Verda Burkett Lawler Gentry
A Time To Be Born…
According to God’s plan for my life’s journey on March 26, 1927, I graced the family of Reverend E. Van Burkett, Ph.D., and teacher Adelaide C. Burkett in an A.M.E. parsonage in Bessemer, Alabama. Two brothers, E. Van II, the older, and F. Grant, the younger completed the family. A pastoral appointment soon sent my father to Cherry Street A.M.E. Church in Dothan, Alabama, which became our home. All of them preceded me in death.
A Time To Live…
Graduated valedictorian, North Highland Colored School, Dothan, Alabama
Second place, State Elk’s Oratorical Contest, Birmingham, Alabama
Bachelor of Arts Degree, Talladega College, Talladega, Alabama
Master’s Degree, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Married and divorced college sweetheart, Andrew T. Lawler. To this union a daughter was born, Andrea Denice
Later married and divorced the late Theodore Gentry
Teaching career spanned Talladega, Alabama: New York, New York: and Detroit, Michigan
Soon after retiring from Detroit Public Schools, returned to “Sweet Home Alabama”, Dothan and Montgomery
…To Live, is Christ
I was a “Career Christian” in church all of my life, but church was not always in me. Trying to walk on both sides of the street was leading to a dead end. God picked me up and sat me in Dothan Community Church under the teaching and leadership of Dr. W. Charles Lewis. I began to see the light of God’s saving grace and began to let it shine so that others could see him in my daily walk as His ambassador!
Verda Burkett Gentry
One cannot say those three words You have been a catalyst for positive
Verda-Burkett-Gentry without change in this city and God will bless
recognizing a woman of distinction. you for that. We admire your creativity
Your commitment to Christ rather and appreciate your excellent way of
than to traditionalism is worthy of doing things. You are a cherished
Dr. Charles Lewis, Pastor
Dothan Community Church
Dothan, Alabama 2002
A Time To Serve…
Busy as a bee in many church departments, community worship, and visiting the sick and shut in, teacher and director of Vacation Bible School
Three-year worship leader at Country Cottage Assisted Living, Montgomery, Alabama
Founding life member of the Charles H. Wright African American Museum, Detroit, Michigan
Docent and then board member of the Dothan Museum of Art
Golden Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Public speaker and poetic orator
Enjoyed being dubbed “the hostess with the mostess”
Life’s winding path led me to a wonderful heart-warming fellowship with the Lakeview Baptist Church in Montgomery on October 18, 2015. The serving shepherd of the flock is Reverend Paul Hubbard (Brother Paul). He reeled me in with a warm rendering from 2 Kings 4:1-7 entitled “What do You Have in Your House?”
A Time To Die…
A well spent life came to a glorious end on Wednesday, August 16, 2023.
My soul has returned to the Lord. Burn whatever is left of me and scatter my ashes to the wind. If you must bury something, let it be my faults and weaknesses.
I Can Only Imagine
By Bart Millard
I can only imagine what it will be like I can only imagine, when that day comes
When I walk by our side When I find myself standing in the Son
I can only imagine what my eyes will see I can only imagine when all I will do
When your face is before me Is forever, forever worship You
I can only imagine, I can only imagine I can only imagine, I can only imagine
Surrounded by Your glory what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus, or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine, I can only imagine
A Time To Morn…
Blessed are they that morn for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4
I leave behind my most cherished daughter and friend, Andrea Denice Lawler Craig: granddaughters, Ayana Denay Craig and Jaime Allison Craig Dettl (Michael); neices, Juanita Lawler Truss, and Barbara Lawler Lane (Lamar); sister-in-law, Goddaughter: Debora Pettway, Ph.D.; I also leave behind many cousins and friends. Friends, I am a reflection of whom I chose as friends. We had quite a ride. Thanks for sharing and caring despite my shortcomings. ” A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” Proverbs 27:9
Love you much!!
A memorial service in memory of Verda Burkett Gentry will be held at noon on Friday, August 25, 2023 at Lakeview Baptist Church, 9225 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, Al. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to her Alma mater : Talladega College, 627 Battle Street, Talladega, Alabama 35160. On line contributions to www.Talladega.edu/give.Category scholarships (1867).