John D. was the fourth child of Leland C. and Callie Alabama “Bama” (Fuqua) Stokes. He lived most of his life in the same community where he and the Cedar Grove church were born during the same year, 1916. Stokes’ grandfather, Burrell Jackson Stokes, was a leader in establishing the congregation of which John D. would become a life member. His parents were active in the church and its ministry.
John D. became a member of the church at an early age and lived a life of dedicated service. At the age of 18, he became treasurer for the church and served in that role as long as he lived. In 1959 Stokes was ordained as an elder, a role he filled for more than 50 years. Upon his 80th birthday in 1996, Stokes was honored with a plaque from the congregation for his long years of service.
John D. was married to Mildred (Thomas) Stokes for almost 65 years. They were great partners in working for the church. Many preachers have visited and stayed in their home, which was known for their hospitality. Mildred Stokes passed away in 2002, and John D. lived alone until his death.
They were the parents of two daughters, Crystell (Jimmy) Prestwood, Andalusia, and Gail (Fred) Segrest, Huntsville, Ala. They also have four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great great grandchild.
Funeral services were conducted at the Cedar Grove church building on Thursday, May 12. Services were conducted by Fred Segrest, son-in-law, and Larry Turman, grandson-in-law. His body was interred beside his wife’s grave and family members in the church cemetery.
Submitted by Curtis Thomasson, nephew.
As a teenage girl, I prayed to marry a preacher. I knew no one who was desiring to be a preacher but each night I knelt by my bed and prayed, “Lord, if I am capable of being a preacher’s wife I would like to marry a preacher. If not, just let me marry a Christian.” God answered that prayer for me. Our local preacher, Jerry Humphries, preached in two gospel meetings that summer and invited a young man from Alabama Christian College (now Faulkner University) to preach in his absence. He brought his girlfriend with him so that took him out of the running. But when I learned they were coming back in a week or so, I asked if they didn’t have some fine young man they could bring down and let me meet. The girl thought for a minute, snapped her fingers and said, “Old Doug.” Old Doug and I have been married 53 years and have two children and two grandchildren. All our children are faithful members of the church. God is so good. I love Him so.