Bascom Ray Lakin
Bascom Ray Lakin was a Baptist preacher and evangelist. He was born on a farm near Fort Gay, West Virginia, on the Kentucky border. Lakin was converted in a revival meeting at age 18. Following his conversion, he became a Baptist preacher. With a mule for transportation, he preached in small country churches in the mountains and hills of West Virginia and Kentucky. The transportation changed as well as the size of his congregations.
In 1939, he became associate pastor of Cadle Tabernacle, Indianapolis, and upon the death of Founder Cadle, became pastor of that once great edifice of evangelism that seated 10,000, and had a choir loft of 1,400. Lakin preached to over 5,000 on Sunday mornings and half that many on Sunday nights.
Cadle Tabernacle had no memberships. It was a radio-preaching center broadcasting from coast to coast. In those thirteen years there, Ray Lakin became a household word across America.
In 1952, he entered full-time evangelism. His ministry carried him around the world, resulting in an estimated 100,000 conversions, and legion the number entering the ministry.
He was the preacher's friend, the church's helper, the common man's leader, and for sixty-five years, God's mighty messenger.
He was one of the most sought-after gospel preachers in America. On March 15, 1984, the last of the old-time evangelists took off for Glory. He would soon have been 83.