Rev. Lawrence Butler, pastor of The Bridge Church in Pembroke, will be celebrating 50 years of pastoring on Nov. 6 with a full day of special events. After bringing his first message at age 13, Butler has spent his entire adult life serving as leader of this congregation.
The celebration will include Sunday School at 10:30 a.m., Butler’s anniversary service at 11:30 a.m., a homecoming dinner at 1 p.m. and a presentation on the church’s history at 6 p.m.
Pastor Butler, son of Rev. C.M. and Edna Butler of Savannah, was reared in a godly home and began reading the Bible at the tender age of 6. The musical inclinations of his father were handed down, leading him to singing in his father’s church and learning to play several musical instruments. At the age of 16 he started preaching at the Holy Church of God in Pembroke, which became The Bridge Church and relocated to 745 Mason Drive five years ago. The congregation’s motto is “We are friends. We are family.”
Lawrence and his brothers founded the Butler Brothers Quartet when just teenagers. They shared their musical talent with many people, singing throughout the Southeastern United States.
Family has always been an anchor for Lawrence. He married his childhood sweetheart, Patricia Rustin, and they have been together for 47 years. They have three boys and six grandchildren which keeps the family vibrant and strong.
Education has also been an important part of Lawrence’s life. He was a double major in college, obtaining degrees in history and political science from Armstrong State University. Later he was awarded a master’s of public administration and a doctorate in educational leadership from Georgia Southern University. In addition, he obtained a doctorate in theology from the International Bible Institute and Seminary. These degrees assisted him in the fields of private and public education, from which he recently retired.
The most important life mission to Pastor Butler has been his love for and commitment to his Heavenly Father and for people. This ministerial calling has opened doors for him to preach on the radio and travel in 13 states and several countries spreading the word of God, all while maintaining his pastorship in Pembroke. He has served on the boards of the Southern Ohio Youth Camp and Abundant Life Missions International. He was the National Overseer of the Holy Churches of God for several years and currently is the treasurer of the Pentecostal Fellowship International Ministerial Association.