Reverend Royce Terrell Lawless passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on September 2, 2021. Rev. Lawless was born to Florence Davis Lawless and Walter Ford Lawless on May 6, 1929, in Lake Alfred, Florida. He was predeceased by his parents and sister, Lorraine Lawless McNeer, and brothers, William Walter Lawless and Winston Ford Lawless. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Sylvia Marguerite McCully Lawless, his children Andrew McCully Lawless (Julia), Teri Lucille Lawless Roberts (Stanley), four grandchildren - Ivy Marguerite Roberts Barber (James); Lillian Lawless Roberts; Andrew McCully Lawless, Jr. (Lauren); Jennie Christina Lawless, four great grandchildren - Naomi Grace Barber; William Royce Barber; Lucille Marguerite Barber; Samuel Franklin Barber, and numerous nieces and nephews.
After growing up in Lake Alfred, Florida, Rev. Lawless attended the University of Florida. He was called by God to a life of Christian ministry and was ordained in 1952, at First Baptist Church Lake Alfred. Graduating from Carson-Newman College in 1954, he went on to receive his Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1956. During his ministry, Rev. Lawless served as Minister of Education at numerous Southern Baptist churches throughout the southeast. In addition, he was Director of Church Development with the Birmingham Baptist Association in Birmingham, Alabama. Other areas of service during his professional career included: Adjunct Professor, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; Consultant, Southern Baptist Convention; Consultant, Florida Baptist Convention; Moderator, Jacksonville Baptist Association. One of Rev. Lawless’ greatest joys was leading fellow Christians on spiritual tours, to the Holy Land and other locations in the Middle East, associated with the missionary travels of the Apostle Paul. A highlight of one of those journeys was the opportunity for Rev. Lawless to deliver a sermon from atop Mars Hill in Athens, Greece. Rev. Lawless was a man of great faith, steadfastly abiding in his calling for God and God’s children for over forty years.
Following his servant’s heart in retirement, Rev. Lawless continued to find ways to meet the needs of others in the communities where he lived. In 2006, he moved to Cloudland, Georgia, to further enjoy his retirement. As a member of the Cloudland Presbyterian Church, he served as an Elder, Sunday school teacher, and church pianist. Additionally, as an admirer and collector of antiques, Rev. Lawless and his wife owned and operated Hickory Cove Antiques. He pursued his interests in retirement, some of which included cooking, reading, painting, gardening and music. Rev. Lawless utilized these talents by sharing his roses and preparing meals for family, friends, and those in need. One of the qualities he exemplified throughout his life was that of being a true and loyal friend. Displaying his unique joy and vitality for life, Rev. Lawless greeted people with a sparkle in his eye. Touching the lives of many, his kindness and compassion for others was an example to all who knew him. Rev. Lawless cherished his family and friends; he will be remembered as a humorous and loving husband, father, grandfather, friend, and mentor. Always cheerful, he was adored by his family and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
A celebration of Rev. Lawless’ life and a time of fellowship will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2021, 11:00 a.m., Menlo Presbyterian Church, Menlo, Georgia. Interment to follow at the Cloudland Presbyterian Church
Cemetery, Cloudland, Georgia. The family respectfully requests that all attendees wear a face covering and observe social distancing guidelines.
Memorials in Rev. Lawless’ name may be directed to Chattooga Public Library, 360 Farrar Drive, Summerville, Georgia 30747, or Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, PO Box 102972, Atlanta, Georgia 30368-2972.
The staff of Salmon Funeral Home of Rome, Georgia, is honored to serve the family of Rev. Royce Terrell Lawless.