Services to honor and remember the life of Odell are Friday January 24th, 2020, at 11 AM at South Tulsa Baptist Church. Family will receive friends Thursday, January 23rd from 4-6:00 PM at Bixby Funeral Service.
Lawrence Odell Carpenter (Odell), aged 86, of Tulsa Oklahoma, passed away on January 19, 2020. Odell was born on February 6, 1933, in his parents’ farmhouse in Mulhall Oklahoma. The family moved to Centralia, OK when Odell was 7 years old, and he helped with the family farm during his youth. While at Centralia, Odell played on the high school basketball team and graduated Salutatorian. He also wooed a classmate, Roena Louise Falling, and they married on December 29, 1951. Odell knew his life’s calling early on, and surrendered to preach while in high school. He wasted no time and delivered sermons in churches around Centralia before he even started college. Odell continued to preach while he attended college and seminary, but was also married and starting a family. The churches couldn’t afford to pay much, so Odell took odd jobs (working in a restaurant washing dishes in exchange for meals, working for a furniture company and driving a bread route) to make ends meet.
Odell attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant (B.A. 1957), and Fort Worth Baptist Theological Seminary (B.D. 1960). He also earned a Doctor of Ministries from Luther Rice Seminary in 1980. Odell served as pastor at churches throughout Oklahoma during his long life and ministry, including First Baptist Church in Centralia, Boudinot Baptist Church in Tahlequah, First Baptist Church in Centrahoma, First Baptist Church in Wardville, First Baptist Church in Stringtown, First Baptist Church Hartshorne, Trinity Baptist Church in Bartlesville, First Baptist Church and Haikey Park Baptist Church in Bixby, First Baptist Church in Idabel, Midway Baptist Church in Claremore, and Skelly Drive Baptist Church in Tulsa. Odell’s longest ministry was in Bixby, OK, where he served at First Baptist in Bixby from 1974 through 1986, and then again from 1990 through 1998 when he started a new church, Haikey Park Baptist Church. Despite “retiring” a number of times, Odell was not happy when idle. He served most recently at Skelly Drive Baptist Church in Tulsa for four years before retiring (for the fourth and final time) in 2018. Even after retirement, Odell continued his many-year ministry conducting weekly services at Sand Plum Assisted Living in Bixby almost until the end of his life.
Roena was Odell’s partner in his ministry, and they shared over 60 years together until Roena was taken by cancer in 2012. Odell is also preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Ethel Carpenter, a brother Leslie Carpenter, a brother Merle Carpenter, a brother Hugh Carpenter, and a sister Annabelle Isaacs. He is survived by a brother, Vern Carpenter of Marshall, MO; children Leslie Carpenter of Keller TX, Diana Tancer of Manhasset, NY, and Starla Carpenter of Champaign, IL; and grandsons Matt Carpenter of Narrowsburg, NY and Kenneth Carpenter of Keller, TX.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donation be made to the Ministry Center at South Tulsa Baptist Church http://ministry-center.org/.
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