Rufus David Underwood, Sr.
Biographical Sketch On The Life Of R.D. Underwood Sr.
David Underwood was born July 22, 1908, at Florence, Alabama. His parents were
David Pink and Nannie Gooch Underwood. Rufus attended Coffee High School at
Florence, Alabama. After graduation from high school, he attended David
Lipscomb College (1927-1930) at Nashville, Tennessee. He was a member of the
February 3, 1931, he was united in marriage to the former Mary Pitts Taylor of
Decatur, Alabama. The wedding ceremony was performed by J. M. Powell, a
college friend of Underwood. Both Mary and Rufus were popular students on the
campus of David Lipscomb College. In 1929, she was voted the most beautiful girl
and he was voted the most handsome boy. In 1930, he won the Founder's Day
the school annual of 1929, these words were written under the name, Rufus
Underwood: "David Lipscomb College is proud to have as one of her members
one of the coming orators. He possesses many qualities which gain the admiration
of all who know him. With his cunning smile, he scattered sunshine and happiness
along the way. His handsome and striking personality won for him the heart of a
Four children were born to Rufus David and Mary Pitts Underwood. The three boys were Rufus David, Jr., Keith Taylor and Stephen Alan. The daughter was Jan, now Mrs. John Allen Bradley.
Underwood began preaching in 1930 at the Central Church of Christ in Huntsville, Alabama. He did full time work as follows: Central Church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama (1930-1935); Grant Street Church of Christ, Decatur, Alabama (1935-1937); Creswell Avenue Church of Christ, Shreveport, Louisiana (1937-1941); Grant Street Church of Christ, Decatur, Alabama (1941-1949); Central Church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama (1949-1954). States in which he preached were Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.
was a member of the Board of Trustees for Childhaven Children's Home in Cullman,
his ministry, he also did some mission work at Madison Church of Christ,
Madison, Alabama. He was interested in mission work and especially in
encouraging young men to preach the gospel. Two well-known young men that he
encouraged to preach were Ted Underwood and B. C. Carr.
work on earth came to a very sudden end while he was in a meeting with the
Flagler Street Church of Christ in Miami, Florida. The meeting had begun on
Sunday morning, April 24, 1955. It was to have continued for ten days but on
Wednesday night, April 27, he had preached a persuasive sermon on "The
New Testament Church." The invitation had been extended, the song had been
sung. He stepped back into the pulpit to speak a word. The word was never
spoken; he slumped to the floor dead.
the years he had often expressed a desire to meet his Maker in the performance
of duty. His desire was realized. Thus ended the early life of Rufus David
Underwood, April 27, 1955, at Miami, Florida.
included his wife, Mary Pitts; three sons, Rufus David, Jr., Keith Taylor and
Stephen Alan; the daughter, Jan (Mrs. John Allen Bradley). His parents, four of
his brothers and one of his sisters preceded him in death. McKinley Underwood, a
brother, and Mrs. Lowell Delano survived him.
service was conducted by Charles R. Brewer, Barney Brock, Sumter Sorrell, C. R.
Scott, and Julian C. Green. The funeral service was conducted in the Grant
Street Church of Christ in Decatur, Alabama, with burial in Roselawn Cemetery.
of God, well done!
Lambert, In Memoriam,
Shreveport, LA, c.1988, pages 272-274
Location Of The Grave Of Rufus D. Underwood
R.D. Underwood is buried in Decatur, Alabama in Roselawn Gardens Of Memory. The Cemetery is located at 709 Memorial Dr SW, Decatur, Alabama 35601-2916 Phone# 256-353-1602. In North Alabama take I-65 to Exit 340 (I-565 / Hwy. Alt. 72 West) toward Decatur. As you travel into Decatur you will cross the Tennessee River. Turn right on Moulton Rd. (Hwy. 24). Go 11 blocks and turn left on Memorial Dr. SW,. On Memorial Drive, turn right at the Brown Funeral Home and go to the main office inside the cemetery with large columns. Turn to the right across from the office. The Garden of the Apostles is the next section on the left. The grave is about 5 rows deep and six graves from the road.