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1933 Lavonn 2024

Dr. Lavonn Brown

December 30, 1933 — January 3, 2024

Dr. Lavonn Brown died on January 3, 2024 in San Antonio, Texas. He was 90 years old. Lavonn was a husband, father and pastor.

A 1951 graduate of Cyril High School, Lavonn received his B.A. in 1955 from Oklahoma Baptist University. He received his Master of Divinity in 1958 and his Doctor of Theology in 1964, both from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. During his years at OBU, Lavonn was an accomplished baseball and basketball player. Like many baseball players he became a very good golfer. Golf was a passion for most of his adult life.

Lavonn married Norma in 1955. They were married for 68 years. He would say that Norma was vital to his success as a person and a pastor.

Lavonn pastored churches in Alhoso, OK, Ratliff City, OK, Tecumseh, OK, and Longview, TX before coming to the First Baptist Church in 1970. He pastored “First” Norman for 29 years before his retirement in 1999. During his tenure at First Baptist, the church approximately doubled it’s Sunday School attendance and went to two worship services to accommodate the increased number of attendees. A Family Life Center was built in 1978. New educational space and a major renovation of the sanctuary also marked his tenure. Lavonn was a serious student of the Bible and an astute observer of people and culture, who tailored his sermons around the most relevant issues of the day. As the author of seven books, he was a very popular preacher and speaker throughout Baptist life. In addition to his pastorate, Lavonn was a denominational leader and an early moderator of the new Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Lavonn and Norma loved First Baptist Church. At his retirement event Lavonn said “To say that the past 29 years have been fruitful, challenging, happy years would be the understatement of the year”. As Norma wrote back from one of her trips to England, ‘when I think of our church my heart kneels’. He went on to say that “we love the church and love Norman”.

Lavonn is survived by his wife, Norma. They have three sons, Bob, Scott and Nathan. They have five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.


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