Preacher smiles on his 108 years

At age 107, Bishop Otis Clark travels and preaches around the country and looks forward to celebrating his 108th birthday this winter.

“As long as I hold on to God, my health stays pretty good,” said Clark, of Federal Way.

Clark has taken on a busier schedule since The News Tribune told his story in March. For the past seven months, he’s been preaching and teaching at churches across the country with his goddaughter, the Rev. Gwyneth Williams, and her daughter, the Rev. Star Williams.

They turned over leadership of their Federal Way congregation, Life Enrichment Evangelistic Epicenter, where Clark preached every Sunday, to other pastors so they could teach on the road.

“We had so many people that were wanting to hear him,” Gwyneth Williams said. “He’s sort of in a new season.”

The Pentecostal preacher is the world’s oldest traveling evangelist, his friends and supporters say.

Gwyneth and Star Williams, and Clark live in Federal Way when home. They also teach classes in Federal Way for their Life Enrichment School of Missions and Theology.

Last week, they were in Atlanta, home of Morehouse College, which plans to honor Clark in late February. He’ll turn 108 on Feb. 13.

His passport says he was born in Oklahoma in 1903, four years before it became a state. Clark has survived segregation, the Tulsa race riot in 1921 and the Great Depression.

He said his health remains good. He takes no medications and walks on his own power.

He traveled to Jamaica in July to evangelize on a church mission trip.

“I saw a whole lot of new things that I haven’t seen before,” Clark said.

He’s been to Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Texas in the past seven months.

The next stop for him is speaking Jan. 9 at a church in Orlando, Fla.

Clark’s message remains the same. “I tell them to stay on God’s side and be winners,” he said. “You’re satisfied. You’re not afraid of nothing.”

Gwyneth Williams said people look to Clark as a mentor. “He goes in and really, really encourages the pastors and ministers,” she said.

Always the evangelist, Clark said he has one goal he still wants to see accomplished during his lifetime.

“I want all the folks to be saved and be on God’s side,” he said.