Rev. Randal Jeb “R.J.” Lambert
Reverend Randall Jeb (R. J.) Lambert, 95, died peacefully at McLeod Hospice House surrounded by his loved ones, on Monday, June 5, 2023.
Born January 29, 1928, in Georgetown County, South Carolina, R. J. was the son of Elizabeth Rowe and William Randall Lambert. He was one of seven children that included sisters, Ruth L. Lee and Frances L. Richardson, and brothers, Joseph Crowly Lambert, George Daniel Lambert, Joe Lloyd Lambert and Jerry Washington Lambert. He grew up in Georgetown County and was educated in Georgetown County schools.
A World War II Veteran in the United States Army, R. J. proudly served his country stateside. After the war, he worked as the Parts Manager at Peoples’ Motor Sales in Andrews and as a machine mechanic at International Paper Company in Georgetown where he met his future wife, Lila Mae Flowers, from Andrews, South Carolina.
R.J. was devotedly married to the love of his life, Lila Mae for 60 years. They were blessed with five children that included three daughters, Carolyn (Dwight) Williamson, Judith M. Lambert, and Patricia Barnhill, all from Darlington, South Carolina, and two sons, Rev. Randy (Ven) Lambert, Darlington, South Carolina and Perry (Scott) Lambert, Lake Wylie, South Carolina. Together, early in their young marriage, Lila Mae and R.J. each came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, and having no home office and an ever-increasing family, R.J. often sought the quietness of the woods where he spent time praying and seeking God. After a time, he began to sense God’s call of ministry on his life.
Nurturing his strong desire to serve God, he was shepherded and mentored by various men of the faith who assisted him in growing in his walk with the Lord. He studied and became a credentialed Minister and Ordained Bishop in the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) with the latter being the highest level one can reach. Together, he and Lila Mae and their family embarked on a journey of faith, devotion, and service to the Kingdom of God. They served the families and communities of the following Churches of God in South Carolina: Greeleyville, Manning, Leo, Darlington, Mullins, and Goose Creek.
R. J. served as a mentor to other young men who desired to know God more deeply and he was instrumental in planting other churches in communities where the need existed. In fact, one of those churches, Lighthouse Church, in Darlinton, South Carolina is the church that his son, Randy, pastors, and daughter, Judith, serves as a teacher and minister. His family continues to fulfill his legacy.
After retiring from full-time pastoral work, R. J. and Lila Mae moved back to Darlington to be close to their family and joined Palmetto Street Church of God in Florence, South Carolina. He continued to serve in ministry when called upon in various capacities and served on the South Carolina Retired Ministers Board for the Church of God for many years. Their impact on those whose lives they touched at home, in church, and the communities they served is far greater than can be measured.
As the two of them began to age and experience various health issues. R.J. steadfastly cared for his Lila Mae and after sixty years of marriage, he found himself without the love and joy that she brought to his life. God heard his heart’s cry and quite unexpectedly he found genuine love and companionship with his sweetheart, Pearl Howard Lambert, from Andrews, South Carolina. With blessings from his children and Pearl’s son, Jeff (Melinda) Richardson of Georgetown, South Carolina, the two were united in marriage. They enjoyed spending time with each other and visiting family and friends in Darlington and Andrews. As R.J.’s health declined Pearl tirelessly cared for and saw to his every need.
R.J. finished well. His unwavering faith in his Heavenly Father was the foundation upon which he built his life. A peaceable man, he had a deep love for the Word of God and the souls of men, devoting his life to both in his 66 years of service. He faithfully prayed for his children and their children and countless others that God laid upon his heart to pray for. And he pointed all men to our heavenly Father. For many, R.J. was the closest example of God’s unconditional love for us all.
In addition to his wife, Pearl, and children and stepson, R.J. is survived by six grandchildren: Nicole Gibson and Scott (Julie) Williamson, both from Florence, South Carolina, Marty Williamson, Chris (Beverly) Lambert, Dean (Angie) Lambert, and Yolanda (Frank) Barnhill, all from Darlington, South Carolina. He has eleven great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.
Besides his first wife, Lila Mae, and his parents and siblings, R.J. was predeceased by his son-in-law, Larry Barnhill and two grandsons, Kenneth Williamson and Steve Gibson, all from Darlington, South Carolina.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the dedicated care provided to R.J. by Dr. Richard Alexander and staff; Honorage Nursing Center; McLeod Hospice House.
The family received friends and loved ones from 6:00-8:00 PM Wednesday evening, June 7, 2023 at Belk Funeral Home in Darlington, SC 29532. The celebration of a life well lived service took place at 2:00 PM on Thursday, June 8, 2023 at Palmetto Street Church of God in Florence, South Carolina. A private interment at Florence Memorial Garden Mausoleum will take place at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to SHIFT Youth Group, Palmetto Street Church of God, 3132 W. Palmetto Street, Florence, SC 29501.
Belk Funeral Home of Darlington is handling the arrangements.