The Gathering of Rev. Donald Ikerd

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

President UPCI South 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.
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20 thoughts on “The Gathering of Rev. Donald Ikerd

  1. Cassandra van Tonder

    Dear Shirley. Trust that you are well. Please can you send me Sis Ikerd’s e mail address. The one that I was given does not seem to be correct. Spoke to her not so long ago but forgot to ask her what her actual e mail address. Would really appreciate it if you could help me out. God Bless Cassandra

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  2. Charlotte

    Shirley, thank you for making a comment on my request. Sister Ikerd was one of few friends I had while in Prescott, Ariz. I used to drive her around selling peanut brittle. I am not a member of the Pentecostal Church of God—but attended the Church of God in Prescott (I think that was the name.) The Ikerd family visited my girls and me after we had returned to California (my husband had passed away by then.)
    I haven’t seen them since– the 1970’s.
    If you get another opportunity to give her my e-mail I’d surely appre
    ciate it. Was hoping to hear from Keith–but he probably has no clue as to who I am.
    God’s best–Charlotte

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  3. Charlotte, good to hear from you again.

    However, I have to let you know, I am not related to the Ikerds at all–just a ministry friend. And actually, to my regret, I did not know Brother Ikerd long at all.

    Sister Ikerd seems to be doing well. I saw her at another funeral recently.

    God bless you.

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  4. Charlotte

    Just me again, I still have not heard from Sister Ikerd. Keith , My daughter, husband, and I lived in Prescott June-Dec. of 70. You may have been about 10??? Kelly was about 5 or 6 years old?? . Do you remember a cardboard fireplace? We also left our Christmas tree when we left. Your mom was so special to me and I’d love to hear from her. I’m sorry not to have had another opportunity to speak to your father again. Thank you, Charlotte Rivera—now Aguilar.
    My mail: charlottemvta@hotmail.com

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  5. Keith Ikerd

    Sis. Buxton,
    Our family is honored in viewing the pictures and reading the wonderful comments regarding my father. Thank you for this tribute, may God bless you!

    My mother will be here in Alaska with us in a few weeks. She is doing very well, and staying busy visiting her family in the states.

    Again thank you for the wonderful tribute to Dad.

    Keith Ikerd

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  6. Cassandra van Tonder

    Dear Shirley

    Well here is an update on how things are going in Africa.

    We are having an Easter Conference this weekend and looking forward to seeing everyone, especially Bro & Sis Flowers, Bro Karl and Mary Smith and many more (not sure if you know any of them). They are originally from the States and are missionaries in Africa at the moment.

    We seem to be going into an early winter. We really haven’t had a card one for years. We have been having rainy and cold weather for the past couple of weeks now.

    I was reading through all the tributes again on Bro Ikerd and can’t thank you enough for your tribute that you have put together.

    I had a word with Sis Ikerd not so long ago and she gave me the news that she will be coming to Africa and can’t wait to see her.

    Well all the best and will give you an update soon on how the conference went and further news on Africa.

    God bless
    Cassandra

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  7. Charlotte

    PLEASE–let Sister Sharon Ikerd know that I have been searching for her for years. PLEASE!!!!!!

    Charlotte Rivera-Aguilar

    Hello, Charlotte. I have Sister Ikerd’s address and will let her know of your interest in her. I’ll give her your email address.

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  8. Cassandra van Tonder

    Thank you for the lovely tribute to Rev Ikerd. It was a real honour to know Rev Ikerd and had the privilege of spending a lot of time with them while growing up in Africa. We are going to miss him terribly here in Africa and can’t wait to see him one day again.

    Hello, Cassandra. Welcome to my blog. How privileged you were to work with this great man. I understand how much you will miss him. God bless you.

    I hope you will honor us by coming by from time to time and telling what is going on with you in Africa.

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  9. The song comes to mind…”Thank You for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed. Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am so glad you gave.” I know that in heaven there will be multitudes that will be saying this to Elder Ikerd. Because he and Sis. Ikerd gave so unselfishly, many will be saved.
    This is a beautiful tribute to a great soldier of the cross.
    Blessings!

    How thankful are those who knew this precious man of God.

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  10. I never met the Elder, but your tribute is great. This man of God went home to be with the Lord, and get his eternal reward. “We shall wear a crown”.

    Yes, we’ll wear a crown, but I suspect the item itself will mean little to us…if it even is a crown as we know it…and it probably won’t be, since we can’t possibly understand about heaven now. Of one certainty we can speak: at the feet of Jesus, we will bow, and before Him our “crowns” we will cast.

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  11. What a great tribute. I have heard of Bro. Ikerd most of my life and their ministry in Africa. What a true hero.

    Debbie, I believe hero is a fitting word for this outstanding man of God.

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  12. Jim Poitras

    Thank you for your wonderful tribute to Brother Ikerd.

    The Poitrases,
    Missionaries to Ghana, West Africa

    God bless you, Brother and Sister Poitras. Thank you for being here.

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  13. Esther

    Sis. Buxton, I have a question for you. When we die are we transported (spirit of couse) directly to glory or do we sleep until the rapture? I have heard it both ways for years and wonder at your take on it. Thanks

    Esther, I’m certainly no expert on this subject, and have made no extensive study of the subject. But I have been taught, and I believe these scriptures bear out such teachings, that at death, the righteous are immediately in the presence of God, where they await the resurrection, judgment, final rewards and life in Heaven.

    “…to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” II Cor. 5:8

    “…having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” Philippians 1:23

    Jesus called this place Paradise.

    “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43

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  14. Michael

    Mom, your tribute to this honored man of God really puts a cap on our discussion on a child of God’s view on death as opposed to the world’s view.

    Mike, when you’re blessed to attend a funeral such as this one, it certainly solidifies that point. Later in the day, on my devotional blog, I will write more about the death of the righteous. For now, though, think on this scripture:

    “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”

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  15. We met the Ikerds a few years ago at a national home missions seminar. We didn’t get to know them real way, but we could sense their sweet spirits and burden for the work of the Lord. This was a nice tribute to Brother Ikerd.

    Carol, they truly are remarkable people.

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  16. Your tribute to Bro. Ikerd is most commendable. Your words give respect and honor to a great man of God.

    There can be no doubt–Donald Ikerd was a great man. How blessed I was to have a faint knowledge of him.

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  17. At times like these all I can do is recall the great words of the world’s first great missionary He fought a good fight, and has received his crown, now for the rest of us. Not to Bro Ikerd only but to all who look for His appearing. This is those of us who are still fighting the fight of faith, and looking for His soon coming.

    Mervi

    Indeed, while Brother Ikerd has laid down his weapons, having finished his fight, we must continue faithfully in our advancement for victory in our own lives and in the life of the church.

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  18. Shirley, what an tribute to this Saint of God! You have such a way with words, and a beautiful heart too.

    *hugs*

    Jayleigh, at the viewing and at the funeral, I was struck by the “beauty” of the death of a saint. There was deep sorrow, but a pervading sense of strength and of honor.

    Thank you for your sweet words.

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  19. Bro. Ikerd was a great man. As you know, Brian’s family was missionaries to Africa and were friends with the Ikerd family. Bro. Ikerd visited our church in California several times. When the world conference was in Jerusalem in 1980, we toured the famous landmarks with the Ikerd’s son. My favorite memory was on a boat in the Mediterranean. We laughed so much! Bro. Ikerd’s work in Africa will never be forgotten and he will be missed dearly.

    Jana, my first time to meet the Ikerds was as they visited our church on deputation. Then the year we have been here in Arizona, we came to know them a little better, but not intimately at all. His eyes were a clear blue and there was a hint of laughter there, along with the obvious great intelligence he possessed. She also is very precious, as you no doubt know.

    Their son, Keith, is pictured with his daughter in the first picture. He spoke during the service in a brave and excellent way…told the funniest stories I have ever heard…certainly at a funeral. It was beautiful.

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