Clarence E. King (1926-2009)

Clarence King was born in Burnsflat, Oklahoma and grew up with two sisters. He learned responsibility and his work ethic in the cotton fields. Proving his responsibility, he was asked to drive the school bus his senior year since so many men were away in WWII. After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp which was the predecessor of the U.S. Air Force. He later enrolled with the GI Bill in Abilene Christian University. When he was a senior he met a young woman named Nancy Barnett, who was a freshman. Both of them spent the next summer working for Shiloh Christian camp in New Jersey. When Nancy saw his ability to flip flap jacks over an open fire she thought “wow, he might be the one!” He was. They married the next summer and their love for the church in the mission field of Fair Lawn, New Jersey called them back. They moved just two weeks after they were married. It was there they learned to conduct Bible studies in homes and he even began to fill in preaching in New Jersey and even in Manhattan. Eventually he was asked to take the position of preacher at Fair Lawn. From there, they would serve churches in Lubbock, TX, Denver Colorado, and other places. But in their prayers they continued to ask God for an English speaking mission field. The Lord answered this prayer through the congregation in Graham, TX., who sponsored them to go to Hong Kong. Clancy has ministered all around the world! After decades of full time ministry they enjoyed short term missions fields in Russia and Estonia to name a few.

Clarence was a man of persistence. As a teenager in Oklahoma he worked with a harvesting crew driving a combine all day and sleeping under it at night. They moved northward each day. At the end of the harvest season he finished in North Dakota. This kind of persistence was seen even more in his life of faith. For over 80 years he loved the Lord and continued in His service. For example, he believed he could better serve the Lord with a greater education. He went back to school and obtained a masters degree at the age of 50. He was faithful to Nancy for 57 years of marriage. The faithfulness, honor, and dignity she always gave him, especially the last years, has been exemplary. He was a loving and faithful father to Melissa (Burka) and Konnie (Tharp), as well as grandfather. He instilled the courage in them to take the Gospel anywhere. He fulfilled the qualifications to serve many years as an elder. These qualifications reveal persistence of faith. His life didn’t end with him quitting, he finished. Like His Savior or His fellow missionary Paul, he too could say “I finish.” Clancy yoked his life with God many decades ago and completed his work. Many will be in Heaven because of his ministry. Many will want to go to heaven looking forward to a reunion. We will miss him dearly and pray for his wonderful family. On a tomb of another missionary, David Livingstone in Westminister Abbey, are the words that Clancy would not want any of us to forget: “God buries His workmen, but continues His work.”