Lancaster, Thomas Major


Thomas Major Lancaster was a third-generation Methodist minister. He was born February 17, 1916 in Zephyr, Texas, and lived in many different communities where his father served as pastor.
He was educated in the Texas school system where he excelled in oratory and played football on the team in Honda, Texas. He attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, while working at the same time in the family business, Bluebonnet Bakery. It was during this time that he met and married Zelma Halt who was his helpmate and lover for fifty years. They were blessed with a daughter, Janice, and a son, Tom.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. and it was during this time he felt the call to serve God in the ministry. When he returned home, he sold his business and moved his family to Dallas Texas, where he earned his Master’s degree in Theology at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Tom joined the Louisiana Conference in 1949, and went to serve his first pastorale in Zwolle, Louisiana. Subsequent pastorates took him and his family to Greenwood (Shreveport District), Lake Providence, Summer Grove, Winbourne (Baton Rouge District), Kenner, Ponchatoula, Opelousas, and Welsh, from which pastorate he retired in 1981. He was a devoted servant of God, a sincere and canny Pastor, always there with a listening ear and an understanding heart during those 32 years of service to the Lard.
After retiring in 1981, he and Zelma moved to San Antonio where they enjoyed many years with their children and grandchildren. Zelma died in 1989.
Early in 1992, Tom started attending Travis Park UMC where he met and fell in love with Elaine Wilcox. They were married July 26, 1992 and enjoyed over three years of happiness together, sharing mutual interests of church, family, friends, and activities such as golf.
On October 18, 1995, Tom slipped gently into the night to join the Lord while surrounded by his loving family.
He will be remembered as a loving husband, a wonderful father and grandfather, a trusted friend and neighbor mid a fine pastor to many of God’ s Louisiana children. He will also be remembered for his outstanding qualities such as his great sense of humor and his childlike enthusiasm for life.
Tom Lancaster has joined his host of friends “where the saints go marching on.”
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference 1996, p. 269, By Elaine Lancaster and John Koelemay

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