December 19, 1897 - April 29, 1968
|Robert Lawrence Clayton was born on December 19, 1897 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of John Elliot Clayton and his wife, Lula Bright Clayton. He died on April 29, 1968, in the Baptist Hospital at Jackson, Miss-issippi where he was taken after suffering a heart attack on his way home with Mrs. Clayton from an extensive travel vacation in South America.
Brother Clayton received his elementary and secondary education in Vidalia and Ruston; his B.A. from Louisiana Tech and his M.A. from Louisiana State University. His Master’s thesis was written on the subject, “Contributions of Methodism To Education In Louisiana”, in which he did a comprehensive accounting of the influence of the many Methodist academy schools, female colleges, and other colleges upon Louisiana’s education development.
He married Mary Maude Leech, from Memphis, Tennessee, in 1922, and to this union were born a son and a daughter: the Rev. R. L. Clayton, Jr., Winston-Salem, N.C., and Mrs. James R. Thomas, Crestline, California. There are five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Brother Clayton was admitted to the Louisiana Conference in 1926 and into Full Connection in 1928, and retired in 1963 after 36½ years of service. His first appointment was Denham Springs, 1926, where he built and dedi-cated a church. At Oak Grove he served a seven year appointment and while there a magnificent unit for worship and education was built under his leadership. It was while he was pastor at Denham Springs in his second pastorate there in 1937 that this writer was licensed to preach. Brother Clayton had a profound influence upon many young people.
He was active in the Masonic Lodge, a Shriner, and a 32nd degree Mason. He was Grand Chaplain of the Royal Arch Masons of Louisiana when he died. He had a keen interest in the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home at Ruston.
Brother Clayton loved to travel and to camp; he was a fine family man, and lived an optimistic and cheerful life. He was a skilled speaker, and devoted and dedicated to his work. The Louisiana Conference granted him retirement several years before his death, but his interest in ministerial associations, training events, special preaching missions, and other connectional activities never diminished.
Methodism was blessed, the Kingdom was enriched, by the ministry of this devoted Christian man.
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, Pages 212, 1968 by Ralph Cain.|