George Edward Darling
The Life Of George E. Darling
George Edward Darling was born October 5, 1915, to George Ephraim and Alma Etta Darling at Wesson, Mississippi.
He attended school in Kern County, California.
On September 23, 1936, he married Doris Harrison. To this union, one boy and four girls were born: Darlene, Judi, George, Jr., Sharon and Karon (twins) listed in order of their birth.
Darling began preaching in 1941 at San Luis Obispo, California. His first full-time work was Coalinga, California. Places he preached or did local work were: San Luis Obispo, California; Oakland, California; Coalinga, California; Houston, Texas; Hale Center, Texas; Floydada, Texas; Coffeyville, Kansas; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Mt. Dora, Florida; Ft. Pierce, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; Meridian, Mississippi; Pensacola, Florida; Alexandria, Louisiana; Clarksdale, Mississippi; and Ft. Deposit, Alabama.
He did mission work in Canada and in the Holy Land. He conducted vacation Bible schools in New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
He collected his own library, studied hard, attended every lectureship that was possible, attended special classes and "sat at the feet" of many great preachers.
George, or "brother D," as many called him, had a special interest in the Bellview Preachers Training School, being present with Bill Cline while it was in the planning stage. He had planned to retire there when 65 and work with the school in some capacity.
He served as assistant Chaplain at San Quentin prison while living in Oakland, California.
Darling died March 27, 1980, at Ft. Deposit, Alabama. He was survived by his wife, Doris, five children and six grandchildren. Funeral service was conducted at Ft. Deposit with Bill Cline officiating, being assisted by Ira Y. Rice, Jr., Ernest Underwood and Gerald Miles. Pallbearers were from the Bellview Preachers Training School, Pensacola, Florida. Interment was in Ft. Deposit, Alabama.
Gussie Lambert, In Memoriam, Shreveport, La, c.1988, p.65,66
The Christian Worker
George Edward Darling was not so well known in the area where this paper generally circulates as in other parts of the nation, but he was a very useful servant of the Lord, truly a great and good man. I first became acquainted with him while I was preaching for the Palm Avenue church in Fresno, California about the time he began to preach. He had much natural ability and seemingly an inexhaustible supply of energy. He was, from the very first, committed to the Lord and His word, opposing all forms of error. "Compromise of the Word" was something he simply could not do. The Church and the world are better because George Darling lived.
Brother Darling was born October 5, 1915 at Wesson near Brookhaven, Mississippi. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. George Ephraim Darling, members of the Baptist church in which his father served as a preacher and once served as President of the Southern Convention of that denomination. When George was but five or six years old his father died of tuberculosis, having contracted this fatal disease by helping care for a neighbor who had fallen victim to it. His young widow was left with her two small sons to rear, and for a time she placed them in a Masonic Home in Mississippi. Some of her people had moved to California, and fairly soon she took her children and went there. At first she lived in Southern California, then soon went to Bakersfield. George grew up in Bakersfield, attending school there, and finished high school there in 1938. Following this he did some work in the Bakersfield Junior College. Somewhere he had some technical training and became a Petroleum Engineer. As a young man he was quite successful in this field, for he was a man of great natural ability and intelligence.
In Bakersfield he became acquainted with Miss Doris Irene Harrison, daughter of Brother and Sister A. C. Harrison. George and Doris came to love one another and on September 23, 1936 they were married by a Brother Hulme. Five children were born to them, all of whom are still living. They are: Darlene Bruno, Judith, George E. Jr., and the twins, Sharon and Karon. George Jr. serves as a deacon where he worships, teaches Bible classes, leads singing, and often does "fill-in" preaching.
Soon after they were married Brother Rue Porter, one of the great preachers of a past generation, conducted a meeting in Bakersfield. George and Doris attended this meeting, and one night her heart was flooded with joy as George "went forward" to make the good confession and be baptized into his Lord. This was in 1938.
By 1940 George was living in San Luis Obispo, California and working in his engineering field. The depression was still a real problem for most Americans, but George had made splendid progress as an engineer and was earning a very good salary. The church there was small and having a real struggle for existence, so George wrote an article for The Christian Soldier pleading for help in that work and for the West Coast generally. George had been doing some preaching himself, but naturally felt someone else was needed there. In Volume I of Preachers of Today (1952) he told of a reply he had to this appeal. It said: "Why don't you give up your job and start working for a preacher's salary?" He did just that, and his first "full time" work provided them with sixty dollars per month, "...quite a drop from four hundred dollars per month", he added. He continued: "...have never regretted the change." So, his great preaching work began in 1940 or 1941 in San Luis Obispo.
When George began "full time" work, it was truly "full time" for he was not the kind to have it otherwise. Through the years he worked with a number of churches, held many meetings, worked in several different mission fields, had some debates, conducted many Vacation Bible schools and worked in several different "campaigns". In Preachers of Today, Vol. IV (1970) he said that he had preached in fourteen of the states and five foreign countries, including Canada. We do not know how many people he baptized into Christ, but the number was large. His mission work took him to many places especially Kansas and Iowa, and he was instrumental in establishing a number of new congregations. His local work began in San Luis Obispo, where he worked from 1941 to 1943; then to Coalinga and to Central in Oakland in 1944, where he worked until 1949. While in Oakland he served as an "Associate Chaplain" in the San Quentin prison. From these California churches he moved to Hale Center in West Texas in 1950, and then to Plainview. In Oakland, and many other places, including his work in Plainview, he did much radio work, including one period when he did a daily broadcast. From 1953 to 1955 he was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and in 1956 he moved to Ft. Pierce, Florida where he worked until 1960; then to Jacksonville until 1968 when he moved to Meridian, Mississippi. Other local work was in Pensacola, Florida; Alexandria, Louisiana; Clarksdale, Mississippi; and Ft. Deposit, Alabama.
He did much writing in his own church bulletin, the local newspapers and such publications as the Defender, and Contending For The Faith. In the current issue (Feb. 1981) of Defender there is a re-run of an article they first published from him in 1972. The title of the article is "Insurance Risk". The last paragraph reads: "The almost unpardonable sin among preachers, elders, Bible school teachers, deacons, and church members today is preaching and teaching in such a way that sinners come to believe that they are sinners. But let me warn you - don't do it if you want to get along with the `BIGS' we have mentioned and all the other organizations that want the church to `run smoothly'."
Perhaps the greatest sorrow of his life was his inability to reach his immediate family with the gospel. Though his mother often heard him preach in the last years, she could not be persuaded to turn from the "doctrines of men."
He worked diligently to the very end of life. He taught the Ladies Bible class on Wednesday morning and a Bible class that evening at the mid-week service. He had had some trouble with angina, but was too busy to slow down and allow it to heal. The following morning, March 27, 1980, he had a massive heart attack and at ten o'clock that morning the Lord "took him home" at the relatively young age of sixty-four. Bill Cline, Ira Y. Rice, Jr., and Earnest Underwood, longtime friends and co-workers who loved him very much, conducted the final service for this great and good man. This "corruptible" body was laid to rest in Myrtlewood Cemetery at Ft. Deposit, Alabama. Sister Darling is having the usual problems of adjustment. Remember her and her children when you go before The Throne.
As it is with others of whom I write, I have a hard time finding words to express my feeling for George Darling. He was a GOSPEL preacher. He knew the truth and preached it. He lived a righteous life. It might be said in more "flowery" language, but I don't know how one could say more of a man. Though I was never allowed to be with him much, his presence was always a blessing.
Gospel Preachers Of Yesteryears, Loyd L. Smith, Pages 123-126, This Article First Appeared In The Christian Worker, March, 1981.
The Preciousness Of A Wife
She was a
Christian; he was not; but, they loved each other. He went to church
services before they were married, but he had already made up his
mind that, once they were married, he would quit going to church and
he would see to it that she quit also.
The first Sunday they were married, as she was getting ready to go to services, he tried to get her to stay home with him. But she went to services alone. This went on for several years. Then came their first child. She missed two Sundays when the child was born but the next Sunday, she and her baby went to church services and he stayed home alone.
One Sunday while she was dressing, he went outside and disconnected the coil wire on the car. She and her baby got into the car but it would not start. She wrapped her baby up and started walking to the building which was about two miles away.
Feeling like a heel, the husband called her back, told her what he had done, asked her to forgive him, and took her to services. That night, he went with her. Two weeks later he was baptized into Christ. Sometime later, this man started preaching the gospel and since has baptized over 3,000 people into Christ.
QUESTION: What would have happened if the wife had given in the first Sunday and stayed at home?
"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear" (1 Peter 3:1-2).
Tom L. Childers
Note: I heard Hugo McCord tell this story in Dallas, Texas at a luncheon honoring Tillit S. Teddlie. If I remember correctly the preacher mentioned above was George Darling.
Re: Bulletin Article "The Preciousness of a Wife"
I read with interest your article "The Preciousness of a Wife", and I was delighted and amused by it when I saw the story was attributed to my late father, George E. Darling, Sr.
I vividly remember Dad speaking on this subject and his frequent encouragement to wives. I know he was not a member of the church when he married my mother. George Darling was a great storyteller, and I strongly suspect that he told such a story of some man who rigged the car to prevent his wife from attending church.
I called my mother, Doris Darling, who is now living in Salinas, CA, to confirm the article's account. She said Dad was working night shift in the oil fields when they first married, and he often slept in on Sunday mornings. But she denied Dad would ever have been so "mean" to incapacitate the car. Dad had been raised a Baptist, and he had a strong desire to go to church. He had attended church with Doris since they began courting. Not long after marrying, he was baptized by Rue Porter. Brother Porter was, I believe, holding a gospel meeting in Bakersfield, CA. The church was small there, and they had to borrow the baptistery of the First Christian Church. George Darling was soon after influenced by Ira Rice to begin preaching. He may have not baptized 3,000, but he certainly baptized many. And he encouraged many, many women to be precious and to win over their husbands by their "conversation." (And anyone who knew George Darling knows he never missed a chance to make a joke about that word and the humorous generalization about women.)
How the story grew to its proportions, we will never know. But Mother and my family have certainly enjoyed discussing it the past few days.
I am enjoying your Newsletter,
George Darling, Jr. Florence, AL
Editor's Note: Above is a copy of a bulletin article that circulated a few years ago, appearing in numerous church bulletin, as a result of a story told about the life of George E. Darling. The article was written by Tom L. Childers. A few years later, Darling's son, wrote him, with an update. The article and family response is included here for your enjoyment.
Fort Deposit Church of Christ Where Brother Darling Preached
Burial Location Of George E. Darling
George Darling is buried in the cemetery in south central Alabama town of Fort Deposit. On I-65 south of Montgomery about 30 miles take exit 142 and travel west on Hwy. 185. Go a couple miles and come into town. It becomes Old Fort Rd. Turn right on Golson Cir. The Myrtlewood Cemetery will be straight ahead. Enter the cemetery and bear to the left after entering. Go around to the dirt road and continue around. As the road turns back to the right again stop the car. The small grave will be on your left. Section A - Lot 0455.1 / GPS location of the grave is: 31°59'21.2"N 86°34'41.9"W / or D.d. 31.989217, -86.578300
Tom Childers On The Right
A Gospel Preacher
George E. Darling
Oct. 5, 1915
Mar. 27, 1980
Shake Hands And Be Friendly!
Note: George Darling was known to say "Shake Hands And Be Friendly!"
after the closing prayer of every church gathering.
Looking Back Toward Cemetery Entrance