Paul Oliver Belt

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1920 - 1995


Paul O. Belt was born September 7, 1920. After struggling with the call to ministry at age 15, he surrendered to the full time gospel ministry at age 31. After his mother died, his father revealed he had been dedicated by his parents as their “preacher boy.”

Coming under the care of Princeton Presbytery the second week of October, 1950, he was ordained May 1, l954. He served as pastor of Hopewell, Bells Mines, Sugar Grove and Fredonia - all in the Princeton Presbytery.

He became the pastor of Woodlawn Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Paducah, KY (Mayfield Presbytery) October 9, 1960. The Woodlawn congregation made a Covenant Renewal with he and Mrs. Belt on the occasion of their 20th Homecoming at Woodlawn. In October 1990 a Reaffirmation of Covenant by the Woodlawn Congregation to Its Pastor, Rev. Paul O. Belt was observed. He retired as pastor on December 31, 1993.

During his pastorate at Woodlawn, there were 438 professions of faith, and 837 people were taken into membership of the Woodlawn family.

An addition to the Woodlawn Church in 1992 was a multipurpose area dedicated as the Paul O. Belt Christian Outreach Center.

Rev. Belt was a daily visitor at both local hospitals. There were very few days during his ministry that he did not go to both local hospitals. If there were no members of the congregations, or no family or friends of members, as patients, he would simply walk down the hallways. Many times he was stopped by a patient or their family, and they would tell him they had hoped he would be there to have prayer with them. At his retirement celebration, it was estimated he had made at least 13,135 visits to the hospitals.

During his life, he was called Rev. Belt, Bro. Belt, and Paul, but was lovingly known by many as “Preacher.”

He performed the marriage ceremonies for all three of his children, dedicated all six of their babies, performed the marriage ceremonies for four of these grandchildren, and dedicated three great-grandchildren.

Woodlawn Presbyterian’s longtime pastor dies at 74

The Rev. Paul O. Belt, longtime pastor of Woodlawn Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Paducah, died at 10:35 a.m. Friday at Lourdes Hospital. He was 74 and a resident of Reidland.

A native of Marion, Mr. Belt began his ministry under the care of the Princeton Presbytery in October 1950 and was ordained May 1, 1954.

He held pastorates at Hopewell, Bells Mines, Sugar Grove and Fredonia (all in the Princeton Presbytery) until he became pastor of Woodlawn Cumberland Presbyterian Church in October 1960.

During Mr. Belt’s tenure at Woodlawn, the church added to the facilities three times. The last addition was a multipurpose area dedicated on May 17, 1992, as the Paul O. Belt Christian Outreach Center.

Mr. Belt retired Dec. 31, 1993, after 43 years in the ministry.

Mr. Belt served as moderator of presbytery and synod, and served as pastor host of the 1991 General Assembly in Paducah.

He was a member of the Covenant Presbytery and the Paducah Area Ministerial Association.

Surviving are his wife, Wilma Jean Belt; a son, Donnie Ray Belt of Reidland; two daughters, Dorsie Faye Lampley of Benton and Shirley Jean Fowler of Reidland; a stepson, Darrell Ramage of Ledbetter; two brothers, James Belt of Lake Station, Ind., and Earl Belt of Princeton; three sisters, Lala Reynolds of Gillespie, Ill., Ruby Woodall of Marion, and Isabelle Terry of Evansville, Ind.; seven grandchildren; two step grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Belt was proceeded in death by his first wife, Estelle Belt, two brothers and two sisters.

Services will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at Woodlawn Cumberland Presbyterian Church with Dr. Wayne Wiman and the Rev. Greg Moss officiating. Burial will be in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens.

Friends may call after 5 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. until noon Sunday at Lindsey Funeral Home. Visitation at the church will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to the Paul O. Belt Christian Outreach Center of Woodlawn Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
[Source: The Paducah Sun, March 18, 1995, page 4C]

The Rev. Paul O. Belt and his great granddaughter Sarah Elizabeth Lampley

Please Contact the Archives with Additions/Corrections

Updated October 22, 2007