Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

John King, 104, Leader of Baptist Congregation

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

John King, 104, Leader of Baptist Congregation

Article excerpt

John F. King was more than a pillar of Hackensack's Mount Olive Baptist Church. He was the foundation.

Over 78 years, the World War II veteran served the congregation in myriad ways, including trustee, finance secretary and usher. When the Rev. Gregory J. Jackson assumed the pulpit in 1984, Mr. King was the volunteer office manager, bookkeeper and all-around "human computer."

"He was one of the first people I met when I arrived," said Jackson, the senior pastor. "Back then, this was a fairly new building, and you could hardly breathe here without checking with John King. It was like holy ground to him."

Mr. King, Mount Olive's senior congregant, died last Wednesday. He would have celebrated his 105th birthday on Jan. 15, 2017, which made him exactly 17 years older than the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Until the very end of his life, Mr. King, who stopped driving recently, attended the 7:30 a.m. Sunday service and Hour of Power service at noon on Wednesdays. He sat in the same spot -- at the far left in the last pew.

Fiercely independent, he refused to park in the space for drivers with handicaps and refused to use the church elevator. …

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