Pastors' Memoirs

Lawrence Augusta Trent, 1899-1997

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On June 6, 1899, as the new century was about to dawn, an angel on a mission of mercy, in Campbell County, Virginia, delivered a son to David Gilliam and Edna Maddox Trent. They named him Lawrence Augusta.

God, in His infinite wisdom, saw the changing world taking place and wanted to assure His people that the message of His love would not be forgotten in a materialistic century dominated by war, racial strife, nuclear power and many social problems. Therefore, God not only gave life to Lawrence, He also gave him "new birth" and called him out of the business world into the Methodist ministry to proclaim the love of God to a troubled world. Lawrence prepared himself well for the task God had given him to do by attending Lynchburg College, Emory and Henry, and Duke Divinity School.

Lawrence began his ministry in 1943 as a "local preacher." In 1969, he became an associate member of the Virginia conference. Lawrence brought joy to the sorrowful, comfort to the bereaved, hope to the dying, strength to the weak, relief to the poor, healing to the sick, and the message of salvation to his congregation at the North Pittsylvania Charge, Hurt Church, Marsh Memorial where he was instrumental in building a new church and parsonage still in use today.

After retirement in 1960, he served the South View Church very effectively until the age of 92. Few ministers have ever shown so much love for their people and received so much love from the same as this dear, kind and gentle man of God.

On Wednesday, January 8, 1997, the angel who 97 years earlier had delivered Lawrence to the world came again and took him to the new world where there are no tears, suffering, grief or sorrow. Then on Saturday, January 11, 1997, the Rev. Avis Bock and the Rev. C. Douglas Pillow brought together family, friends and loved ones in the little church Lawrence loved and served for 31 years. There the immortal words of Jesus were spoken, "I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me though he die; yet shall he live and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." Although his body was laid to rest in the Fort Hill Memorial Park in Lynchburg, Virginia, his soul we commended to God.

Lawrence is survived by a son, L.A. Jr.; two sisters, Mrs. James E. Marshall, Buchanan, Virginia, and Mrs. John M. Tabb, Williamsburg, Virginia; two brothers, Eran E. Trent, Kilmarnock, Virginia, and David M. Trent, Appomattox, Virginia, and a host of nieces and nephews.

Blessed be the man whose life is in the hands of God where no evil can ever touch him.

- C. Douglas Pillow



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Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

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