Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Jimmy is the product of Oklahoma City Public Schools and a proud graduate of John Marshall High School. Growing up, he had the first basketball goal in his childhood neighborhood. This is where Jimmy learned how to be competitive, fearless, and hard working. His father, an ex-Marine and Pastor, instilled in him that giving up was never an option in his household.
During his teenage years Jimmy learned that the power of education and basketball would be his launching platform to make it possible to pursue a college education.
With his work ethic and determination, Jimmy graduated from John Marshall High School in the top 10 percent of his graduating class with a 3.90 GPA.
Achieving major accomplishments on the basketball court, Jimmy received a NCAA Division 1 basketball scholarship to Grambling State University in 1998. He had an amazing freshman season, earning the honor of Southwestern Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. He continued his basketball career at Oklahoma City University.
Jimmy has always believed that education can open many doors of opportunity. He excelled at the collegiate level academically by earning his Bachelor’s degree in Finance and his Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA); both from Oklahoma City University.
Jimmy is currently the Director of Permitting Services at the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission and a Professor at Rose State College, where he teaches finance and economic courses. His unique skill set and personality allows him to be productive and adaptive in any environment.
Lawson was named Professor of the Year in 2013 at University of Phoenix and Adjunct Professor of the Year for the School of Business at Rose State College in 2019; being the first African-American to win this high honor.
Jimmy’s desire for servanthood and love for others stemmed from his parents; as his father was a Pastor and community leader. Over the last 20 years Jimmy has demonstrated through his actions in the community, that putting people first is not just a slogan, but a lifestyle for him. He is a fierce advocate and voice in the Oklahoma City community, bringing hope to many people in Oklahoma City and beyond.
He is the lifelong best friend and advocate of Julius Jones, a death row prisoner who graduated alongside Jimmy, also with a 3.9 GPA, and whom Jimmy believes was wrongfully convicted for capital murder.
Jimmy is featured in the ABC documentary “The Last Defense,” executive produced by Academy Award winning actress Viola Davis. The docuseries exams the Jones’ case pointing out many flaws including an inexperienced defense and evidence which was never presented. Jimmy's compassion and pursuit of justice is heartfelt and sincere and is widely respected by those who know him.
Jimmy is the creator and founder of the John Marshall Impact Team - a community partner with Oklahoma City Public Schools that provides mentoring and life skills to students at John Marshall High School and Middle School – changing the trajectory of the next generation one student at a time.
His passion to serve the less fortunate is demonstrated by his years of feeding the homeless in Downtown Oklahoma City through NewPoint Church’s homeless outreach ministry. For the last 3 years Jimmy has hosted an annual Christmas Toy Drive for underprivileged youth in honor of Julius Jones. Jimmy has donated time and toys to numerous organizations such as Jordan’s Crossings, Children’s Hospital, and families in marginalized communities.
In 2019, Jimmy created a college scholarship fund for graduating seniors in Oklahoma City in honor of his late father, Bishop Lawson Sr. Annually, the scholarship fund committee selects one high school senior via application with a $1,000 college scholarship.
Jimmy is a living testimony of the power of education and is paying it forward to the next generation.
My Core Values & Principles
- Diversity & Inclusion