Saturday, June 18, 2016
The Reverend B.F. Darnell
I don't always pay attention to special days here on the Shipslog. With Father's Day coming up my sons have already wished me a Happy Father's day. If they didn't, I would know they meant it. I tell my wife many times, don't expect cards and calls on every special day from your sons, neither has a 'sweetie' to tell them, "Hey your mother's birthday (etc) is in three days."
You ladies seem to have a special clock that goes off to announce special occasions. But today it is me, I am thinking of my dad. The best man I ever knew in every respect. He was the oldest of 9 brothers and 3 sisters. He went to the 3rd grade in formal education and then he started working full time on the family farm in the Red Hill community of North Georgia near Toccoa.
For a few years after the marriage to mama, he was a successful sharecropper, raising peanuts. He dug wells by hand and learned on his own how to handle dynamite. Neither family, mama's or daddy's were particular religious.
(Dad & Mom early in his ministry, Shelby, NC)
Like the old song Hank Williams sang, my daddy “saw the light." He felt 'a call to preach.' He first associated with the 'Fire-Baptized Holiness' group. Studying every spare moment and working under older ministers, he was self-educated.
(Dad & Mom on their 50th)
His parents sold their farm and moved to Lowell, NC to work in the cotton mills. Dad and some of his siblings did also. While working at the Art Cloth He learned of a Bible School with the Church of God. He attended when he could and still hold down his job at Art Cloth.
Dad organized and built the ‘South Gastonia Church of God’. It is still one of the strongest in Western NC. Dad loved his people. He became known as a very good pastor. He was not a ‘ladder climber’. Most folk know even in church organizations, politics come into play. When we moved he never took a larger church than he pastored. But when he left it was much larger than when he came.
His life, his dedication instilled in his the three sons and two daughters that lived to maturity, to call him BLESSED. Though he pastored large churches and received good salaries, most of it went back into HIS church. He had no savings and a very small bank account, but at his death hundreds came, church leaders, politicians and HIS people, the cotton mill workers. In death he was RICH, because he was a child of the KING!
Daddy is now on ‘The Other Side’. Shirl and I think of him often. Out of the family of nine, we are left.
Ramblers, dad's car of choice!