Lawrence Paul Chatman was born June 26, 1946, to the Rev. Roscoe and Maude Edith Smith Chatman at the Lucy Lee Hospital in Poplar Bluff. He was the 12th of 13 children and the seventh son. Those family members awaiting him in Heaven are his parents, his brothers – Harmon, William, Hershel and sisters Thelma, Velma, Alma and Genevia. A foster daughter Shirley Troxel Chaney passed at age 39. What a wonderful family reunion they are having in God’s Eternal Kingdom with their Savior the Lord Jesus Christ and multitudes of other family and friends!
Lawrence peacefully passed into Heaven in his home with family around him. He leaves behind his wife of 54 years Jeanne Harris Chatman, his three children and their spouses – Serena and husband Bobby Hagler, Sarah and husband Joshua Sutton, Lawrence and wife Megan Chatman. Also remaining is another foster daughter he raised, Deborah Troxel McEntire. There are also 16 grandchildren: Jonathan, Adam, and Rachel Hagler; Evie (Jordan Breedlove), Joshua, Joshiah, Benjamin, Caleb Lawrence Paul, Daniel, Rebekah, Joel and Hunter Sutton; William Lawrence, Jaxon Paul, Esther and Hattie Chatman; great- grandchild Sarah Breedlove. Also remaining are his brothers – CL Chester Leroy, TC Thurman Clyde and Truman Chatman; sisters Pansy Parks and Anna Hedrick. Many dear nieces, nephews, family and friends remain.
Lawrence accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and became a Christian at age 12. He was baptized in Cane Creek near Poplar Bluff. At age 13 he felt God’s call to preach the gospel. He preached at youth meetings and many churches. He was licensed to preach in 1961 at age 15, and pastored the Bethany Baptist Church for a year until they were able to get an adult pastor. During high school he continued to fill the pulpit for pastors when needed and speak at youth meetings.
He graduated from Neelyville High School in 1964. At age 18 he went to Southern Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Ark. He also pastored the Columbia Jarrett Baptist Church, which was the oldest church in Arkansas. He graduated in 1966 with an AA degree. Then he enrolled in Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, Mo. While there he pastored South Greenfield Baptist Church. During his college years there he met his wife, Jeanne. In May of 1968 they both graduated with BA degrees. He majored in Bible and Psychology with minors in English and Social Studies. He married Jeanne in June of 1968. He also went back to college in 1975-’76 to earn a life time teaching certificate in English and Social Studies. He graduated from Southwest Baptist College again with a BS degree this time. Over the years he taught school at Salem High School, Dawson Christian School near Mountain Grove, Joel E. Barber School near Lebanon and Plato School. He was also a bus driver for Plato School 20 years.
Lawrence attended Midwestern Baptist Seminary in Kansas City during 1970 and ’71. He also pastored the Sheldon Baptist Church. In June of 1971 he was called to be Associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Houston, Mo., with duties at their mission church in Success, Mo. The mission became a church and he pastored there for 13 years. Other churches he pastored during his 60-year ministry were: Bucyrus Baptist Church, Crossville Baptist Church near Bunker, Broadway Baptist Church near St. James, Raymondville Baptist Church and Gasconade Baptist Church near Dixon. Pastor Lawrence was at Gasconade for 16 years before he retired in 2021 after having Covid and a stroke. They gave him retirement dinner and presented him with a plaque for his 60 years of ministry.
Visitation for Lawrence was 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in the Roby Baptist Church, 12750 Highway 17, Roby, Mo. 65557, with his funeral service following at 11 a.m. in the church, with Pastor Joshua Sutton, officiating.
Interment was in C.T Smith Cemetery, Success, Texas County, Missouri, under the direction of Birmingham-Martin Funeral Home, Dixon.
Memorials are suggested per the wishes of the family with envelopes available at the church or in the care of Birmingham-Martin Funeral Home, P.O. EE, Dixon, Mo. 65459.
Online condolences may be shared with Lawrence’s family at www.birminghammartinfuneralhomes.com