Richard C. Preston, 1933-2014

The Rev. Richard Clark Preston, 80, of Hot Springs, passed away Friday, May 30, 2014. He was born Aug. 19, 1933, to Clark and Alice Luberta Preston.

He played an important role in the lives of many people during his 60 years of ministry. His unselfish love for all God’s children was a gift to all who knew him. He was more than just a United Methodist minister and educator; he was a motivator, a friend, a loving husband and devoted father who inspired the lives of many.

A retired United Methodist minister, he ministered faithfully to many throughout Arkansas and Kansas. He was an Arkansas pioneer and activist for human and social rights, but his greatest passion was the Lord.

During his early education he attended Preston Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Ark., and then proceeded to high school in Nashville, Ark. He went on to obtain a higher education at Philander Smith College, Little Rock; Henderson State University, Arkadelphia; and Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Ga.

His pastorates are as follows: the Lonoke Circuit; the Lockesburg Circuit; Mallaliaea Circuit and St. Mark UMC (Wichita, Kan.); and Haven UMC Hot Springs.

In 1985 he moved back home from Kansas to Arkansas and continued his ministry at Haven UMC. He retired from Haven in 1998, but not from serving the Master.

Survivors include his wife, Hazel Preston; his children, Belinda Preston Johnson; Ulysses Preston and his wife, Darcell; Felecia Preston Templeton and her husband, Stanley; and Antonio Preston and his wife, Tijuana; grandchildren, Emeral Templeton, Angelica Preston, Spencer (Sabrina) Templeton, Sage Johnson, Preston (Kari) Johnson, Quentin Preston, Raven Preston, and Sharra (Remnell) Litzsey; and great-grandchildren, Gabrielle Johnson and Gavin Litzsey.

A memorial service was held Monday, June 2, at Haven United Methodist Church, 107 Burroughs Street, Hot Springs.