Rick Stanley, who died Jan. 7 at Aiken Regional Medical Centers, was a stepbrother to the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, Elvis Presley.
He also was the associate pastor and minister of music at Eureka First Baptist Church.
Stanley, 65, had served in those positions for five years.
“He was an extremely generous man, and he was an extremely kind man,” said John Arthur, who is Eureka First Baptist’s pastor. “He loved people, and he loved our ministry here at Eureka. He was my best friend, and we were together seven days a week. We talked about the Lord and invited people to worship here at Eureka. We were a great team.”
Arthur also noted that Eureka First Baptist was the church where Stanley first gave his testimony in 1978. Stanley preached his last sermon there Dec. 30, 2018.
“He is someone who cannot be replaced,” said Arthur, who described Stanley’s death as “really sad and shocking.”
Before settling down at Eureka First Baptist, Stanley spent a lot of time on the road as an evangelist.
He attended Criswell College in Dallas, Texas, before earning an associate of divinity degree in 1986 at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
During an interview with the Aiken Standard in 2015, Stanley talked about Elvis, who died in 1977.
Stanley’s mother, Dee Stanley, married Vernon Presley, who was Elvis’ father, in 1960.
That union provided Rick Stanley the opportunity to live in Graceland, Elvis’ mansion. He also was able to spend time with the famous singer and get to know him on a personal level even though Elvis was much older.
“Elvis was very complex; he was a different sort of cat,” Stanley said. “He had the ability to turn it on in a concert, but then he would come off the stage and act like a little kid. He would be insecure and wonder if the show went OK. Actually, he was a very shy person.”
In addition, Stanley remembered Elvis as being very religious.
“He had a great love of the Lord,” Stanley said. “His aunt was a preacher, and he paid for her church. He gave cars to strangers, and he visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the holidays. He was the one constant person who would always ask me, ‘Rick, are you staying close to the Lord?’”
Stanley is survived by his two daughters, Brittany Stanley and Bethany Stanley, and his two brothers, David Stanley and Billy Stanley.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Eureka First Baptist. There will be special music, and the public is invited to attend.
Eureka First Baptist is at 186 Johnston Highway near Trenton.