Highland Baptist Church last Sunday helped Henry King celebrate his 100th birthday, which technically was Sept. 16.
WEST MONROE – Highland Baptist Church last Sunday helped Henry King celebrate his 100th birthday, which technically was Sept. 16.
“No gifts, please. Your presence is your gift,” was imprinted on the invitation.
King’s life is a gift. He and others like him – those born from 1900 to 1920 and thereabouts – helped build this nation and the Lousiana Baptist Convention.
King was a youngster when Americans got involved in World War 1.
He married Lottie in 1926 – before the stock market crashed in 1929.
He worked for 42 years as a shipping clerk for Brown Paper Mill in Monroe, even through the Depression years.
In his 30s – 1937 to 1947 – he watched the United States become embroiled in a second world war, and not long after that, in a war against Communist aggression in Korea.
In the 1950s, Henry and Lottie adopted two toddlers. They moved “uptown” into a new, larger home, and they moved their church letter from Peniel Baptist West Monroe to Ridge Avenue Baptist West Monroe, before getting involved in a new church start that today is Highland Baptist West Monroe.
“I guess they wanted a neighborhood church,” said their son Harry’s wife, Deanna King.
Henry and Lottie King were two of 24 charter members at Highland. He’s been a deacon for many years, and a Sunday school teacher.
He enjoyed going out on church visitation, Deanna King said. “He was quite a talker,” she explained.
Lottie died in 2001; Henry King been in a nursing home the last several months.
“Henry’s been a faithful, committed member of Highland Baptist Church in all the years he’s been here,” said his pastor, Gordon Dean.
The same can be said of so many Louisiana Baptists of his generation. During the 1950s, people just like King started 204 churches in Louisiana – more than any decade before or since. This is a start of a three-week series celebrating the contributions of the Senior Seniors in our state.
Countless thousands of people will not be written about who have made significant contributions to the work of Southern Baptists in Louisiana. Ed and Billie Smith come quickly to mind, and they’re still serving!
Others have had a less visible roll. They served namelessly – historically speaking – in their churches, spreading God’s love and missionary zeal. They reared God-fearing children who today serve churches in full-time ministry and in volunteer church responsibilities. Dorothy “Dot” Philips is one of those who comes quickly to mind. She too is still serving.
These and others we hear about – let us know your story! – we’ll write about in the future. But next week, we’ll read about Helen Driscoll. “I gave my life to God as a senior in high school, and I never took it back,” Driscoll said. That’s the spirit of the Senior Seniors we honor with this three-week series.