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Lavonne Archer Ushered into Glory

A. Lavonne (Surls) Archer, the beloved wife of former East Regional Executive Director Dr. C. Russell Archer (now deceased), was ushered into glory just in time for Christmas on December 24, 2019. She was 98.  

Lavonne had been credentialed with Open Bible for 81 years. As a teen, she traveled as part of a musical group known as the Surls Sisters Evangelistic Team. She met C. Russell at a revival service at which he was speaking, and they married in 1941. She served alongside him in various areas of leadership in Open Bible, in church plants, pastorates, Bible colleges, and television ministry. The Archers lovingly and graciously served the pastors and churches of East Region (then known as Eastern Division) from 1977 until C. Russell’s retirement in 1998.  

C. Russell and Lavonne were a striking couple known for their regal appearance and mannerisms. In ministry they were a united team. Many lives have been transformed, ministries established, and churches born as a result of their efforts. 

Current East Regional Executive Director Josh Grimes said, “I can imagine seeing the angels rejoicing at Lavonne’s homecoming and hearing the Master say, ‘Good and faithful servant, in whom I am well pleased, come into the joy of your Lord!’ She fought her fight and finished her race! She is receiving her eternal reward for her faithfulness to God. We rejoice at her homegoing but also stand with her family in prayer over their tremendous loss.”  

2 comments

  1. No church was too small for the Surls Sisters. Wendling Bible Standard Church was one of those when I was a kid, and they demonstrated love to all of the kids. I was critical of a kid who didn’t come to our church but came to to VBS. One of the sisters gave me a loving lecture about showing love to others. They conducted VBS and preached at night and Sundays, I don’t think we missed a service. Too bad we do not have tapes of the Archer’s TV programs when they pastored in Tacoma, Washington. But it was a live program, and you know it had to be perfect with C. Russell and Lavonne directing it. There is a gathering of saints in heaven, and I plan on joining them.

  2. So sorry to hear that Mrs. Archer has passed!! She was a lovely Christian lady!!! She and Dr. Archer were very helpful and kind when we came into Open Bible!!

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