A Legacy of Mission Eric and Linda King have blessed and been blessed by church, missions and friends
Eric (70) and Linda (Baker 69) King are well known around the world as accomplished lawyers and for their support of Predisan Health Ministries in Honduras. Together, the couple has served nine years as president of the board of directors.
However, not everyone is aware they met studying English at OC.
Eric’s story starts a little earlier when a student from then-David Lipscomb College knocked on his door during a mission trip to London.
After studying the Bible and soon becoming a Christian, Eric wanted to come to America and study at a Christian college.
Thanks in large part to the work of former president James O. Baird, Eric came to OC in 1965.
“I’m grateful he took a risk on an unknown Englishman,” Eric said.
Eric and Linda both studied under Bailey McBride (54), and they consider him and his late wife, Joyce, to be the strongest OC influences in their lives.
“Bailey opened new worlds to both of us,” Linda said. “We learned so much about the quality of research and the close, careful reading of a text. He was a mentor in several respects. Joyce watched our children when we were in law school, and we traveled with them occasionally. Bailey was just so full of energy and ideas.”
The Kings also mentioned the positive influences of Lynn McMillon (63) and James Cail (58). Cail once asked Eric to get a haircut, but Eric said he didn’t have a car or money.
“James just told me he would pay for it and he would drive me,” Eric said. “Of course, I remember that he was a very good teacher, too.”
Just a few years after graduating from OC, Eric and Linda enrolled in law school.
They also joined others from OC to found Dayspring church of Christ; they continue to help lead it today.
“Our decision to start Dayspring grew out of a group Bible study,” Linda said. “For 36 years, we’ve never had a paid staff. We are all volunteers, which demands, encourages and requires a huge amount of participation and personal growth.”
Eric added the congregation has a unique emphasis on Sundays.
“We decided early on that communion would be the focus of our service and worship,” he said. “We have a table at the center of the room with chairs in a circle, and everyone comes to the table together.”
Just 11 years after helping start Dayspring, the Kings took a group from the church to the jungle in Honduras. Predisan-cofounder Doris Clark invited them to help support the nonprofit ministry’s projects near Catacamas.
“We took a group of teens and a few adults, and we worked in very primitive conditions,” Linda said. “Yet the people there were content, happy and positive. We came back with gratitude, and we were really transformed. We now take a group there every other summer.”
The Kings and the groups they take help build houses and latrines, teach classes, work in orphanages, minister to the suffering, conduct puppet shows for children, and assist with medical care.
Predisan has grown considerably since its founding, and its health centers now serve a population of 150,000 people in Honduras.
Just a few years ago, Clark praised the Kings’ contributions when they retired as board members.
“Linda and Eric never do anything half-way or half-heartedly,” she said. “They are always gracious, hospitable and thoughtful encouragers who give their best and bring out the best in others.”
Similar to their relationship with Clark, the Kings have a number of lifelong friends, especially those from Oklahoma Christianw.
“At OC, we met friends who became incredible, special friends we treasure to this day,” Eric said. “As a famous Harry Chapin song says, ‘Old friends mean so much more to me because they know where you have been.’ That’s how I feel about my friends from OC.”
“I can’t imagine life without them. It’s a little foretaste of heaven,” she said. “I wish that for every OC student.”
View more stories from the Spring 2018 issue of Vision magazine.