Beloved Teacher and Minister Barbara Jean Laws Mullinax Passes Away at Age 77

CHATTANOOGA, TN – Barbara Jean Laws Mullinax, a devoted wife, mother, and teacher, passed away at the age of 77 on January 8, 2024. She was surrounded by her loved ones in hospice care.

Barbara’s life was profoundly impacted when she accepted Jesus Christ at the age of 38, which sparked a transformation within her. From that point forward, she found joy in sharing the love of Jesus with everyone she encountered. As a gifted teacher, Barbara had a unique ability to connect with people and impart spiritual truths, even as a new believer. Her family, including her husband and four children, were the first to experience her dedication to spreading the gospel. Despite her reputation for being perpetually late, Barbara made meaningful connections with individuals in the midst of their crises and encouraged them as if she had arrived right on time for their divine appointment. Even in her weakened state at the end of her life, Barbara continued to love and serve others.

Barbara’s beloved husband, Larry Mullinax, was the most important person in her life. They met during their freshman year at Vanderbilt and tied the knot on June 11, 1967. Their 56-year marriage was filled with shared experiences of faith and ministering to their children and grandchildren. Barbara prioritized family time to instill the joy of following Christ in her loved ones. To their ten grandchildren, she and Larry were affectionately known as “Ami and G-dad,” and their schedule brimmed with countless performances, programs, recitals, and games.

Notably, Barbara made significant contributions to the First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga, where she taught the Bible and offered guidance to young mothers. Her ability to convey biblical truths and shepherd others left a lasting impact. Barbara approached motherhood with humility and rejected the notion of any secret formula for raising godly children. Instead, she encouraged parents to simply chase after Jesus and lead by example. Her open admission of mistakes, her commitment to directing others to Christ, and her unwavering prayers demonstrated her love and generosity.

Born on January 24, 1946, in Baltimore, Maryland, Barbara was preceded in death by her brother, Bobby, her sister, Joanne Chiglinsky and in-laws, Anne and James Laws. She is survived by her devoted husband Larry, their children Lisanne Mullinax, Greg Mullinax, Allison Jenson, and Angie Boone, and their ten adoring grandchildren. Barbara is also survived by her brother Jerry Laws and his family, as well as her sister’s children and her brother Jimmy and his family.

Family, friends, and community members will have the opportunity to pay their respects at First Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga on January 27, with a celebration of Barbara’s life to follow. In honor of Barbara, donations may be made to the Choices Pregnancy Resource Center, a ministry she and Larry fervently supported.

Barbara Jean Laws Mullinax will be remembered as a woman who unconditionally loved and generously served others, pointing them towards Jesus, just as Christ’s love enveloped her. In her weakness, she found strength through God’s grace, embodying the verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”