King, Thomas F.


T. F. King was born in the Yorkshire city of Leeds, England on January 13, 1898 and died on October 11, 1990 in Fredonia, Kansas. He was the son of Thomas W. King and Annie Smith, the brother of six sisters, and the uncle of many nieces and nephews still residing in Eng-land. He was the father of Jean Vorhees, Fredonia, Kansas and the Rev. Jack King (Indiana Conference) presently serving in Seoul, Korea. Five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren survive Rev. King.
Fred, as he was commonly called, felt the call to preach and at age seventeen he was granted his local preacher’s license. When World War I began, he answered his call and served for three yeas in the British Army. After the war he returned to Cliff College, a preparatory college for ministerial students. He did additional work at Southern Methodist University and Perkins School of Theology after he came to America.
Before coming to America, in 1923 he served as an assistant pastor in a Methodist Church in Belfast, Ireland. He learned of appointments being available in the Louisiana Confer-ence, applied, and was appointed to the Jeanerette-Patterson Charge. A year later Berwick was added to his charge. It was in Berwick that he met the church organist, Henrietta Brown. They were married October 26, 1926. Other appointments he served were Lake Arthur, Sulphur, Bunkie, Ida, New Orleans and a second appointment in Berwick. He left the conference for a few years and served churches in Texas and Oklahoma. He and Henrietta returned to Berwick to retire and lived there until 1978, when they moved to Kansas to be near their daughter. Mrs. King still lives there.
In writing about his dad, his son Jack had these words to say, “In his own quiet way he was courageous. He left the land of his birth for a new and unknown land. Here in America, he took a stand on the question of wars of aggression and he was denied American citizenship for a time because of it. He left his denominational home for a few years to protest against trends he thought were wrong. His decisions were based on what he felt was right, not what was easy.”
He was never very well known away from his home, but he had friends and supporters wherever he pastored. Many have felt he was a great help to them. In his years of retirement, he had a good ministry of teaching Bible classes and preaching as a supply pastor.
When I saw him in August, he shared that he had had a good life. He was neither rich nor famous, but he had all he needed for fulfillment. He served God faithfully in the ways that he understood. He was true to his beliefs as he understood them. He never waivered from what he believed was the truth of the gospel.
As his pastor for five years, I can say a hearty “Amen” to all his son said and to any other good thing that may be added. Brother Fred was a gentle man in his demeanor and a gentleman in his application of life.
“Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1991, p. 241 By George H. Sherman, Jr.

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