Dr. Tommy King
June 16, 1941 – Nov. 22, 2023
Doctor Raymond Thomas “Tommy” King, 82, of Columbia, died Nov. 22, 2023. He was born June 16, 1941, in Sumrall to Wiley and Addie Sumrall King and was a grandson of Daniel Sumrall who was the founder of the town of Sumrall.
In addition to a bachelor of arts degree from William Carey University, Dr. King holds four graduate degrees, including a doctorate from The University of Southern Mississippi. He has served the Southern Baptist denomination on the local, state, and national levels. He has pastored local churches, including 15 years as the pastor of Sandy Hook Baptist Church. He was a former member of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board and served eight years on the Southern Baptist Executive Committee. In February 2007, Dr. King became the ninth president of William Carey University and the first Carey graduate to be named president. He came to the position with over 30 years of experience in public education from elementary to university levels.
Dr. King has served in numerous state and national leadership positions and served on numerous state and national boards. He was named Columbia’s “Outstanding Citizen” and received a Lions International Foundation Melvin Jones Fellow for Outstanding Humanitarian Work. He was twice named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International and has received many other awards and honors for his leadership in civic affairs.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three sisters, Vada Chance, Mary Ferrell, and Jessie Pearl Mitchell; and two brothers, James King and Charles King.
Survivors are his wife of 59 years, Sandra Fay Simmons King; a son, Dave Burkes and his wife, Charlene; two grandsons, Chris Burkes and Andrew Burkes and his wife, Jocelyn; four great-grandchildren, Elijah Burkes, Peyton Burkes, Olivia Burkes, and Paisleigh Burkes.
Funeral services were Nov. 27, 2023, at First Baptist Church of Columbia, Dr. Daniel Caldwell, Dr. Ben Burnett, and Rev. Brett Frazier officiating, burial in the Bogue Chitto Baptist Church Cemetery, Mt Hermon..
Pallbearers were Chris Burkes, Andrew Burkes, Richard Hay, Lane Simmons, Lloyd Thompson, Brett Golson, and Grant Guthrie.
Honorary pallbearers were members of the Dr. Hugh Dickens Sunday School Class and the members of the Columbia Lions Club.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Tommy King Missionary Dependent Scholarship at William Carey University, Box 2, William Carey Parkway, Hattiesburg, MS 39401.
Colonial Funeral Home in Columbia was in charge of the arrangements.