TOP PHOTO: As of this week, Bethel Baptist Church Pastor Dr. Clarence Duncan has been a full-time minister for 57 years.

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Most Campbell Countians have either heard or seen Dr. Clarence Duncan on WLAF or in person at Bethel Baptist Church these past four decades. This week marks Duncan’s 57th year as a full-time pastor.

He quit the coal business and gave in to the Lord’s strong urging to enter the ministry. “It was a Sunday night at Pruden, Speed Powers was the preacher, when I surrendered to preach at that little church.  It was on the right as you head to Fonde,” Duncan said. The next morning, Duncan headed to Williamsburg and bought air time on WEZJ, and that was his first step in his ministry. On March 16, 1967, he devoted his full-time to his ministry.

Duncan’s ministry travels started on that little radio station and then to churches in Laurel County, Kentucky, a short stint in the mid-1960s at Bethel Baptist Church at Jacksboro, Roane County and finally at Bethel for a second time in 1984.  In between, were stops at the Kingston Children’s Center, the Dalton, Georgia, Rescue Ministry and Rock of Ages Prison Ministry in Georgia.

Clarence and Jane Duncan are closing in on 75-years of marriage.

When asked what has carried him all these years, Duncan quickly responded, “Oh, the love of the Lord and my precious wife.  She’s the best.”  The couple married as teenagers and raised seven children.  The pair met in church and was married in that church, Pleasant View Baptist Church on Black Oak Ridge in Anderson County, in 1952.

The 90 1/2 year old Duncan, who was born at Clinchmore, was called to Bethel Baptist Church a second time; 1984.  He told the church. “I’m selling my home in Dalton, Georgia, to make my home here, and I’ll be here until one of us dies.”

Later this year, Duncan will call it a career in the pulpit at Bethel, after 40-straight years. However, his radio ministry will continue on WLAF.

Congratulations, Dr. Duncan on your 57th year of full-time teaching, preaching and leading people to the Lord. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/14/2024-6AM)