Dr. Darrel D. King of Covington went home to be with the Lord January 13, 2014, after a brief battle with leukemia. He was born in 1938, in a farmhouse in Campbell, Mo., to Delbert and Melba (Shaffer) King. The son of a sharecropper, he was educated in a one-room schoolhouse. He often credited his teacher, Althea Malin, with inspiring him to think big and pursue his dreams beyond the Cotton Belt Railroad and the boot heel of Missouri.
When he was 12, his family moved to St. Louis. Darrel’s life of adventure and travel began in 1959, when he was sent to St. Paul Island in Alaska by Foulke Fur Co., as its youngest-ever project manager. In the summer of 1961, he accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. The following year, he married Janet Holland of St. Ann, Mo. They were blessed with two daughters, Beth and Sara, whom he loved dearly.
From 1961-1964, he served his country in the U.S. Army. During the Berlin Crisis, he was dropped behind enemy lines to aid political refugees to freedom. He was called to preach in 1967 and pastored several small churches in Missouri and later in Georgia. He served as office manager for the 1973 St. Louis Billy Graham Crusade and assisted with other crusades. In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, his involvement with World Literature Crusade’s Change the World Schools of Prayer fueled a passion for prayer that would remain with him for the rest of his life.
In 1983, he moved to Atlanta, to work in the Office of Prayer for Spiritual Awakening at the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In the 1990s, he received his master’s degree and doctorate of ministry from Luther Rice Seminary. His decades of research on Methodist preacher and prayer warrior E.M. Bounds led to the publication of five books. Years of ministry took him to 11 countries, and he preached in all 50 states.
In recent years, he enjoyed serving the community in the ministries of his church, East Newton Baptist Church. His favorites including sending donated coffee to U.S. troops and providing food for those in need. If he were here today, Darrel would want you to know God can use even a sharecropper’s son if you will only make yourself available. Those who knew Darrel will remember him for his love for the Lord, his love of people, his giving spirit and servant’s heart, his infectious smile, and his ability to locate the best barbecue restaurants in the lower 48.
He was preceded in death by his father, Delbert King; stepfather, Delmar Crawford; mother, Melba Shaffer King Crawford; and his sister, Joyce King Hansma.
Left to treasure his memory are his wife of 51 years, Janet King; daughters and son-in-law, Beth King and Robert Neph, Sara King; grandson, James Neph, all of Covington, Ga.; and numerous family members and friends.
Funeral services for Dr. King will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 18 at East Newton Baptist Church, Covington, with Pastor Tom Lee officiating, and interment immediately following. The family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Jan. 17 at Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home, 3134 Floyd St., Covington.
Flowers will be accepted, or donations may be made to the Building Fund of East Newton Baptist Church, 11290 Highway 278 E, Covington, Ga. 30014.
Visit www.caldwellandcowan.com to place online condolences 770-786-7062.