Richard Laurens ’49

Rev. Richard Giles Laurens, Sr., widower of Elsie Tomlinson Laurens, passed away on October 19, 2019. His first wife was the late Jane Kendrick Laurens.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, son of the late Rutledge Laurens Sr., and Ruth Giles Laurens. Rev. Laurens grew up in Morningside Presbyterian Church in Atlanta with a desire from early childhood to be a Presbyterian minister.

He enlisted at the age of 17 in the US Army and was deployed to France in 1944 as a Private in the 7th Army 100th Division in Marseilles, France. He crossed the Rhine River at Mannheim, Germany in 1945 and was awarded a Bronze Star for heroic action behind enemy lines.

He enrolled in Davidson College in the fall of 1945 under the GI Bill and graduated in 1949 Summa Cum Laude and as a Valedictorian.

Rev. Laurens graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta in 1952 and ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church of the US. He was called to be the pastor in Wadesboro, NC in 1952 then accepts a call to be a pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC in 1955.

While in Charleston he oversaw the construction of a new sanctuary. He was called to serve in 1961 to First Presbyterian Church in Greer, SC and presided over the tumultuous years of the 1960’s. He left Greer in 1976 to serve as an associate pastor in Selma, Alabama.

He returned to Atlanta in 1980 to focus on health concerns of wife Jane Kendrick Laurens. He accepted a call to be pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Clarksville, Georgia in 1982.

Rev. Laurens retired in 1992 with second wife, Elsie Tomlinson Laurens to Sky Lake, Georgia. He moved to Greenville, SC in 2010 and experienced declining health till moving to NHC Greenville in 2018.

Surviving are one son and daughter-in-law, Richard G. Laurens, Jr., and Kathryn Anne of Greenville; two step-daughters, Lisa Bachelor and Lynn Hardy; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Rev. Laurens was predeceased by a daughter, Elizabeth Kendrick Laurens; a brother, Rutledge Laurens, Jr. and three stillborn children.

A memorial service will be held 2:00 p.m. Friday, October 25, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church, Greer. A private burial will be held in Greenwood Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia.
Visitation will be held 1:00 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. Friday in the Social Hall at the church.

The family is at the home of the son.
Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church Greer, 100 School Street, Greer, SC 29651.

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