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Rev. Dr. Lonnie Dawson By Cora Jackson-FossettSentinel Religion Editor
The Rev. Dr. Lonnie Dawson, pastor emeritus and founder of New Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, passed away on Tuesday, December 21, in Los Angeles.A dynamic preacher, evangelist and church-builder, Dr. Dawson was highly regarded for his legendary ministry of nearly 50 years and active involvement in community affairs."My father will be greatly missed but his legacy will definitely live on, not just through me, but his earthly ministry will live on through the thousands of lives he touched," said his daughter, Rev. Sonja Dawson, pastor-elect of New Mount Calvary."In fact, we were not fully aware of the reach and magnitude of his ministry until he passed. But, we've received calls from all over the world, not just the country, but the world. His passing had such an impact that people are so emotional as they describe how special he made them feel."He was truly a man of God who had a great love for people and a great love for soul-winning. He wanted to reach everyone for Jesus Christ."Homegoing services for Dr. Dawson were held December 29 at The Tabernacle of Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood. Bishop Kenneth Ulmer was the host pastor and officiating was Rev. Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick, president of the Western Baptist State Convention and pastor of Praises of Zion Baptist Church. The eulogy was delivered by Dr. George Thomas, pastor of Holy Chapel Baptist Church.Dr. Dawson organized New Mount Calvary in 1967 with six people and now membership exceeds 3,000. Under his leadership, God blessed the church to sponsor a Child Care Center and an Elementary and Middle School. In addition, Sunday School averages 450 and the congregation is active involved in several outreach ministries to the community.During his long tenure, Dr. Dawson and New Mount Calvary provided extensive aid to Haiti including coordinating the shipment of five truckloads of clothing to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and currently restoring a road which leads to a church and school on the mountain.He was active for more than 30 years in the Baptist Minister's Conference of Los Angeles which honored him on December 6. Also, Dr. Dawson served terms as president of the Southern Area Clergy Council and the Minister's Fellowship of the Crescent Bay West Los Angeles Association, on the Executive Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and as Co-Chairman of AACKA, an African American-Korean group of pastors.His family includes his wife of 55 years, Mrs. Mamie Dawson; daughter, Pastor-elect Sonja Dawson; daughter, Sherri Williams; grandson, Minister Lonnell Dawson Williams; granddaughter, Lonnae Williams and many other loved ones and friends.For more information, call New Mount Calvary at (310) 324-0644.