Our Founding Pastor

  Lonnie Evert Davault was born on October 20, 1923. Lonnie’s dad was William Henry (Bill) Davoult, and his mother was Anna Mackey Davoult. Lonnie was the third child and only boy of Bill and Anna Davoult.

 Lonnie had an older sister Edna and a younger sister Cassie Lee. Lonnie is the only living member of his root family. Lonnie told the story that he was born in a log cabin, a half of mile south of Oakhurst School on highway 76.

 Lonnie always bragged about his father being a real cowboy. His father was an actual ranch cowboy. Bill Davoult broke horses to ride or to work. His father also worked in the feed lot. How Bill and Anna first met was a popular story told by family members. There was a revival being held at the Dibble Free Will Baptist church, and his mom was setting on the back row with the other younger girls. Bill DaVault and a friend came in the back door of the church. His mom looked up and said, “that is the man for me”, at the same time his dad looked at Anna and thought “that is the woman for me”. They were married on September 12, 1920.

 Lonnie’s family was probably the epitome of the poor rural Oklahoma farm families of the early 20th century. They would have been a fierce, hard working farm family that would have never thought they were owed anything. They were a strong Free Will Baptist Christian family. Bill was one of their pastor’s deacons. Every Sunday Lonnie’s family rode several miles in a horse drawn wagon to church. That meant church was an all-day worship service. It also meant that Bill and Anna believed in Proverbs 13:24 “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Lonnie was all boy and learned what that meant firsthand.

 Lonnie loved his mother and sisters, but he worshipped his Father Bill. Lonnie said he took up smoking at a young age because his dad smoked, and Lonnie would sneak around and pick up Bill’s snipes so he could smoke like his dad.

 Bill wanted and tried to be a farmer but could never make enough to buy a farm. He would try to make it in farming but would then work in the oil fields. This went on until 1934. They had a good crop until the drought broke them.

 In September of 1934 his dad went to work for Sinclar Oil Company. After his dad was laid off in October of 1939 due to the “oil bust”, Bill and a friend went to the oil boom in Salem Illinois. The family moved to Salem over the Christmas holidays of 1939 and 1940. The family moved back to Moore Oklahoma in January 1942.

 After Lonnie came back to live in Moore, he met and fell in love with a girl named Edna Loraine Jones. Edna’s father owned a dairy farm where Lonnie worked for a while during high school.

  Lonnie graduated from Moore High School in May 1942. He graduated on a Friday night and went to work for Phillips Oil Company. He was paid fifty-four cents per hour and worked nine hours-a-day digging diches. In December of 1942 Lonnie got the infamous government letter “Your friends and neighbors have selected you …”.

 Lonnie went for his induction examination on 27 January 1943 and left for basic training on15 February 1943. After basic training Lonnie was able to come back home so that he and Edna could get married on May 9, 1943. But of course, he was then shipped out to go to war in Europe.

 Lonnie first army job was in the motor pool. Lonnie tells the story about getting into hot water because he decided to modify his army issue equipment. This is a no-no in the army. He was working on a vehicle and his cap’s bill kept getting in his way, so taking his army issued knife he cut off the bill.

 After you fix a vehicle, you would naturally take it out for a test drive. Everyone who knows Lonnie knows about his lead foot, which probably got anyone and everyone’s attention just by his speeding.

 On his test run he passed an officer’s vehicle going the other way. Being a well train enlisted troop, he remembered to salute the rank, which probably brought attention to the army issued cap with its bill cut off.

 When he returned from his test drive, his sergeant met him and sent him to have a talk with their ranking officer. The best story however was one about his encountered with what was probably a sergeant that the troops did not get along with.

 He never really said what was going on, but one day their sergeant was having a meeting with the troops and made the offer that anyone who did not like the way he was running the motor pool they could step up and go man to man with him.

 Now when Lonnie was going to school in Salem, he had become a better than average boxer. So, he accepted the sergeant’s offer. The sergeant was not a man of his word. He got Lonnie busted in rank and assigned to the Signal Corps.

 The Signal Corps was one of the most dangerous jobs in WWII combat. The soldiers were responsible for transporting information and sometimes supplies back and forth between the command centers and the front lines.

 They drove jeeps back and forth. The areas between the two points were often occupied by the enemy who knew what those soldiers in jeeps were doing. Lonnie was one of the fortunate Signal Corps soldiers who survived the war in Europe. However, after the German’s had been defeated but had not surrendered Lonnie was injured.

 During this time green troops were being deployed into Germany. One day Lonnie was showing a newbie what the job was, when their jeep hit a land mine on the passenger side. The young troop was seriously injured, and Lonnie took a lot of shrapnel on his right side.

 The Department of Defense was so proud that the American soldiers had defeated Hitler’s army, they rewarded them by shipping them to the South Pacific so they could now defeat Empirical Japan on their own soil.

Lonnie said he knew he would die in Japan. The top brass in the army truly believe it would cost the Allies a million soldiers’ lives to defeat Japan. However, because President Harry Truman approved using the A-bomb Japan surrendered and Lonnie was sent home.

 Arriving back in the United States Lonnie made headlines because someone told a reporter about Lonnie sneaking a stray dog he had rescued in the Phillipe’s.

 Lonnie returned home 15 February 1946. His dad had started a plumbing and electric business in Blanchard Oklahoma. Bill said he could work for him while he went to OU in Norman. Because he was working for Phillips Oil Company before being drafted, he had the option of getting that job back if he wanted it. But he had to take it within 30 days after returning home.

 He tried working for Bill but when Bill put him working under a house where to get caught and could hardly get out. When he did get out, he told his dad he could have that job and he went back to work at Phillips.

 At Phillips Lonnie work at almost every job, oiler, engineer, laborer, fireman, still operator, loading dock, etc. Because of his strong work ethic and high intelligence upper management saw him as a future petroleum engineer.

 He was offered the opportunity to go to college. However, God had a different plan for Lonnie. Although Lonnie grew up going to church, probably like most teenage boys, Lonnie would be tempted by “the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life”.

 Lonnie has often confessed that he believes he became an alcoholic with his first beer. While he was working at Phillips, he and his friends were heavy drinkers and gamblers. Lonnie said at one time a co-worker told him that he had the most vulgar mouth he had ever heard.

 However, because of his dad and Edna, he and Edna still attended church on a regular basis. Finally, after fighting his demons, at a Sunday night service on January 15, 1950, Lonnie accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

 Overnight Lonnie changed. He quit drinking, smoking and his vulgar mouth. By the fall of 1950 Lonnie heeded God’s call for him to become a Free Will Baptist preacher. Lonnie began his college education at OBU in January 1951. He was able to go to college on the G. I. Bill.

 Lonnie earned a BA degree in just two- and one-half years by going to summer school. Lonnie and Edna sold out in Oklahoma and moved to Nashville Tennessee for him to attend the Free Will Baptist college for his final year.

 They lived in an 8’ by 28’ trailer because they had almost no income. After only one week in Nashville Lonnie was selected to pastor the Trinity Free Will Baptist church.

 Lonnie graduated in May 1954. Lonnie and Edna pastor at Trinity for two more years.

 Lonnie accepted the opportunity to return to Oklahoma when he was chosen to be the pastor of the Holdenville Free Will Baptist church. While in Holdenville for four years, Lonnie over saw the construction of a complete church plant. They built a complete two-story education wing, a new sanctuary and a two-bedroom parsonage.

 From Holdenville he became the pastor of the Capital Hill Free Will Baptist Church. The Capitol Hill congregation was in the process of building a church plant. They had built an auditorium that would hold three-hundred people. They were using the old building for their education wing.

 They wanted him to oversee the planning and building a new education wing. He drew up the plans and they built the west and east wings of the church which would accommodate three-hundred people. They would maintain that average for the next twelve years he was their pastor. They also built a beautiful large parsonage while he was there. It was a four bedroom, two- and one-half baths home. He was there for twelve years, which was almost a record for Free Will Baptist churches and preachers.

 Lonnie resigned from the Capital Hill church and thought he would take a sabbatical for maybe a year or so. However, within two months he was elected to be the Oklahoma Free Will Baptist Executive Secretary. Lonnie would serve in that position for the next fourteen years.

 While there he reorganized the state offices and built a new facility on the Hillsdale College property in Moore Oklahoma. 

  Lonnie served as the state secretary until he resigned on December 31, 1986.

 On January 1, 1986, they organized the Charity Free Will Baptist Church, worshiping in a trailer on Dee and Imalee Wynn’s property in Choctaw Oklahoma.

 They would remain on their property until they were given the church plant at 29th and Westminster Road in Midwest City Oklahoma.

 Charity would be Lonnie’s “Swan Song” as a Free Will Baptist pastor. After taking over the original property they have added an education wing and new auditorium.

 Lonnie and Edna were heart broken when they learned that could not have children. Their family and friends knew that they were interested in adoption. One late night someone called and ask if they would like to adopt a baby girl. Edna was given this package completely wrapped in a blanket.

 God has blessed Lonnie with the love of four very special woman throughout his life. His first wife Edna, Connie the daughter they adopted, his second wife Mary and his current young bride Mitzy.