“I am nothing but dust and ashes.” This is the profound and frequent spoken statement of a man of great dignity, wisdom, courage, faith, strength, and grace; yet, a man of simplicity.
Bobby Joe Lawson was born to the late Samuel David Lawson and Pink Ellen Head-Lawson on March 23, 1932, in Butts County, Jackson, Georgia. He lived his early life in the small town of Jackson, Georgia. At the age of 21, he was united in holy matrimony to Miss Emma Liza Andrews. Together, they shared fifty-three wonderful years. To their union, seven beautiful children were added. Two preceded him in death. He later moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he spent most of his adult life.
Bishop Bobby Joe (B.J.) Lawson, Sr. was a strong, devout man who desired and strived to do God’s will. He carried a message of life, love, and hope to all who listened and believed. At an early age he recognized the importance of serving God. He joined a Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1955, he became Minister Bobby Joe Lawson. Minister Lawson believing that God had a greater purpose for his life began to attend The True Church of God in Christ. In 1957, he became a member of the church under the leadership of Bishop W.L. Lucas. In 1965, he was appointed and ordained elder by Bishop W. L. Lucas and was commissioned to serve in Girard, Georgia. There he worked faithfully to feed the flock of God.
Needing a place for the people of God to worship God, Elder Lawson purchased an old “shotgun” house wherein to hold “old fashion” services. Elder Lawson preached the word and the people came. Many souls were added to the church. As the congregation grew, he realized that the need for a larger facility. Land was purchased, and a new sanctuary was built on the corner of Old Savannah Road (2401) in Augusta, Georgia.
As an elder, he served and studied many years under the divine leadership of Bishop W.F. Lucas. From Bishop Lucas’s leadership and God’s anointing, he gained the knowledge and spiritual wisdom to establish a firm foundation. His ministry flourished providing a place of refuge and worship for many. In 1994, the Lord called the great Shepard, Bishop W.F. Lucas home. Upon this transition, the Board of Elders of the True Church of God in Christ appointed Elder B. J. Lawson to become the next bishop. As Bishop B. J. Lawson, he lived an exemplary life and was a exceptional example to his followers. His vision to see the word of God shared throughout the world was exemplified as he spearheaded the inception of ministries in Southern Pine, North Carolina, Jacksonville, Florida, and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Bishop B. J. Lawson, Sr. gave forty-seven years of unselfish service to the church and congregation to which he sacrificed and gave his life. He preached and taught the word of God according to the gospel.