Rick Stanley, a Southern Baptist evangelist who traveled to over 4,000 churches and was a step-brother to famed rock ’n’ roll singer Elvis Presley, died on Jan. 5 at age 65.
John Arthur, pastor of First Baptist Church in Eureka, South Carolina, where Stanley was serving as associate pastor and minister of music, said Stanley died due to liver and kidney failure.
Arthur had taken him to the hospital on Jan. 2 when Stanley fell ill. Stanley’s two daughters were there at his bedside, according to the Baptist Press.
“I knew Rick Stanley to be a most dedicated and devout Christian,” said Arthur, as reported by BP. “He loved people. He loved the Lord. And he loved the church.”
A traveling evangelist, Stanley spent decades on the road, having preached at approximately 4,000 churches and revival events in both America and Europe.
As a child, Stanley, along with his two brothers, became a part of the Presley family when his mother, Dee, married Elvis’ father, Vernon.
“I met Elvis, and the first thing he said was, ‘I’ve always wanted little brothers and now I have three,’” recalled Stanley in a 2016 interview with The Times and Democrat.
“Elvis was a lot of fun. He loved to play football and was kind of like just a big kid.”
“When I met him, he had stopped doing concerts and was making movies. He started touring again in 1969, and that’s when I was 16 years old and started traveling with him doing security and serving as his personal aide.”
Stanley had a born-again religious experience in October 1977, about two months after his famous step-brother died of a drug overdose.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski