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Dr. John W. RAWLINGS

Obituary
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RAWLINGS

Dr. John W. Rawlings was born on January 29, 1914, and inherited his heavenly home at the age of 99 on January 30, 2013. He was the husband of the late Orelia Willie Rawlings. He is survived by his second wife, Mary Pruitt Rawlings; four sons, Herbert, Harold, Carrol, and George; nine grandchildren, Steven Rawlings, Jonathan Rawlings, James Rawlings, Catherine Lawrence, Ruth Snell, Joseph Rawlings, Bill Rawlings, Scott Rawlings, Lindsay Rawlings; and 17 great grandchildren. He was born and raised near Cave City, Arkansas. He married Orelia Mobley in 1931, and before she passed away in 2007, they had been married 75 years. He made a commitment to enter full-time ministry at the age of 25 and moved his wife and three young children to Fort Worth, Texas in the summer of 1939. He enrolled in Bible Baptist Seminary, a school founded by Dr. J. Frank Norris, one of the most influential and colorful preachers in the nation at the time. In 1940, Dr. Rawlings became pastor of Central Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas, while still a seminary student. He began with a congregation of 37, and when he left Tyler a little over 11 years later, the church had grown to 1,500 in weekly attendance. In 1951, he accepted a call to pastor Lockland Baptist Church in Lockland, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, where he remained for 43 years. In December, 1963, the church moved three miles north to a beautiful 170 acre location in Evendale, Ohio, and the name of the church was changed to Landmark Baptist Temple. In the 1970's, the church was considered to be one of the country's ten largest. For almost 30 years, The Landmark Hour radio broadcast blanketed more than half of the U.S., and even reached into some foreign countries. Dr. Rawlings helped found the Baptist Bible Fellowship in 1950 and served two terms as President of that organization. He also helped establish Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, and served as Executive Vice President of that institution for almost 15 years. By the early 1970's, it would become the nation's largest Bible College. Along with his four sons, he launched The Rawlings Foundation in 1995, and served as administrator of that Foundation until his death. Millions of dollars were funneled into youth camp facilities and Bible Institute campuses around the world during his seventeen year management of the Foundation. He established the International Baptist Network in 2002, a network of conservative Baptist churches and pastors, the purpose of which was to assist in fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. Dr. Rawlings was the recipient of many honorary degrees during his ministry, but his greatest longing was to hear his Master say, "Well done good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of the Lord." Visitation will be at Landmark Baptist Temple, 1600 Glendale - Milford Rd., Evendale on Monday, February 4, 2013 from 10 AM til time of funeral service at 11 AM.

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Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Feb. 1, 2013
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