Dardanelle Townsley, 86, of Benton, passed away Sept. 13. He was a BMA minister for over 60 years and was a member of Oak Park Baptist Church in Little Rock.
He was saved July 16, 1949, and began teaching Sunday School when he was 14. Before he surrendered to the ministry, he helped Woodrow Wilson start a mission in Walnut Ridge that resulted in Fellowship Baptist Church, which Bro. Townsley later pastored.
After surrendering to the ministry on July 24, 1962, he was ordained by Bold Springs Baptist Church in Cave City in October 1962. He then went on to pastor five churches — Lone Oak, Ravenden; Philadelphia, Dowdy; Oak Grove, Jonesboro; Fellowship, Walnut Ridge; and Hillcrest, Cave City before accepting the pastorate at Faith Baptist Church, Mena in 1979, where he served for 33 years before retiring in 2012, after 50 years of ministry.
He attended Central Baptist College and served as a missionary for the North Arkansas Association and Mt. Calvary Association. He held several associational positions, including several years as clerk/treasurer for the Harmony Association.
In a Personality Profile that ran in the Baptist Trumpet, Bro. Townsley shared, “I am thankful to have a place in the Lord’s service.” He also said he would like his epitaph to read: “He touched the lives of many.”
Survivors include: his wife of 67 years, Audrey Wanema Roach Townsley; a daughter, Melody Townsley Terry; three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at Fairview Cemetery in Cave City on Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. with Dr. Gary O’Neal officiating.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Faith Baptist Church (2407 Sutherland Ave, Mena, Ark. 71953), Oak Park Baptist Church (8200 Flintridge Rd., Little Rock, Ark. 72210) or the Baptist Trumpet (P.O. Box 192208, Little Rock, Ark. 72219-2208).