Family and friends of Rev. Don Ikerd
The night was cold. Rain pelted the windshield, and in the few minutes before we arrived at our Prescott, Az. destination, snow flurries blew across the glass. Many people had preceded us, so that at the entrance to the mortuary we must wait in line to sign the guest book.
On Monday morning around 10:00, Jerry and I had gone from Lake Havasu and traveled the couple hundred miles to the Phoenix home of our friends, Gary and Elaine Hogan. We visited awhile, had lunch at the nearby Elephant Bar and rather soon it was time for the 100 miles trip to Prescott, where we would gather to view the body of Rev. Donald Ikerd, who a few days before had gone home to meet his Lord.
The Wakelin Mortuary appeared to be a converted colonial style home, complete with working fireplaces and wood-burning stoves. Stacks of firewood lay about, and near the center of the first room was a table laid with cookies, pitchers of ice water, and flagons of hot cider. The facility was packed with friends, colleagues and relatives of Rev. Ikerd, and the atmosphere, though woven through with sadness at the death of such a man, was one of love and supreme honor.
Judge for yourself. On a stormy night in January, into the mountains of Prescott had come scores of people–from every corner of Arizona, from many states, from other countries, and from the headquarters of the United Pentecostal Church–came those who respected and loved this great man. That gathering on Monday evening was the most beautiful of its type I have ever attended…
but I felt cheated…
Why? Because I hardly knew Rev. Ikerd, and that night, and the next day at his funeral in Phoenix, the accolades spoken, the tributes paid, the stories told, the letters read, the descriptions noted, the wisdom lauded…all those, unmistakably told of a most magnificent man of God. I felt cheated as I heard anecdotes from the pulpit and listened to private conversations of those who knew him well, and because of the silent messages transmitted by impressive men who flew thousands of miles–not to speak–merely to stand in honor of their fallen friend. His history conveyed impeccable character, highest integrity and sheer grit.
Sharon Ikerd and ministerial family from Africa
For 28 years, Rev. Donald Ikerd and his wife, Sharon, were missionaries to the continent of Africa, serving in the countries of Kenya, Zambia and South Africa. A tall elegant man with a clipped British accent strode to the pulpit. President of the United Pentecostal Church of South Africa, he told of the incredible atmosphere of animosity into which Rev. Ikerd entered that field. Great turmoil and prejudice existed between the negroes, the blacks, the Indians and the Europeans of South Africa who, both in and out of “the church,” struggled for position and power. Rev. Ikerd with a pervading aura of peace, in a meek and humble way, brought these factions together, and although there still remain struggles, the “work” in South Africa was tremendously strengthened and elevated by Rev. Ikerd.
In his waning years, after he must leave Africa because of declining health, he moved to Prescott and there built a church. At the time of his death, he served as presbyter for section 4 of the Arizona district.
…he is gone. Rev. Donald Ikerd has been gathered home.