “Doug” Oliver joined his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on February 5, 2022.   He was born on December 11, 1952, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and was preceded in death by his adopted parents Wilfred and Marjorie Oliver who both passed in the1990’s. He grew up as an only child with his loving adopted parents.  Doug was always interested in science and set up a science lab in his basement as a young child. He pursued his dreams into the world of science and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree and Master of Science Degree in Zoology at the University of Toronto, Canada, and his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Georgia, USA.

He worked for the Ontario Canadian Government, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, taught at Florida A & M University, and most recently as a Professor of Biology and Creation Science at Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA where he was also the Assistant Director of the Center for Creation Studies.  Over the years Doug has given numerous presentations, wrote numerous articles and gave interviews with local news stations concerning Creation Science.  He also wrote and published numerous papers from his environmental research for both the Canadian and US Environmental Protection agencies.

In 2003 Doug was blessed to come to know his birth family for the first time.  His birth Mom, Ruth Hickes, and his two half-sisters Laura (husband Glen) McCrone, and Linda (husband Duncan) Harbridge, and his half-brother Scott (wife Sandy) Hickes. All still reside in Canada and have visited and kept in contact since.

In 2005 Doug met and married Nancy (Nan) Terry Florence. Together they adopted their daughter Jayden from China.  The adoption took six years, but Jayden has been such a blessing that the wait was worth it.  Eight months after the adoption Doug was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.  Although at that point he had to give up employment, Doug, ever positive and hopeful, looked at the verdict as a blessing in disguise since he would have all-the-more time with his adopted daughter and wife.

Doug was a genuinely kind and loving man with a deep faith founded on his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In his own words Doug explained that during his senior year at the University of Toronto, “Jesus intercepted my life through a very kind, Bible-believing pre-med guy in my secular dorm, who led me into personal repentance, and I received Jesus the Creator for salvation.”  During his university education he was taught broad-scale evolution and “billions of years” as the age of the earth.  During that time his very Biblical pastor challenged his theistic evolutionary thinking and got him to read a couple of Dr. Henry Morris’ books on the scientific evidence for creation.  As he continued his scientific studies, he became very aware of very powerful scientific evidence for the biblical account of creation.  This ran counter to the teachings of evolutionary theory: the presumptions of billions of years of earth’s existence, and that all we see in science happened by chance as has been predominantly taught and mandated even to this day.  This knowledge of scientific evidence for creation affected Doug’s whole worldview on the role of mankind as stewards of God’s Creation (with God having given man “dominion” over the earth to protect it, cultivate it, and use its resources wisely to help ourselves and others).  Thus, this influenced his approach in his professional career, his teaching, and his ministry and family life.

Doug also was quite sociable and had a great sense of humor.  Above all, Doug was known for his humility and genuineness.  When anyone ever complimented him, he would say, “Praise the Lord!”, always pointing us in the direction of giving God the praise and to see God’s glory.

For more details regarding Doug’s Creation Science ministry and on Creation Science in general see: “Carl Wieland chats with environmental biologist Douglas Oliver”

This article is from Creation 35(1):39-41, January 2012, First posted on homepage: 7 April 2014; Re-posted on homepage: 12 January 2022.

A listing of some of his publications can be found on:

(Although this listing omits the numerous editorials and comments he wrote in secular scientific magazines).

Doug also considered another excellent Creation Science resource as

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to: Creation Ministries International

Mail: Creation Ministries International, PO Box 350, Powder Springs, GA 30127

Or Website: Or Answers in Genesis

Mail: Answers in Genesis, PO Box 510, Hebron, KY 41048

Or Website:

A memorial service will be held at: Heritage Baptist Church 219 Breezewood Dr, Lynchburg, VA 24502 on March 13, 2022, at 3 p.m.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.

John Oliver Tribute Video

Condolences & Tributes

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Doug Oliver Funeral Sunday March 13th, 3 pm. My name is Scott Pearson, and I had hoped to make the trip down from Ontario for today, but with the stormy weather, I decided to send this instead. I first met Doug in ‘75 or ‘76, when Doug and I both attended the same evangelical church in Ontario, where Doug grew up. I was still in high school while Doug was at University of Toronto, finishing his Bachelor of Science degree, and then doing his Master’s. Doug had just recently found the Lord, through Elgin, one of Doug’s house mates at U of T. Praise God for that young man who shared his faith with Doug, so many years ago. Dave Ward, the pastor of our church, encouraged Doug to investigate Henry Morris and the creation-evolution debate, and the rest, as they say, is history. Praise God for that pastor who encouraged Doug so many years ago. When I was in first year at U of T, Doug would often give me a ride back from church in his old Volkswagen van, and we spent many hours together discussing our faith and the scientific case for creation. Praise God for Doug, who encouraged me then, and who continued to encourage me, to develop a Biblical faith. By the way, ever wonder why the creation-evolution debate is important? Evolution is to Secular Humanism what creation is to Christianity. I’ll just leave it at that. I also got to meet Doug’s adopted parents, Wilfred and Marjorie Oliver. Wilfred was a quiet man who like to garden, and Marjorie... well... you always knew where you stood with Marjorie. The family went to church while Doug was growing up, but they didn’t hear the gospel. I remember Marjorie testifying that she didn’t find the Lord for herself until her son Doug shared his new found faith with her. Praise God. Doug was off to Georgia State for a PhD, where he spent 9 long years experiencing the university’s opposition to his creationist views, before receiving his doctorate in Ecology. Doug told me that at that time he was the only creationist he knew of, that had received a PhD in the biological sciences. There were other PhD’s who were creationist, but they had either become creationists after receiving their PhD, or they had received their PhD in a field other than biology. Praise God for Doug’s persistence. Doug then worked in the field of ecology for a mining company in Sarasota, and then for the Florida state government in Tallahassee. Doug finally got to do what he always wanted to do, which was to teach creation studies, as a professor at Liberty University here in Lynchburg, where he had a positive influence over so many of his students. Praise God. It was around that time that Doug reported that he had met a cute blonde, and her name was Nan.. Now reporting meeting beautiful women wasn’t exactly something new for Doug, but this one was different; he asked this one to marry him… and... she actually agreed. Doug and Nan were then able to open up their home and their lives to a precious gift, a little girl named Jayden, who became their daughter, and brought much joy to Doug and Nan’s life. Praise God. We live in a fallen world and over the past few years Doug and Nan have certainly been faced with that falleness as they’ve dealt with Doug’s declining health. Doug and Nan have seen their faith tested in ways they could not have expected, and through it all, they’ve continued to trust the Lord Jesus, who promises to be with us through our trials, and to make all things new, when he returns on That Glorious Day. Praise God.

Posted by Scott Pearson on March 15, 2022

Like a distant fragrance, memories of Doug go back to our college days and the news of his passing brought back many of them. For someone so bright, so sincere, and so congenial, it all seems too soon. Going through the old photos, I remember how close we became and how effortless it was. Whether in the dining hall or shaving at the next sink, Doug was always up for a good conversation. As we took some of the same science courses, there was always something new to talk about. In the bustle of a university dorm, Doug stood out as both a gentleman and a gentle man. He never interrupted you, and eventually our small talk led to big talk - about the soul, the spirit, and the cosmos - and how it shaped us for eternity. One night there was a knock at my door. Doug was febrile and feeling desperately unwell. As his fever rose, we put him to bed with sips of fluid until it was necessary to move him to the campus infirmary, fading in and out of consciousness. The doctors found and treated his infection, but it was an uphill battle for two or three days. Doug was foggy about much of it but was clear about one thing - a vision of the risen Christ at his bedside. "It was more like Jesus came to me than I came to Him." Few of us get face to face encounters with the Lord like that. God's spirit had moved over Doug's body and it showed when he returned to residence - visibly thinner, but shining with a new light. Fortunately there was a vibrant nucleus of believers in our midst who could nurture and encourage Doug in the faith. Two of them have already shared their memories with Nan, and from the tributes here we see how countless more were blessed by his Christian witness and testimony. I am honoured and humbled to have been a small part of Doug's journey. We will have lots to talk about through eternity.

Posted by Dr Elgin M Loney on March 13, 2022

Doug was the greatest scientist, and one of the greatest men, I have ever known . I study Humanities, but Doug was able to explain to me the argument for a young Earth, and that is when my rich experience with God began. He invited me over to his house countless times, and we would laugh all the time and just relax. My greatest sorrow about his death is that he was never able to see my son. He would have liked that very much :(.

Posted by Mark Hamilton on March 12, 2022

Doug's faith is now sight! 🙏 I remember him dearly as a man who never wavered in his faith. He is a someone I will always think of fondly upon and it was an honor being his friend. He had a love for Creation ministries as well as him family. Doug always brought the conversation to His Lord and Savior Jesus... who he now knows face to face!!! Hallelujah!

Posted by Justin Pickering on March 8, 2022

I met Nan and Doug at my Discipleship Community at Heritage Baptist Church. Doug was always such a kind and humble man. He would talk about his love of his work on Creation Science. I never knew how deeply he was involved until reading his obituary. I look forward to reading his articles and getting to know more about Doug and his brilliant mind. Doug is still being used by God, the creator of all life, and Doug's influence on us will continue until the second coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at the Rapture.

Posted by Deborah K Benoit on February 28, 2022

When Nan first introduced me to Doug, I knew he was a man centered on the Lord . He was such a humble man . He saw th Majesty of the Lord in creation and knew that the Lord valued him. He was very attentive to each word that was spoken, which wasnt easy considering how much I talk. What a blessing to have been able to enjoy him with Nan and then Jayden too. Blessings to Nan, Jayden and his family as they remember and celebrate his life in the midst of their missing him. Until we meet again. I am sure the Lord is showing him much of all of Creation now in a way only experienced in the heavens.

Posted by Janice on February 28, 2022

Thanks Nan, for your detailed remembering of Doug for us. I met Doug in Ontario back in the '70's when we attended the same church. Over the years we've kept in touch; Doug has always been a good Christian brother to me, and a great mentor in young earth creationism. Doug will be missed.

Posted by Scott Pearson on February 27, 2022

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