Donald Earl Bookard, Sr., of North Augusta, SC, entered into rest on June 2, 2018 at his residence after an extended illness.
His funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at Old Storm Branch Baptist Church. Interment will follow at Aiken Memorial Gardens.
Reverend or Elder Bookard, as he is lovingly known, was born January 31, 1957 in Orangeburg, SC to James Earl and Janie Mae Bookard, both deceased. He attended Bowman High School where he was active as a football player, bus driver and marching band participant.
As a young man, Reverend Bookard loved the Lord and served tirelessly at his church. He was a youth leader, local and district choir director, Sunday School teacher and musician. He played bass guitar and oh, did he play that bass! Sometimes, hopping with a leg kicked in the air as he was moved by the Spirit. He was ordained as a minister in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) at Bowman Temple, Bowman, SC, on February 12, 1984 under the leadership of Elder Jacob C. Dantzler. He assisted there on the ministerial staff until he was appointed as Senior Pastor of St. Phillips COGIC in Govan, SC. Reverend Bookard served at St. Phillip for several years and then as Associate Pastor at Bowman Temple COGIC where he served under the leadership of Pastor Dr. Alonzo Johnson. On July 30, 2000, Reverend Bookard was ordained in Gospel Ministry by First Providence Baptist Church, North Augusta, SC, always in service and love for others. He was appointed as Senior Pastor of Welcome Travelers Missionary Baptist Church, Aiken, SC, in January 2008 where he served for 7 years.
Reverend Bookard had an infectious, joyous spirit and genuine love for people, but especially for the youth. As a young minister, he hosted a popular radio segment for local station WPJK (Where We Proclaim Jesus King) he titled the Days of Thy Youth program. His program, catered to young people, encouraged and promoted an early relationship with Christ with relevant subject matter and the introduction of non-traditional Christian music. Once a conservative station, WPJK gained a generous young adult fan base because of the Days of Thy Youth program. More recently, he continued his passion to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ as host of The Inspirational Gospel Drive on WAAW Shout 94.7 FM.
Reverend Bookard obtained a Business Management degree from Southern Wesleyan University. He was employed with Dupont (later known as Savannah River Site) for over 30 years and then retired.
Reverend Bookard leaves a loving legacy and to cherish his memory, a dedicated wife, Elizabeth Harley-Bookard; two sons, Michael Williams of Savannah, GA and Donald Earl Bookard, Jr. of the home; four daughters, DeAndrea Bookard of Orlando, FL, Yakisha Bookard of Summerville, SC, Sadequa (Patrick) Burkett of Orange Park, FL, and Bethany Bookard of the home; a brother, Peter (Tanecia) Bookard, Sr. of Richmond, VA, three sisters, Diane Pearl Bookard (twin), Jennifer Smith, and Daisy Bookard Lee all of Richmond, VA; 11 grandchildren; 6 great grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Anita Oneal (Timothy) and Josette Robinson (Cedric) all of Columbia, SC; one brother-in-law, Carnell Harley of Le Bronx, NY; nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Sister, Doris Elaine Jones, and sister-in-law, Joyce Harley, is predeceased.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Rowland-Ford Funeral Home.
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.