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A Tribute to Lawrence A. Pfaff (1929- 2018)

Reverend Lawrence Arnold Pfaff, 89, went to be with the Lord on July 14, 2018, in Greenville, South Carolina. He was preceded in passing by his parents, Walter Merle and Goldie Cooper Pfaff, his wife of 50 years, Lola Rankin Pfaff, and a sister, Ada Mae Walberg. He was born February 14, 1929, in Sugar Township, Pennsylvania.

He grew up in Greenville, Pennsylvania and spent many summers on the farm with his grandparents, Calvin and Ada Pfaff. Reverend Pfaff faithfully committed his life to a relationship with Jesus and answered the call to ministry at the age of 19. After graduation from Penn High School, he attended Holmes Bible College, Furman University, and graduated with a master’s degree from William and Mary. Reverend Pfaff pastored churches in Virginia and Pennsylvania. In 1979, the family moved to White River, South Africa to be missionaries and headed the Bible College and planted churches. After ten years, they accepted the call to Nigeria, where they raised funds, purchased land, and built and started the West Africa Bible College in Lagos.

Reverend Pfaff lived every day to the fullest. He loved his daughters: Ethelyn C. Peyton of Dalton, GA, Barbie McDonald of Greer, and Dr. Cheryl Bailey of Colgate, WI, was involved with his five grandsons: David, Jonathan, Benjamin Peyton, Karl, and Christopher Stefan, as well as his great-granddaughter, Olivia Peyton. He is also survived by his brother, Ralph Pfaff of Greenville, PA.

 Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at Praise Cathedral, conducted by Pastor Jerry Madden, Pastor Bob Russo, and Reverend Ray Boggs. A private burial will be in Graceland East Memorial Park.

 In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Praise Cathedral, West Africa Bible College, 3390 Brushy Creek Road, Greer, SC 29650.

Online condolences may be made at

“Rev. Lawrence and Lola Pfaff were approved to serve as IPHC Career Missionaries in 1969. They arrived in Krugersdorp, South Africa, in 1970. I still remember their arrival in South Africa. Their first assignment in South Africa was to serve at the Freeman Bible College in White River where he later became the principal. Following this assignment, they transitioned to Nigeria, West Africa, in 1980, where he revived the vision of Johnny Brooks and ‘raised the money to erect the first three-story permanent building on the campus of the West Africa Bible College.’  Today, West Africa Bible College enjoys the largest enrollment of any of our Bible colleges worldwide.

 I always remembered Rev. Pfaff as being a gentle man and a man of great vision and passion. World Missions Ministries extends its deepest condolences to his three daughters: Ethelyn, Barbie, and Cheryl, and their families as they mourn the loss of this great man.”  – Bishop J. Talmadge Gardner

Photo Credits: Hugh's News

2 Responses

  1. Cindi (Spence) Letchworth

    I always loved Mr. Pfaff. He was a gentle loving man. And I felt that his love was genuine. My condolences to Cheryl, Barbie and Ethelyn.

  2. Barbie McDonald

    My father Lawrence Pfaff raised the money for the land and three story building of the West Africa Bible College. The prior land purchased by Johnny Brooks had Nigerians who had built on it and could not be used to build the Bible College on. My father told of buying the current land after meeting with the chief for approval and paying Muslims for the land . He said he cried most of the night because he was afraid the Muslims would not give a clean title. The next morning they did bring the title. My father then hired Italian contractors to build the college. He came to the states and raised the money now for the building. He then lived in Nigeria during the construction and a great deal of this time he lived in a house with 19 Nigerians as there was no missionary Housing. He trained the staff and established the structure of the school teachings. Previously as a young man he had received a Master’s Degree in education form the College of William and Mary having no idea how it would be put to service by God one day. He loved the Nigerians and would tell my sons that on every Sunday morning he preached over a thousand times because of his students.

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