Bascom Ray Lakin
1901-1984B.R. Lakin was born on a farm near Fort Gay, West Virginia. Although his parents were devout Christians, it was not until he was 16 that he was converted to Christ during a revival. The minister who baptized him was the nephew of Devil Anse Hatfield, of the Hatfield-McCoy feud families. One week later, he preached his first sermon, and soon after became a circuit preacher, riding a mule to country churches near the forks of the Big Sandy River.
After attending Moody Bible Institute and pastoring several churches, he was called to assist E. Howard Cadle at the Cadle Tabernacle in Indianapolis, Indiana. Upon Mr. Cadle's death, he became pastor and, during the next 14 years, the ministry grew until he was preaching to 10,000 people each Sunday in addition to broadcasting the services nationwide. He was given honorary doctorates by Bob Jones University and Kletzing College.
In the early 1950s Dr. Lakin began a 30-year itinerant ministry that included the largest churches in America, averaging 50,000 miles annually and 4,000 people weekly. He witnessed more than 100,000 conversions to Christ. His sermons were a combination of sanctified wit, Bible teaching, and a strong appeal for people to come to Christ.
After more than 65 years of preaching, Dr. Lakin "hung his sword on the shimmering walls of the city of God," and went to be with the Lord on March 15, 1984. His funeral was conducted at the Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Virginia, and attended by more than 5,000 people.