Dr. Lanny Elmore was born in Hickory, North Carolina to Fred and Martha Elmore of Rhodhiss on July 20, 1940. He entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, on June 17, 2021 in Forney, Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents Fred and Marth Elmore and survived by his wife of 60 years, Brenda Clay Elmore. He is also survived by his three children: Lanette Swanson (wife of Vern Swanson) of Dallas, Mark Elmore of Allen, and Laura Kuban (wife of Mark Kuban) of Forney,Texas. He has five grandchildren: Louis Wilpitz IV (wife Jenni) of Spring, Joel Wiplitz (wife Bailey) of Louisville, Kentucky, Kacey Elmore and Trent Elmore of Allen, and Willan Kuban of Forney, Texas. He also has four great-grandchildren: Natalie, Kate, Lucy, and Louis V.
Lanny was raised in the small mill village of Rhodhiss, North Carolina where he spent his days roaming the mountainside, fishing, and having adventures with numerous cousins. As a young boy, Lanny accepted Christ during Vacation Bible School. Later, he would attend Granite Falls High School where he would meet his future bride, Brenda Jane Clay. During High School, at a revival service, the Lord called Lanny to preach. He leaned over to Brenda and said, “How would you like to be a preacher’s wife?” Brenda took that as a proposal and said, “I would like that very much (she had been called to be a preacher’s wife).” On April 2, 1961, Lanny and Brenda were wed. As newlyweds they helped to start a church in a primitive community in the mountains of Western North Carolina. While leading a group of students to Ridgecrest Baptist Encampment, he felt the Lord’s call to the mission field, a call that Brenda had received many years before at GA camp. While preparing themselves for the mission field, he served as pastor of several local churches in North Carolina.
Lanny, Brenda, and their first born, Lanette, left as missionaries in 1968 to serve the Lord in Uganda, East Africa. While in Africa they planted churches, taught pastors, published christian literature, and had a weekly radio broadcast. After years of living under the dictator Idi Amin, Lanny and the other missionaries were forced to leave Uganda in 1972. Back stateside, Lanny pastored several churches in North Carolina and had a short stint as a Program Supervisor in a state prison. During this time, the Lord blessed the family with two more children, Mark and Laura, making the family complete. Shortly thereafter, Lanny was called to pastor a church in South Carolina. After faithfully serving for 5 years, Dr. W. A. Criswell called on Lanny to come and lead the missions ministry of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. Feeling God’s call to aid in the planting of churches, Lanny and his family moved to Dallas in the summer of 1980.
Lanny served for 27 years as the Minister of Missions for FBC Dallas. God used him to start 54 churches in over 12 different languages and a homeless shelter in the metroplex. The Lord utilized his previous experience in the prison to open doors to help build a prison ministry that served in every prison in Texas, multiple other states, and eventually spread to 6 foreign countries. Upon leaving First Baptist Dallas, Lanny began his professorship at Criswell College. During his time at FBC Dallas and Criswell College, Lanny purposefully and intentionally taught, challenged, and mentored both his mission pastors and pastoral students. As one pastor
commented, “He not only taught the Bible, but lived it. He is one of the godliest men I have ever known.” Upon retirement, Lanny remained active by serving as a long term interim pastor for multiple churches in East Texas. In August of 2020, Lanny celebrated his 60th year in the ministry alongside his faithful wife, Brenda. Lanny and Brenda also celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary April 2, 2021. Only in eternity will the impact of Lanny and Brenda’s ministry be known. During his final days on earth in his semi-conscious state, Lanny preached, pastored, and shared the gospel of Christ. Early Thursday morning, June 17th, 2021, Lanny’s faith became sight, and he heard his savior say, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter now into the joy of the Lord.”
In Lieu of Flowers, donations may be made to Mission Mbale. This was a Mission that Lanny and Brenda felt strongly about supporting.