By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: August 7, 2018 | 11:26 a.m.
PRINCE GEORGE – A church congregation and the entire Prince George community is in mourning after the sudden passing of beloved pastor and Prince George Police Department chaplain Robert Livesay, III early Tuesday morning.
The difficult news was delivered by Prince George County Police just before noon Tuesday, where they confirmed the pastor was found dead in his county home.
“Pastor Robert W. Livesay, III was one of the founding members of the Prince George County Police Department’s Chaplain Program,” the department said in a statement. “Pastor Livesay served as a Chaplain with our department since 2011. In addition, he has served as the Senior Pastor of Oakland Baptist Church since 1993.”
The sudden death of Livesay came only weeks after the pastor was formally recognized by county leaders for his fifty years of service to the ministry during the Prince George Board of Supervisors’ meeting in July.
“Under [Livesay’s] leadership, Oakland Baptist Church has grown from a small congregation to a much larger one requiring two services on Sundays, resulting in the need for a 300-seat sanctuary,” Supervisor Floyd Brown, Jr. read from the commendation as Livesay stood next to him with a warm smile, a sight the community has come to his years of service.
Pastor Robert Livesay, III seen here sharing words of wisdom in July following his receipt of a commendation honoring his fifty years of service to the ministry. (Michael Campbell)
The commendation continued by recognizing Livesay’s community reputation as “an outstanding spiritual leader and pastor,” which has been demonstrated not only through his faithful service to his congregation at Oakland Baptist Church but through his service to the Prince George County Police Department where he has served as chaplain and in the county schools during his time as an advisor to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Prince George High School basketball team.
“Pastor Livesay is a faithful servant of God who provides support and guidance to any police officer, communications officer, other department member and their families along with assisting police officers with victims of crisis situations and aid in the delivery of death notice,” Brown said.
In July, smiles and nods in agreement with the words being spoken were commonplace among the congregation assembled as Brown read the commendation, with the supervisor continuing, “Pastor Livesay puts his faith first, setting an example of excellence and honesty to our youth that emanates in his everyday approach to life.”
With a handshake and a smile, Livesay accepted his commendation from the county with a thunderous applause from friends, family, and members of Oakland Baptist Church. Following the celebration, Livesay said a few words as the room entered a hushed tone, almost as if he was beginning one of his sermons on a Sunday morning.
“I grew up in Prince George and graduated from the high school before going down to Brunswick County and served as pastor there for 25 years and then I came back to Prince George 25 years ago,” Livesay said before making a joke that drew more laughs and smiles.
“There is a song we sing, ‘May those who come behind us find us faithful,'” Livesay continued. “That has been my prayer through these 50 years that the generation that comes behind my generation would have found me faithful serving our Lord to the best of my ability.”
With heavy hearts, the Prince George Police Department reflected on the impact Livesay made on the department and community following the announcement of his death.
“Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time,” the department said in a statement. “Chaplain Livesay was a great man, touching so many lives. His heartbeat was loving God, family, and people. Although his service has ended here, his love, spirit, and memories will always be with us. Thank you Chaplain Livesay, dear brother, for your mentoring, love, friendship, and service to Prince George County.”