Reverend Lavonda Elizabeth Mansfield, 83, born January 30, 1930 in Hanes City, Florida died March 12, 2013. Having served 67 years in the ministry, beginning at the early age of 16 as a powerful speaker and teacher. She dedicated her heart to proclaiming the Gospel. She was a pioneer for women in the ministry, paving the way and opening doors for other women who had been called to preach the Gospel in a time when it was unacceptable for a woman to stand behind a pulpit. Traveling by rail across the country she preached many church and tent revivals. Lavonda attended Pentecostal Bible Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was a member of the International Ministerial Association, attending conferences all over the United States. Encouraging, networking, and supporting missions and missionaries all over the world, she taught and served in many capacities at International Bible College in San Antonio, Texas. She eventually retired after several years of sharing her gifting with Heartland Ministries in Bethel, MO. She openly shared her life experiences as beautiful or tragic as they were, to profess God’s power and grace. Her theme song of encouragement to both sing and play on the piano was “All things are possible, only believe.” She instilled a great legacy of faith, love, and hope in all that met her. She never tired of sharing the miracles and promises of God’s Word. Living by example right to the very end of her earthly existence, she shared the glory of existing in His Presence. May her legacy of devotion comfort you and encourage you to carry the torch. No matter what obstacles you may face in this earthly challenge, NEVER lose focus and ALWAYS believe… ALL things are possible!
Lavonda was preceded in death by her parents, William and Bessie Cullins, her younger sister, Marleen Peeler; her children, Dorothy and Ronald Dale; and her loving husband, Alvie Mansfield.
She is survived by her daughter Faith, granddaughter Lacey Griffith, great-grands Ruben and Brier Rose, granddaughter Kearby Williams and husband Tyler Williams and great-grandson Noah Williams; daughter Gloria Shytles and husband Dan Shytles, grandsons Zachary and Evan and granddaughter Dorothy Shytles. Also her sister Mary Lassiter and family, including many nieces and nephews, along with nieces and nephews given to her by her sister Marleen Peeler; and a host of friends and fellow believers.
Visitation was held from 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16, 2013, till time of services at 2 p.m. in the Heartland Community Church north of Bethel, MO. Burial was in the Heartland Cemetery.