It was a pure delight and a perfect pleasure for me to announce last week that Friday, April 8, 2011, Lonnie and Betty Rex of Spring, TX, would celebrate their 62nd Wedding Anniversary.
God has blessed Lonnie and Betty with three marvelous and outstanding adult children: Royce, Tricia, and Debbie. Now, when they were born, they were babies. But babies grow up to be toddlers, children, teenagers and adults.
Lonnie Rex is the son of the late Bishop and Mrs. Robert L. Rex.
Let me run the story by you once more. Is that Okay?
I met Lonnie and Betty in 1954 at the National Pentecostal Holiness Church when Ray Stewart was the pastor. At that time, during the Administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Vice President Richard Nixon, that I played trombone in the Marine Corps Band at Quantico, VA. I arrived at Quantico after boot camp at Paris Island, SC, in the fall of 1953, but it took me a few months to connect with our church. However, when I did, I stayed with the church and hitched-hiked every Sunday and Wednesday night to attend worship there.
When Lonnie took the Southwestern College Choir back east to Washington, DC, New York and down to Florida, he said he fell in love with Washington, DC. He had never seen a television before in his life. He wanted to earn a Master's degree from Georgetown University. So, in the early 50s he took Betty and their son, Royce, to DC, where he worked as a salesman selling fabric and materials for upholstering furniture. He did so well as a salesman (super salesman), he decided not to go to the university.
It was in 1954 that Oral Roberts conducted a crusade in DC. He knew Oral and he asked Lonnie to drive him one morning to a restaurant where he chartered the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship there in DC, and Francis Robinson, an uncle of Janice Robinson Russ, was elected president and continued in that office until his death. Francis Robinson was the perfect choice because of his positive attitude and outlook on life. He was always Mr. Personality Plus and more. He had a winning smile and people were attracted to him.
Lonnie and Betty Rex are well known musicians in the Pentecostal Holiness Church. Lonnie taught music at Southwestern College and took his college choir on tours back east. He was courageous when he raised the money to purchase choir robes for the singers. In those days, they couldn't afford to charter a commercial bus, but drove cars and vans, and lived from one church to the next from the free-will offerings to buy gasoline and food along the journey. But, God miraculously supplied their need, many times at the last minute.
Lonnie and Betty are gifted pianists and organists. They have often played twin concert grand piano concerts in churches and auditoriums all across this nation. They are real musical artists and there was none better during their heyday.
Betty and Lonnie have played Piano Duets for several Presidents of the United States at the National Religious Broadcasters Conventions. They have been in the White House with President Eisenhower, President Carter, and President Bush. He was also awarded the Senate Humanitarian Award.
Lonnie has spoken at Cambridge University and Oxford University. He has also spoken at the Congress of Arts and Communications Symposium in Singapore, NYC Waldorf, Romania and Italy.
Lonnie Rex will long be remembered for his magnificent choirs at General Conferences and General Sunday School Conventions. No one could put together a better or bigger conference choir and orchestra than Lonnie. Betty was always there at the grand piano with a touch of a gifted Pentecostal pianist with a style that is almost beyond description.
When I visit them in their beautiful home in Spring, TX, I always request that Betty play for me songs like, "The Eastern Gate," "I'll See You in the Rapture," "Until Then," and many more wonderful songs that you will readily remember from days gone bye.
Lonnie Rex worked for some notable world renowned evangelists like Oral Roberts, T. L. Osborn, Billy James Hargis, and others. He helped Oral get on television and radio stations, and writing letters to the partners. No one in the known world is better at writing letters that get results than Lonnie Rex. However, he is a silent partner and always stays in the background.
Probably, the most important work of Lonnie Rex was his founding of the David Livingstone Foundation, a humanitarian non-profit organization that brought relief to victims of earthquakes, floods, drought, and Tsunamis, e. g., food, clothing, medical supplies, ambulances, modern medical equipment for doctors, and the building of hospitals and orphanages.
Lonnie is known by world leaders, and even had an audience with Pope John Paul II. He and Betty were guests at the Pope's Castle outside of Rome and invited to attend the 6 a. m. Mass in his private chapel for his staff. In their honor, i. e., Lonnie and Betty, two priests took guitars and sang in English, "This is the Day that the Lord has made." The Pope said the Mass in English in Lonnie Rex's honor for the Humanitarian work he had done with him in Poland.
Lonnie Rex was Knighted in Moscow for his Humanitarian work there with President Mikhail Gorbachev. He was on the Board of the Armand Hammer World College with Queen Noor of Jordan, and President Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
Lonnie Rex has been in North Korean three times at the invitation of the North Korean Government and was able to bring eight (8) North Korean Officials to the Jimmy Carter Center in Atlanta, GA.
In addition, Lonnie Rex met with Queen Sophia of Spain, the Queen of Greece, Prince Phillip of Greece, Morarji Ranchhodji Desaithe Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister Kessika of Uganda, President Chaluba of Zambia, the Pope of the Coptic Church,
and was awarded medals by the President of Korea.
However, let it be known and published from shore to shore and from sea to shining sea, that behind every successful man is a gifted and talented woman and a surprised mother-in-law. She is Betty Sorrells Rex.
Let us wish Lonnie and Betty a happy and wonderful belated 62nd Wedding Anniversary.
Mon, April 11, 2011
by Hugh Morgan