Paul James Lay, 80, left this life June 18, 2022. He was born in Zack, Arkansas to Howard Stermon Lay and Lois Hensley Lay on December 2. 1941. Paul was raised in El Monte, California; but, moved to Henryetta, Oklahoma, when he was 19 years old. Shortly thereafter, he received Christ as his personal Savior and felt the call to the ministry. He was ordained through Lighthouse Gospel Ministries.
In later years, he established Kingdom Sons’ Ministries, Inc., and ordained many ministers to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He joined the 45th Infantry Regiment of the Oklahoma National Guard in 1963. Later, he served in the United States Army Reserves, and retired as a First Sergeant after 23 years of service.
He married Cleo Burnell Casto in Okmulgee, Oklahoma on April 15, 1965. To this union were born three children--James, Amy, and Kara Lay.
After evangelizing, Paul with his wife by his side pastored Revival Center Church for 36 years. They served in Morris, Oklahoma from 1972 to 1984 until they were displaced by a tornado. The church was reestablished in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and functioned there in two separate locations until 2008.
Mr. Lay began to see a great need for a homeless shelter in the town of Okmulgee. He called several churches and service organizations together to share the need. This group nominated him as president of the board of directors with the goal to find a location that would serve the need. As a founding father and a shelter director, he served Okmulgee County Homeless Shelter, Inc., from 1995 until 2008. It functioned as an emergency temporary shelter to transients and county residents; however, several disabled men were able to stay up to 2 years until they were able to obtain their identities. It has been funded by donations of community residents both monetarily and through donations to the thrift store. Still to this day, homeless individuals and families are being assisted in measures to end their homelessness.
To supplement his family’s income, he built homes, remodeled homes, and did dirt work. He bought and sold tax properties as well as other properties through auctions.
His last business venture was with his son, James, where he was part-owner of Frisco Liquidation.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Howard and Lois Lay; his sister, Flossie Hill; his brothers, Harold Lay and Robert Lay; his nephew. Hunter Lay, and his son, James Lay.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Burnell Lay; his daughters, Amy Lay Rogers and husband John, Beggs; Kara Lansdale and husband Corey, Morris; his sister Diana Lay Osborne, Checotah; his brothers, Jimmy Lay and wife Mary, Henryetta; Thomas Lay and wife Julie, Holt, Missouri. He had eight grandchildren, Phillip Lay (Megan), San Antonio, Texas; Christian Ream, Tulsa; Dylon Lay, Okmulgee; Logan Lansdale (Connie), Guthrie; Alyssa Ream, Tulsa; Rebecca Rogers, Tulsa; Camarie Lansdale, Morris, and Somer Rogers, Beggs. He was also blessed with 4 great-grandchildren who have brought him much joy—Carson Lay, Raylee Lay, Maisy Berry, and Laynie Berry.
Pallbearers will be grandsons Phillip Lay, Christian Ream, Dylon Lay, and Logan Lansdale, along with nephews Stephen Lay and Chad Osborne. Honorary pallbearers are Corey Lansdale, John Rogers, Jimmy Lay, John David Casto, Anthony Casto, Bob Lay, Lee Roy Lay, Joseph Bitsouie, George LeGrand, Mikeal Rose, Garry Sharp, and David Hill.
Pastor Thomas Lay will be officiating the service with Pastor Robert Lay, Jr., Pastor Ella Jane Coley, and Rev. Kara Lansdale assisting. Funeral services are to be held at the Refuge Church in Okmulgee at 10 a.m., Friday, June 24th, with burial at Fort Gibson National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m.. Services are under the direction of Integrity Funeral Service of Henryetta, Oklahoma.
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