Lawrence Hart was born into Cheyenne Chief Red Moon’s Band on the banks of Quartermaster Creek near Hammon, Oklahoma. His grandfather, Peace Chief John Peak Hart had chosen this land for his family in 1892. Lawrence is a great-grandson of Washita Battle survivor, Afraid of Beavers. His parents are Homer Hart, a lay pastor of the Hammon Mennonite Church, and Jennie Howling Water.
Following his graduation from Bethel College in Newton, Kansas, he did graduate studies at the Associated Mennonite Biblical School in Elkhart, Indiana before returning to western Oklahoma to pastor the Koinonia Mennonite Church at Clinton for forty years.
His family has a long tradition of service to the Cheyenne Tribe, helping to build a bridge of understanding between the Indians and the whites. When his grandfather, Chief John Hart, retired as Peace Chief of the Cheyennes, he nominated his grandson, Lawrence, to replace him in service. At that time Lawrence was a flight instructor for the US Navy, having been the first full blood Native American to become a commissioned military jet pilot. Lawrence resigned his commission to become Peace Chief, feeling that he needed to give up his warrior ways if he were to be a Peace Chief.
Today, Lawrence directs the Cheyenne Cultural Center at Clinton. He has served as delegate to several conferences, boards and committees and has been bestowed with numerous awards. He has traveled widely as a speaker and advisor, having testified before Congress concerning his tribe’s harsh treatment by Custer’s Seventh Cavalry at the so-called Battle of the Washita. While serving his tribe, church and country, he has done much to preserve the culture of the Indian while preparing him to greet the modern world..
Lawrence and his wife, Betty, have three children and four grandchildren.