The first time I saw Kingsford David was at a distance during one of the Leavenworth Road Association Parade and Festival's while my mother, Helen Folsom, was executive director for the LRA. There was a stage for entertainment and I saw a man with jet black hair, a big smile and ruffled white shirt dancing and singing on the stage. At first, I thought he was trying to be an Elvis impersonator, but it was not very long until I found that he would have a definite influence on my life.
Kingsford David was born in Kansas City, Mo. on December 11, 1937. He was adopted by William Warren and Mabel David. When his father was in high school, he acquired the name of "King" so they named their new baby son, Kingsford. He was raised in Cherokee, Oklahoma and Lamar, Colorado.
King was an amazing athlete and despite his size, he insisted on playing college football and was an avid marathon runner.
King was an amazing vocalist, and according to his obituary, "At the age of 5, he began his singing career for the Governor of Oklahoma." Throughout his life, he released several tapes and CDs of gospel, Christmas and country music. He was also "a member of the Senior Singers who sang for nursing homes and retirement" and traveled across the country with other musical groups. Some of his most inspiring recording included, "Will the Circle be Unbroken," "The Lighthouse," "The Devil is in the Phone Booth (dialing 911)," "Come On, Ring Those Bells," and my personal favorite, "I've got a feeling everything's gonna be alright."
Several times, King hosted a musicale gospel benefit at the Performing Arts Center at Kansas City Kansas Community College including amazing groups and performers that he had met throughout his long career including the late Bob Marriott, the one-man band and personal friend of King.
King worked at J.C. Penny's for a number of years at the former Indian Springs Shopping Center helping customers with personally fitted suits. One particular customer with physical differences said that King always treated him so respectfully when others would not.
King soon felt a calling to serve the Lord in a strong way and founded a intra-denominational church which consisted of people from many different religious backgrounds but all came together to worship the Lord and study the Bible. This became known as the Fellowship of Love Church. They began meeting in the George Meyn Center for several years until the church built up enough equity to purchase property and construct a little white church with a steeple at 8550 Parallel Parkway, KCK (purchased later by Grandview Christian Church).
Fellowship of Love Church was a church like no other with a pastor like no other. If one could dream of the perfect church with the perfect message, King David's church was that church. All were accepted and all were loved. King David was a pastor who took all things regarding his calling very seriously. He cared for his parishioners - sometimes to the point of his own health.
Even as athletic as he was, King always had health issues. His eyes were very tender and he had cornea transplants in both. He had to wear a pacemaker, and he was diagnosed with leukemia and battled that for years.
However, his spirit was strong, his energy seemed infallible, and his love for the gospel was unwavering. Nevertheless, King David had to eventually retire from the church due to his health and other issues in his personal life. He and his wife eventually moved from Basehor, Kan. to Smithville, Mo.
According to the obituary, "Funeral Services will be 1:00 PM Thursday, December 12, at the Porter Funeral Home, 8535 Monrovia, Lenexa, KS. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven. Friends may call 4:30-6:30 PM Wednesday at the Porter Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to the Leukemia Society, Donor Services, P.O. Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202."
Kingsford David once preached on the "ultimate healing" in a sermon when I desperately needed to hear it regarding the loss of my Dad. King was a man, in himself, that lived a full life and grasped all the good there was to have despite his many difficulties. Now, he has gone to his well deserved "ultimate healing."
God bless you, Kingsford David, you will be long remembered.
"His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." Matthew 25:21
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