JULY 1, 2010

Phyllis and Pastor David King

“It’s the ability to love other people,” an interview with Pastor David King

By Alannah Allbrett

   Pastor David King, of Riverside Assembly of God, has been in the ministry since 1978. He was once asked to speak to a youth group while in training in Texas at an Air Force base. “I was able to get up and speak clearly, and knew I had found what I was good at. More importantly,” he said, “I felt God’s pleasure; the easiest thing I do is public speaking.”

   David met his wife-to-be, Phyllis, in a Sunday School class. He was a senior in high school at the time. They graduated together, and both attended Northwest College in Kirkland, WA where he studied theology. He attended for a year and then went back and completed his degree in 1985, studying Bible Literature with a double minor in Greek and Theology. But he didn’t always know a relationship with God.

   As a middle child from a large family, David felt he was sort of invisible. He said he had severe emotional problems and felt very isolated as a child. At the age of 15 he was brought into the faith by a youth pastor who was the first person who showed an interest in him. “We had a series of meetings together.”

   “I was rebellious and wanted to be taken as a false prophet – as an anti-Christ and taken seriously, but he did not reject me,” said David.  “He didn’t give up on me. I was glad that he was there, and he included me in a summer camp at Prayer Mountain in San Diego, CA. I had gotten to a critical point emotionally; I just got tired of crises. At camp, I climbed up to a cross, located on the hill, and said, ‘If you can do any better God, please do.’ A couple of months later, he got water baptized in church.”

   Tribune: “What does faith mean to you?”

   King: “Faith means putting your trust in something. In my case, it means trusting in Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross. I have come to know what faith is. That kind of faith is the spoke and axel. It dictates what I do as a father, a husband, and a worker.”

   Tribune: “Do you know you are in God’s will and that He guides you?

   King: “Most of the time. I do what is right, and I trust that God will let me know if I am wrong. I don’t believe in an autistic God. Occasionally, I feel he has spoken to me. But most of the time, I trust in Him to just guide me by an understanding of what I ought and ought not to do.”

   Tribune: “What is an example of a manifestation of faith?”

   King: “It’s the ability to love other people. In our church about half the people have come to church for long periods of time [in their lives]. The other half is people relatively unchurched. They are genuinely embraced by our congregation. God loved the world so much that he gave his only son, and we’re here to spread that good news to those who are looking for and needing peace, joy, love, and faith.”

   Tribune: “How does your church serve the “unchurched?”

   King: “One way is we go to the State Hospital North and bring people to church when they have someone who wants to come. We are one of the first [listed] in the phone book, so we get called first when people are looking for help. We are not very rich, but it’s one of the ministries we get to do.”

   If you have a teenage ministry – there is more noise and clutter, but that’s a good kind of problem. If you have little children, they are wigglier and noisier, but that’s a good kind of problem too. 

   Our people have the ability to show their love to other people and not turn them away. For instance, we have an ashtray on the front porch. We don’t want you to smoke (because it’s bad for you), but you are accepted. All of us have things in life that we can improve. We are not your average kind of church. People don’t feel judged here. We have a hard time getting the service started each week because everybody loves to gab.”

   During the week, Pastor King works at the prison. He is the coordinator for inmates who want to get their G.E.D.’s. He works with LCSC, identifying student needs, testing, getting them started in classes, and arranging their G.E.D. tests. He considers this work part of his ministerial calling as well. “Its one of the spokes that comes out from the axel of my faith. I want to treat them as Jesus would have me [treat them]. I don’t consider that as a separate part of my life.”

   Tribune: “What are some of your ministerial goals?”

   King: “We are trying to figure out how to have an outreach to the convalescent center near the high school and the County Jail.”

   In their services at Riverside Assembly of God, they try to have the children in the congregation take an active part in the service whenever possible. One of their sons, Jordan, from Lewiston, comes up every other weekend to participate in the service.

   Asked if their church sang the old hymns or new praise and worship songs, David said they do a mixture for everybody. It’s usually one old hymn, with two or three choruses from the 70’s and 80’s, and one or two new songs.

   His wife, Phyllis, besides running a daycare, answers the phone and handles office duties for the church from their home. She also leads the song service. David considers her a strong part of their ministerial team effort and said, “She is the number one Counselor for the Pastor.”

   The Kings came to Orofino December 31, 1998 from Brewster, WA. They have been married for 34 years and have four grown children – Charity (24), Tricia (22), Jordan (20), and Daniel (19). Jordan is the son that "commutes" to church.