The funeral for Troy Lawson was held Sunday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. at Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church.

Lawson, 58, died Monday, Nov. 30 during heart surgery.

Lawson had been the chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party from 2017 to 2019 and was the Guilford County Republican Party’s first African-American chairman. What perhaps was most remarkable about Lawson’s chairmanship is that he was elected chairman only two years after moving to Greensboro in 2015.

Because of concerns about COVID-19, the funeral was held outside on the church lawn. People were asked to bring their own chairs and most did, with social distancing the 150 or so people in attendance filled the church yard.

Sixth District Congressman Mark Walker, a former Baptist pastor, spoke during the service of his experience getting to know Lawson, when Lawson was working on his campaign. Lawson was an extremely active Republican Party member, even before he became chairman, and always seemed to be working on somebody’s campaign.

Melissa and Olivia, the daughters of Troy and Stephanie, spoke about a side of Troy most in attendance had not seen that as a father. His daughters said that it was a job at which he excelled.

North Carolina Lt. Gov.-elect Mark Robinson sang “It Is Well With My Soul.”

Mount Pisgah Senior Pastor Dr. Jeff Johnson gave the eulogy and noted that Troy was very active in the church, though not yet officially a member. He said Troy told him that he didn’t want to be just a “pew sitter.”

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips attended, as did many Republican candidates Lawson had helped since moving to Greensboro.

While Lawson was chairman in 2018, he had to get special permission from the North Carolina Republican Party to run for the North Carolina state House District 57 seat. He didn’t win, but having worked on campaigns since working for US Sen. Edward Brooke in Boston when he was 15 years old, it appeared that Lawson had decided to start working on his own campaigns.

This year he won the Republican primary to run for the District 5 Guilford County commissioner seat but was defeated in the general election on Nov. 3.

Losing the first two outings as a candidate might discourage some folks, but as Johnson noted in the eulogy, Lawson had been meeting with people since the Nov. 3 election to discuss a run for mayor of Greensboro in 2021.