The Rev. H. David Parker, who spent 20 years in the nation’s military before becoming pastor of Emanuel Baptist Church in Elmont for 45 years, died Saturday of a heart attack at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. He was 93.Parker, who was drafted into the Army in 1942, was the nation’s youngest regimental sergeant-major when, in 1943, he attained that rank at age 21, his family said.
After serving in England, France, the Philippines and Okinawa, Japan, he returned to the states, serving at Fort Benning, Georgia, until he was honorably discharged in October 1948.
That December, he enlisted in the Air Force, where he would serve in the United States and overseas until retiring in October 1962.
He was the recipient of more than a dozen military awards, including the Commendation Medal for meritorious service. He was assigned to Mitchel Air Force Base in Hempstead in 1952 and married Willie Mae Bates of Hempstead in 1953. They had six children. She died in June 1987.
In those last military years, while stationed at Mitchel Field, Parker joined the Antioch Baptist Church in Hempstead and there became the Eastern Baptist Association of New York’s first ordained assistant pastor, said Antioch’s current pastor, Bishop Phillip Elliott.
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