I first met Dorrance and Evelyn while I pastored Muse Memorial PHC in Oklahoma City. I was eager to meet him since I already knew two of his children, Darryl and Daniel. They both had befriended Beverly and me when we arrived from the East to pastor in OKC. They were supremely friendly and helpful. When I met Dorrance I immediately recognized the family trait. Dorrance Manning was a titan of the faith. He knew God's Word and He knew the God of the Word. Easy going, affable and a genuine interest in others were a hallmark of his life. He had a heart for people that mirrored that of His Master.
Although several years our senior, Dorrance joined several pastors of the Heartland Conference on Mondays for a weekly basketball game in the Muse Gym. He was a great shooter and he'd nail a three pointer effortlessly if you didn't closely guard him! Darryl Manning, Daniel Manning, Steve Perdue, Richard Goad, Buddy Williams, Terry Trammel, Ronald Brown and others were regulars in that sporting effort. I think even Dandy Dwight Burchett joined us on occasion as I recall.
Great times. And through it all, Dorrance would remind us of the goodness of God and His provisions for our lives.
Dorrance was one of the most well-mannered men I've known. To men and women alike he was always the perfect gentleman. He exuded the Spirit of His Lord.
In conference matters he was faithful to support the endeavors of the Kingdom. How he loved his Linn Avenue congregation! At his invitation, Beverly and I were privileged to minister there. He made you feel very special and affirmed you in your calling.
I've not seen Dorrance now in some time but the picture posted in Hugh's News captures his beautiful smile. He, like the late Will Rogers, "never met a man he didn't like." Because of that, Bro. Manning influenced many to surrender their heart to Jesus and make Him their Lord. His impact on the IPHC was significant! Although he may not have been as well known in the East, he was a spiritual giant among his peers in the West. We are blessed for having had Dorrance Manning pass our way. We will see you in heaven my Friend!!