By Baptist Message staff
HAMMOND, La. (LBM) – Lonnie Wascom, director of missions from Northshore Baptist Association from 2011-2018, died Thursday, Sept. 10. He was 72.
Born in Baton Rouge, Wascom was baptized at New Bethlehem Baptist Church near Live Oak when he was nine years old. When he turned 15, he began his service in vocational ministry as the assistant music director at Judson Baptist Church in Walker.
During the years that followed, Wascom served churches in California and Louisiana, and earned degrees from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, California State University in San Francisco, California, and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California (now Gateway Seminary in Fremont, California).
After 40 years of serving churches, he was called as the director of missions for Chappapeela, LaTangi and St. Tammany Baptist Associations in 2004. Seven years later, the three associations voted to merge.
Two months after his Oct. 1, 2018, retirement, Wascom became pastor of Walker Baptist Church.
Wascom said in a Sept. 7, 2018, article in the Baptist Message he wanted to finish strong in his faith journey after his retirement.
“If God favors me, He’ll let me go out like Elijah,” Wascom said in the article. “I do not want to burn out; I want to burn up. I want to see people saved. I want to see our churches revived. I want to see an awakening before I die.”
Steve Horn, executive director for Louisiana Baptists, said Wascom had been a mentor to him since his first year in ministry in 1992. Horn’s wife, Linett, also developed a special friendship with Wascom’s wife, Linda, when they previously both taught at Hammond Eastside Elementary School.
“He was so very kind to me as a young pastor,” Horn told the Baptist Message. “Lonnie has been faithful at every level of LBC life. We mourn his loss today. In fact, we had a meeting today as the committee on nominations. Lonnie chaired this committee last year. Here again is the reminder that life is but a vapor.”
Don Pucik, who succeeded Wascom as Northshore Baptist Association DOM, said he was an encourager to anyone he encountered.
“Whether it was a new believer in a church that he was helping, or a longtime co-worker in the Lord’s harvest, Lonnie cared about people,” Pucik said. “I am thankful for his friendship and the many times that he shared his heart, insights and experience with me.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.