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Faith fuels 107-year-old traveling evangelist
A few days before his 107th birthday, Otis Clark went to the salon for a manicure.
But Clark, a traveling evangelist, maintains more than just shiny fingernails. At the root of his longevity is clean living supplemented by a daily dose of Vitamin Church.
Each day, he walks without a cane and savors long soaks in the bathtub. Each day, he rests well and eats in moderation, avoiding sugar while sometimes indulging in a T-bone steak. According to his family, Clark takes no medications and has all his teeth except one, which he claimed was accidentally pulled by a dentist.
At 107, he still prays on his knees and reads the Bible every day, often for several hours.
“It makes your health better,” he said.
Clark’s ministries involve a lot of traveling. Last year’s journeys included New York, Florida and Canada. He took his first mission trip to Africa at age 103, and a second trip at age 104.
“It keeps you busy,” he said. “You don’t lose too much time when you’re working for God.”
Clark was born Feb. 13, 1903, in pre-statehood Oklahoma. A pivotal moment in his life was a conversion to Christianity at age 25 — while jailed in Los Angeles for selling bootleg whiskey during the Prohibition era. He had left Oklahoma after enduring the 1921 race riot in Tulsa, considered the worst race riot in U.S. history. The riot resulted in nearly $21 million worth of damage in today’s money. An estimated death toll ranges from 39 to 3,000 depending on whose report you read.
While in Los Angeles, Clark was heavily involved in the Azusa Street Mission and the first Pentecostal church in America. He was later given power of attorney to the Azusa mission. He also worked for movie stars Clark Gable, Joan Crawford and Charlie Chaplin. Clark and his wife once lived in Joan Crawford’s home; he was the butler and she was the cook.
Along with daughter Dr. Gwyneth Williams and granddaughter Star Williams, Clark came to the Federal Way area from Oklahoma almost two years ago in order to spread the gospel. It was a calling the family answered together. They lead the Life Enrichment Evangelistic Epicenter service each Sunday at the Federal Way Community Center.
“He goes with the flow of things,” Williams said of her father’s stress-free living that revolves around their ministry. “We both have the same calling.”
• To learn more about Otis Clark, visit www.lifeenrichmentinc.com.
• Clark will be featured in the March 8 issue of Time magazine.
• Life Enrichment Evangelistic Epicenter service begins at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Federal Way Community Center, 876 S. 333rd St. A birthday celebration for Bishop Clark will be held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28.