1925 - 2007

BRANDON, MS - Rev. Robert J. Gatlin, 82, went home to be with his Lord and Savior with his family by his side on Friday, September 7, 2007 due to congestive heart failure.
Robert James Gatlin was born January 2, 1925, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the son of James Leon Gatlin of Windermere, Florida, and Nita Irene Tett of Cronwall, England. He had one sister Ruth Danford of Winter Garden, Florida.  The family moved to Windermere before Robert's first birthday and he was raised there in central Florida. He joined the Navy in 1942, and served in the Pacific Theater of World War II. In 1945, he married Sarah Margaret Blankenship in Winter Garden, Florida.
 From 1947 to 1952, he served as youth minister at First Assembly of God in Winter Garden. He began preaching and evangelizing during this period. In 1949, he was credentialed with the Assemblies of God.
 In 1952, he pioneered a church in Apopka, Florida and pastured the church until 1959. During this time, he was a graduate of South Eastern Bible College in Lakeland, Florida, as valedictorian of his class. After pasturing in Clewiston, Florida, he was elected as district youth director of Peninsular Florida District, serving in this position until 1966. He served briefly as the District Secretary-Treasurer and then moved to Panama City, Florida, to pastor First Assembly of God.
 In July of 1970, he was elected as Superintendent of the West Florida District, a position he held for the next 27 years. Retiring in 1996, he has not been idle. After moving to Jackson, Mississippi, to be near his three children he served as Senior Associate Pastor at River of Life Assembly of God. He also served as a Police Chaplain for Jackson Police Department Precinct 2.
 He was preceded in death by his devoted wife, Margaret, of 59 years. He is survived by his three children: daughter Judy Gatlin Warren and her husband Rev. David Warren of Brandon, MS, son Rev. David Gatlin and wife Deana of Jackson, MS, and son Danny Gatlin and wife Clora of Brandon, MS. His six grandchildren: Danielle Gatlin Polk of Jackson, MS, David Gatlin II of Jackson, MS, Gaitha Gatlin Pennington and husband John of Beaumont, TX, Juliana Warren of Brandon, MS, Jonathan Gatlin of Jackson, MS, and James Gatlin, Jackson, MS. His two Great-Grandchildren: Eden and Maggie Polk of Jackson, MS, and several nieces and nephews.
 Visitation will be at Ott and Lee Funeral Home in Brandon on Monday night, September 10,2007.
 The funeral service will be held at River of Life Church at the Reservoir Tuesday, September 11,2007 with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m.
 Interment will follow in Lakeland Place Garden Park Cemetery on Lakeland Drive. -
Ledger, Sept. 9, 2007

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