and 2018 Hugh's Man of the Year. So, let's begin.
Lonnie R. Rex is the son of the late Rev. Dr. Robert L. Rex, a
Pentecostal Holiness preacher/pastor/church planter and founder of the
IPHC Extension Loan Fund, who became the executive director of
Evangelism USA and World Missions.
Lonnie purchased the first $100 bond, and today the IPHC Loan Fund has
grown to some $60 Million Dollars in assets.
As a child Lonnie was stricken with polio. His life was in the balance. He was not expected to live. His parent's prayers touched the heart of God to spare his life. God granted their request and he lived to overcame this physical challenge miraculously. It took a lot of faith, grit, determination, work and perseverance.
Through his father's preaching, Lonnie's heart was captured by the story of the lad who gave his lunch of five barley loaves and two small fish to Jesus. That became Lonnie's burning desire to give whatever he had to Jesus. It became the motivating force in the extensive ministries God entrusted to him. Lonnie never asked anything from God for himself. Rather, he prayed that God would give him ideas, concepts, and wisdom to help others in need. God answered his prayers.
He attended Oklahoma City University and earned a Bachelor of Music degree. He received four
honorary doctorates through the American Bible Institute, Wesley Synod (twice), and Methodist Wesley.
Lonnie met the love of his life at the Oklahoma Conference Camp Meeting in Oklahoma City. They also attended the Stamps School of Music in Dallas, where they both increased their knowledge of Gospel songs and hymns. Lonnie enjoyed listening to the Charles E. Fuller Old Fashion Gospel Hour and Rudy Atwood who played the piano for his choir. They always opened with the hymn, "Heavenly Sunlight." Lonnie would take down the key changes of the great hymns in a hymnal he had at home, and would then go to the church in Houston his father pastored, and play it on the piano. His ear for music was indeed a gift from God, and he maximized the talents God gave him by listening to other pianists like Rudy Atwood.
Lonnie and Betty fell in love and were married April 8, 1949. They chose New Orleans as their honeymoon site.
For many years Lonnie served well-known American evangelists. God gifted Lonnie to be one of foremost fund-raisers of the 20th Century through his letter writing that helped to fund the costs of mass evangelism and healing ministries. His writing style was a gift from God, and his appeals for money touched the hearts of the people in the mass mailing list provided for him and the people gave generously. God blessed his efforts to help others through these various ministries.
In the meantime, God led Lonnie to create the David Livingstone Foundation. This non-profit humanitarian foundation brought food, clothing, shelter, and education, as well as financial, medical, and spiritual resources to many nations around the world. He sent boats to
carry hundreds of Vietnamese refuges to safety. He provided ambulances, built clinics, hospitals, and orphanages on three continents.
In his best selling book, My Amazing Adventures With God, Lonnie shares some of the most intriguing stories that came about as he faced the challenges and opportunities God provided for him. However, you need to know that Lonnie's first book was entitled, Never a Child, was published in 1989.
He was named to "Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, and Who's Who in Religion."
Richard Young who collected the stories that Lonnie Rex told from memory and helped Lonnie to put in print wrote that Lonnie Rex was the most connected Christian in the world in the last fifty years if the 20th Century. He connected with leaders and the most influential religious individuals on the planet. Among the people in Lonne's realm were Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborne, Pope Paul II, Mother Teresa, Mikhail Gorbachev, George H.W. Bush, President Ronald Reagan, John Osteen, President Vladimir V. Putin, and Mohammed Ali. This he said is only a small portion of the total list of people Lonnie has known and worked with around the world.
Lonnie was arrested in Ghana for attempting to overthrow the government when in truth he was there bringing a moped to a leper colony. He played James Bond traveling up and down the Nile River and throughout Europe while bringing two C-47 planes full of food to the nation of Armenia wrote Richard Young.
Lonnie traveled to North Korea at their invitation, three times! He became friends with the Cardinal of Warsaw who later became Pope Paul II while delivering milk to the children of Poland. Vladimir Putin was his personal KGB agent when he traveled to the Soviet Union at the end of the cold war. He visited refugee camps in Ethiopian Coptic Christians where babies were too weak to cry. He promised them he would tell their story to the world. He kept his promise.
Lonnie has told me on several occasions that he never said No to invitations to serve humanity. He delighted in walking through many open doors. And God did that and more for Lonnie.
Lonnie Rex received the highest honors South Korea could bestow on a non-Korean. He was also knighted by the Russian Orthodox Church.
"Many people dream of being used of God to touch people around the world. This life was not a dream for Lonnie Rex; it was a reality" said Richard Young.
Richard Young wrote on the back cover of My Amazing Ventures with God . . . "This amazing story must be read to be believed. Lonnie Rex has led a life that is unbelievable until you know his stories." Lonnie gave me the privilege to write the foreword to this book. What an honor it was for me to comply with Lonnie's request. He has become one of my closet friends in the known world. He is a masterful story teller, and I often say to him, "Lonnie, please tell it again."
I met Lonnie Rex in 1954 when I was playing trombone in the Quantico Marine Band, at Quantico, VA, approximately 33 miles from Washington, DC. That was during the Eisenhower administration as our president. It was at the National Pentecostal Holiness Church in the heart of DC that I met Lonnie and Betty Rex. As I recall, Ray Stewart was the senior pastor. When he moved to another church, we were blessed to have W.J. Nash as our pastor. I had met Walter and Frances Nash and their three sons, James, Bill, and Marshall when I was a student at Emmanuel College for one year prior to my enlisting in the United States Marines Corps.
My friendship with Lonnie and Betty Rex has continued through the years. Lonnie is an avid reader and supported of Hugh's News. I have given him permission to be my mentor. He reports on almost all editions of Hugh's News. He is able to detect in a flash my blind spots and responds with positive recommendations for improvement. That kind of editorial consultation is invaluable to me as a writer and editor. I am constantly learning at the age of 85.
Lonnie and Betty Rex are noted for their twin concert grand piano duets. Lonnie directed the now famous Lonnie Rex choirs of 200 at General Conferences and Sunday Conventions accompanied by a piano and organ, as well as a full orchestra that Lonnie recruited and directed. Lonnie and Betty worked closely together and the music has never been quite the same as those glory days of yesteryear.
Will you welcome Dr. Lonnie R. Rex as our 2017 and 2018 Hugh's News of the Year.
And congratulate Lonnie on his 90th Birthday, on Friday, May 11.
You may send him an email, or send a birthday card.
7914 Oxfordshire Drive
Spring, TX 77379
You may also wish Betty Rex a happy 88th birthday on May 25.
She would love a birthday card, too.
Betty Sorrells Rex
7914 Oxfordshire Drive
Spring, TX 77379
Your friend in all seasons,
Hugh H. Morgan
Editor, Hugh's News