John Karl Davis
December 17, 1952 – October 13, 2020
On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, Reverend John Karl Davis, devoted husband, loving father, doting grandfather and tireless bondservant of Jesus Christ, entered the arms of his loving savior at the age of 67. A longtime resident of Fort Worth, Texas, USA, John Karl was known around the globe for his boisterous laugh, fiery preaching and keen insight that God used to impact countless souls over nearly fifty years of ministry.
Karl was born in 1952 in McAlester, Oklahoma and adopted by Dr. John and Wanda Davis of Pond Creek. He later moved to Henryetta, Oklahoma, where he won the All-American Soap Box Derby and then competed in the national championships at age 11. He also lived in Hennessey and Moore, Oklahoma at various points throughout his childhood. On August 27, 1972, Karl married Sandra Boyett, the daughter of Montie Joe and Gracie Boyett of Borger, Texas. He graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University, and like his father, pitched for his college baseball team. John Karl later attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and was a minister of the gospel of Christ from 1971 until his passing.
John Karl was known as a passionate man, with a fierce love for his family and for telling people about the love of Jesus Christ. He surrendered to the call to ministry at the age of 16 at Falls Creek Baptist Encampment, and served God from that point onward. Karl pastored various churches in Texas and Oklahoma before beginning full time evangelism in 1982. As a traveling evangelist, Karl spoke in churches across the United States and beyond, leading thousands into personal relationships with Christ. Throughout his life, he had a special burden for missions. He trained pastors and preached in the Philippines and Russia, and led multiple revivals at the Instituto de Lengua Español in San José, Costa Rica, where missionaries around the globe train to learn the Spanish language.
In 1998, Karl and Sandra began mission work in Uganda, where he preached in many villages. He taught at the Global Theological Seminary and the Uganda Baptist Seminary in Jinja, and partnered with IMB missionaries George and Geraldine Smith to do prison ministry, church planting and discipleship all across Uganda. The mission organization he founded, John Karl Davis Evangelism, still continues to support a variety of mission efforts in Uganda, with a focus on supporting the training of Ugandan nationals who then go on and train others.
A conversation with John Karl never failed to include jokes, prayer, and some cold hard truth. He had a well-known fondness for fishing, and spent many summers with his family, Joe and Gracie Boyett, and his nephew Joshua Boyett fishing off the coast of Corpus Christi, Texas. Karl was an excellent cook as well, and was famous for surprising guests with ostrich-meat chili. He was also an accomplished woodworker, and according to his grandchildren, he was capable of fixing just about anything. Of course, one of his favorite ways to spend free time was rooting for the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Rangers, though he was always quick to point out that in the long run, the games didn’t really matter much.
No words better sum up the impact that John Karl had than the words of a dear friend from Uganda: “John Karl and Sandra modelled for us that serving God is the main focus of humanity. They have sacrificed their all for the work that God assigned them, especially here in Uganda. John has left a mark in Africa whereby he will always be remembered by us and the subsequent generations. When we look at his life we see the words, ‘I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.’ (2 Timothy 4:7)”
John Karl is survived by his wife (Sandra), son (Kyle), and daughter-in-law (Wendy). He has three grandchildren (Finley, Rowynn and Emerson), as well as a brother (Greg) and sister (Connie). He was predeceased by his father (John) and mother (Wanda). He has many nieces and nephews, as well as innumerable extended family and friends.
The memorial service for John Karl Davis will be held on November 7th, 10:00 a.m. CST, at North Park Baptist Church, 7025 MidCities Blvd., North Richland Hills TX 76182. A streaming link to the service will be available for those unable to attend in person. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that people would consider a donation to John Karl Davis Evangelism to continue the Lord’s work in Uganda or to make a donation to their local church’s missions program.
A Celebration of Life
10:00 am - 11:00 am
North Park Baptist Church
John Karl Davis
October 20, 2020
My favorite memory of Karl is sitting in my kitchen eating chicken fried steak at midnight after a revival service and listening to stories of what God was doing through his ministry around the world. He was always focused on preaching and teaching. I thank God for the opportunty to know J Karl Davis.
October 19, 2020
John Karl Davis (JKD), It has been 34 years since I first met John Karl. A mutual friend and pastor asked me to pick him up at the airport and bring him to the church in Shafter, CA.
Little did I know that my life truly would never be the same. His disarming smile seemed to make me think he know more than he was letting on. That was certainly an understatement.
God gave Karl a gift, one that proved to minister and change the life's of people as they heard God speak through him! He had a way to communicate his love for the Father and his love for those who he spoke to. Knowing that he loved you, gave him the liberty to speak whatever God told him to. Whether hard to listen to or uplifting to the heavens, he spoke the truth in love. He came to preach a revival in the church I pastored. We tried to have him back every year. His preaching was fresh and powerful and would bring change to those who were listening.
Through the first few years he spent a week in revival with our church, in the evenings, and the rest of the time working with and mentoring me. Until 3am his mentoring took me to spiritual conviction and heavenly glory, sometimes in just one night. If Karl had not mentored, taught and invested in me, I would not have stayed in ministry for very long.
Through the years we became as close as brothers, it was often my privilege to open a door, get his chair, hand him tools, when I visited him it was a privilege to help in his shop.
The Evangelist became a Mentor who became a Friend and remained Family, his teaching, preaching, encouragement, conviction, will influence many generations. Thank You Lord for a Friend & Brother like Karl.
October 19, 2020
To know him was to love him. We were immediate friends from the moment we met 40 years ago. John Karl was larger than life, and every moment spent with him was worth writing down! More memories than I can count. We ministered side by side many times. He loved souls and the Word of God as much as anyone I’ve ever known, and was a powerful preacher. I can’t even imagine the size of the crowns he will cast at the feet of Jesus. Save me a place beside you at the table!
Evangelist Paul Vick
October 19, 2020
John Karl will always hold a special place in my heart. He was a friend who would not hold back loving people well by speaking into their lives and thankful he loved me enough to do that. Always enjoyed being around him and Sandra and hearing their life stories about Jesus and where He had led them and all He has done in their lives. Loved hearing him preach because the Spirit would always move and people would be saved because John Karl never quenched the Spirit but allowed Him to move and move freely. Loved this friend and brother in Christ and thankful the Lord put him in my life. Until we meet again brother.
Steve and Pat Searcy
October 19, 2020
John Carl was so inspiring when he would come to speak at Grace Church in Borger. What a blessed man.. He will be missed.. Prayers for family
October 19, 2020
John Karl Davis, wonderful mentor and friend!
I first saw John Karl at a church we used to attend. He was motoring on in his wheel chair and it looked like he had a purpose. Well I had no idea who this man was at the time or his single-minded passion for teaching about Jesus. I was destined for an awakening!
I started attending a discipleship class for the second time thru on Wednesday evenings and John Karl was in attendance. Well, the teacher of the class started reading thru the material and then I met the man John Karl! He amazed me with his depth of knowledge, understanding, and explanations. John Karl substituted class that night. You meet John Karl once and you never forget him!
The following Sunday I went to the discipleship teacher and asked to see if he could ask John Karl to do a one on one discipleship with me. It took me asking three more times before I had my response of yes. I am not sure if the teacher didn’t ask previously, or if John Karl was seeing if I was serious!
The rest is history, he and Sandra spent over 2 years of almost weekly discipleship meetings with Julie and I and our two children. We would be scheduled for an hour and would almost always go two hours or more. Once John Karl is teaching you just cannot get enough!
The knowledge, counseling, and friendship was unexpected, but what a wonderful gift from God!
There are very few people you run across in your life that are impactful. I have lost the most impactful person in my life, and my friend. I will cherish the memories and live the teachings.
The thing I will remember and miss the most is his wonderful, beautiful smile! I didn’t get to see it often because we met him later in life where he was in a lot of pain. His smile is my most precious memory!
My family and I will be there always for Sandra and your family John Karl.
I love you Brother, Friend, and Mentor! and I miss you dearly.
Scott, Julie, Sarayna, and London Peterson
October 14, 2020
I am a long-time friend of Karl. Grew up not very far from where his family lived. We played basketball in his driveway and played catch for him once at Falls Creek. He was a wonderful friend and Godly man. Very saddened to hear of his passing but knew he had health issues. Glad he is in Heaven now and his pain is relieved. God’s strength for all of his family during this time.