Pastors' Memoirs

Alvin Kenneth Lambdin, Jr., 1911-2001

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The Rev. A. Kenneth Lambdin Jr. was born September 15, 1911, in Lynch Station, Va., the eldest of five children born to Alvin Kenneth and Margaret Arthur Lambdin. A.K. Sr. was a minister in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church for 45 years. Kenneth’s two brothers are retired medical doctors; one of his two sisters, a former teacher, is deceased; the other a retired teacher.

Kenneth attended Randolph-Macon Academy, Randolph-Macon College, Emory and Henry College, Emory University, Lynchburg College (A.B. degree) and Union Theological Seminary, Richmond. He began his ministerial career in 1938 at North Pittsylvania and retired in 1978. In the 1950s, he served six years in the Disciples of Christ mission program. In the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, Kenneth served pastorates in the Lynchburg, Richmond, Rappahannock, Danville, Eastern Shore, Petersburg, Norfolk, and Portsmouth Districts. He especially loved the Eastern Shore and all of Tidewater.

Kenneth married the former Mildred McKinney of Lynchburg, Va., on June 8, 1939. They were the proud and loving parents of six fine sons: A. Kenneth III (Kenny), John Hale, William Morris (Lanny), Arthur Byron, Paul Linden, and Mark Timothy. In addition to his wife of nearly 63 years, and his six sons, Ken is survived by six lovely daughters-in-law, Cookie, Sarah, Betty, Donna, Barbara, and Gayle; and six grandsons, Nathan, Jesse, Matthew, B.J. (Byron, Jr.), Daniel, Taylor; six granddaughters, Suzanne, Laura, Emily, Corie, Shelby, and Kelsey; five great-granddaughters, Davys, Collyn, Emalee, Randa Rae, and Kendall; two great-grandsons, Sam and Matthew; three step-granddaughters, Margaret, Jane, and Tara; two step-grandsons, Josh and Tye; and two step-great-grandsons, Christopher and Cole.

Kenneth’s sermons were outstanding (even his sons admitted that!) He was a teacher of the Bible as well as a preacher of the Good News of God’s Kingdom. Like his father, he loved poetry, incorporating poems skillfully and imaginatively into his sermons. He wrote poetry of his own which appeared in several issues of the Advocate.

   He inspired at least seven young men (perhaps unnamed others) to enter the ministry. He had a beautiful baritone voice and his singing reached many unchurched persons as well as his own congregations. Kenneth earned the Collegiate Professional Teaching Certificate and did substitute teaching for schools in several of his appointments. Fishing was his favorite recreation. He also enjoyed gardening, reading and studying the Bible, classical music, singing and playing piano.

Kenneth died peacefully December 20, 2001. His memorial service and celebration of his life was December 23 at White’s United Methodist Church, Rustburg, Va., where his parents, grandparents and other relatives are buried. Services were kindly and ably conducted by the Rev. Roy L. Miller, retired, of Roanoke, one of those whom Ken helped to enter the ministry.

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant. . . Enter thou into the joys of the Lord." (Matt. 23:21)

— Paul Linden Lambdin



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