Dr. Lawrence R. Martin, Sr.September 4, 1935 ~ March 7, 2022 (age 86)
Reflections of Dr. L. R. Martin’s Life
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelations 14:13
The Book of Life opened for Dr. Lawrence R. Martin, Sr. on September 4, 1935 in Archie, LA to the late Dr. B.F. Martin and the late Yvonne Martin. He was reared by his grandparents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Martin. On Monday, March 7, 2022, in West Monroe, Louisiana, Pastor Martin transitioned from labor to reward.
Pastor Martin is preceded in death by: Grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Martin, Sr.; mother, Yvonne Martin; father, B. F. Martin.
Pastor Martin confessed Christ at an early age at Evergreen Baptist Church in Archie, LA. After completion of his secondary education, Pastor Martin enrolled in Grambling State University and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Social Studies. He later attended Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC), Atlanta, Georgia, and attained his Master of Divinity. In 1993, he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the United Theological Seminary and Bible College, Monroe, Louisiana. In 2001, Pastor Martin received his Doctor of Divinity Inter-Baptist Theological Seminary, Shreveport, Louisiana.
In 1964, Pastor Martin met and married the love of his life, Barbara Jean Thompson, of New Iberia. To this union, three children were born, Lawrence II, Perry and Chantel.
Professionally, Dr. Lawrence Martin was an educator in the public school system. He was an instructor at Jonesville Consolidated High School and Carroll High School. He gained the reputation for his perception, understanding, and his amazing vocabulary.
As a young man, Pastor Martin took up the crusade as a Civil Rights activist. He participated in numerous marches and demonstrations throughout the South. He was the only activist known from this area to have marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pastor Martin continued being a fighter for the rights of people his entire life. He worked tirelessly to ensure voter education and engagement of the community he served.
Dr. Lawrence R. Martin is the son of a minister, the brother of three ministers, and the nephew of a minister. Born into a prestigious bloodline of ministry, it wasn’t long before he accepted the call to preach the gospel himself. Pastor Martin began his preaching career while attending Grambling State University.
By God’s divine will, Pastor Martin sustained a life complete with an abundance of distinguished experiences as a preacher, instructor, lecturer, moderator, and teacher. Pastor Martin was a God sent man with a rich heritage of religious experiences. The religious experiences that enhanced his life include: Pastor, Springfield Baptist Church in Gibsland, Louisiana; Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church in Homer, Louisiana; President and Moderator, Springville M. and E. Association; Provost, United Theological Seminary and Bible College; Bible Lecturer, Tenth District Association; Secretary, GumSpring Association; Dean and Lecturer, GumSpring Congress of Christian Education; Twin Cities Ministerial Union; and Louisiana Baptist State Convention and National Convention. The past forty-seven years, Dr. Martin faithfully shepherded God’s people as Pastor of the Trenton Baptist Church, West Monroe, LA.
Pastor Martin was a philanthropic, unpretentious servant who continuously tended to the needs of his church and community. His Motto was “Not for myself, but for others”. Dr. Martin's esteemed service was been recognized by many. His awards and accreditations include: Who's Who Among Black Americans; Louisiana Bicentennial Commission-Certificate of Appreciation; Political Allies Association Awards- Outstanding Service, Monroe City Education Association - Charter Member and Past President, Ouachita Chapter NAACP - Member, OIC of Ouachita Parish - Job Counselor, U.S. House of Representatives - Monroe, LA District Representatives, United States Civil Service Commission - Voting Rights Examiner, Hall of Fame - Jerusalem Baptist Church, Calhoun, Louisiana, West Monroe Christian Community-Legacy Award, Martin Luther King Foundation - MLK Pacesetters Award, Tenth District Association- Living Legend Award, Missionary – North American Mission Board; Springfield Baptist Church - Service Award, Thirty-Second Degree Mason and community action award.
During his tenure as pastor of Trenton Baptist Church, seven ministers were called to the ministry. He ordained several deacons. Pastor Martin had an unselfish love for his church, especially the youth department. In his office, there was always a candy dish full of candy waiting on them every Sunday. He was proud to grant both- young and old- opportunities to learn and grow, spiritually, academically and socially. Pastor taught and preached the uncompromising Gospel in and out of season. A historian in his own right, he frequently expounded beyond the ordinary and provided additional historical context for further biblical understanding and application. Dr. Martin became almost iconic for one of his signature sayings when professing the word of God, “I know I’m right about it.”
One of the greatest joys of Lawrence’s life was being “Paw Paw”. He loved his grandchildren. He was blessed to have baptized all his grandchildren, as they professed Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Dr. Lawrence Raymond Martin, Sr. leaves to cherish his legacy and his memories: beloved wife of fifty-eight years, Barbara; Children: Lawrence Ray II (Kimberly) of Stafford, TX, Perry of Monroe, LA and Chantel (Julius) of Spring, TX; Grandchildren: DeVonte’, Austin, Paris, Ryan and Justin; one great-grandson, Braxton; Brothers, Donald Martin, B J Martin (Barbara), Kenneth Martin (Iris); and a sister, Veroncia Thomas (Winfred). Godchild, Rev. John L. Russell II (Candice); a host of nieces, nephews, family, friends, United Theological Seminary and Bible College and the Trenton Baptist Church Family.