Cover photo for Dr. David Everette McKenzie's Obituary
1943 Dr. David 2024

Dr. David Everette McKenzie

July 11, 1943 — April 2, 2024


Rev. Dr. David Everette McKenzie, 80, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and loved ones on Tuesday morning. 


David was born on July 11, 1943, in Alexandria, Louisiana, to Wallace Chessley McKenzie, Sr. and Ethel Teddlie McKenzie. David was raised in Pineville, Louisiana alongside his older brother Wallace and sisters Grace and Lillian. After graduating from Pineville High School, where he was a multi-sport athlete in football, basketball, and track, he attended Louisiana College. At 18, David dedicated his life to the Christian ministry, and he spent his 20th birthday in Indonesia as a Baptist student summer missionary. He met Janet Butler at the Louisiana College library in 1963 and the two later married in Natchitoches, Louisiana on August 7th, 1965. 


David’s academic pursuits took them across the country from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where they welcomed son, Sean in 1968. He resumed his graduate study at Louisiana State University, where he was awarded an MA in Philosophy in 1970, and continued at the University of Texas in Austin, where he received his PhD in Philosophy in 1977. He also pastored Calvary Baptist, a small church in Austin, and somehow managed a Burger Chef while completing his PhD. 


Now Rev. Dr. McKenzie, David took a position as Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, in 1978. In March of 1980, he accepted a pastorship at Rehoboth Baptist Church in nearby Cave Spring just a week after he and Janet welcomed their daughter, Andrea. These would be the two positions that defined David’s careers as pastor and professor. When David retired from Berry in 2014, he gave his final lecture to an auditorium packed with current and former students. His final service at Rehoboth was widely attended and full of shared memories of the church that always felt like “coming home.”


In his leisure time, David loved to play tennis. Mild-mannered in life, he was hyper-competitive on the court. He and colleague Tom Carver kept a running tally of their matches over decades. Although neither truly achieved a noticeable edge over the other, both proclaimed victory with every small winning streak. 


David pastored a number of small-town churches, where he expressed his faith through ideas and well-crafted sermons from the pulpit and with his actions out in the community. He cared deeply for his congregations, was a frequent visitor in hospitals, and officiated weddings and funerals alike. Despite a claim that he did not like music, he particularly loved singing southern gospel with Alton and Virginia Shaw at Rehoboth.


He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings and is survived by his wife of 58 years, Janet; son Dr. Sean McKenzie and daughter-in-law Trish; daughter Dr. Andi McKenzie; granddaughter Molly Berendsen (Sam), and Zack, Luke, and Walt McKenzie; along with many other family members and friends. Flowers may be sent to Thomas Funeral Home or please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation The family would like to express gratitude to Homespun Hospice and Morning Pointe for their staff's dedicated care. 

The family will receive friends on Saturday, April 6, 2024, from 12 PM until 2 PM at Rehoboth Baptist Church.

Funeral Services will be conducted on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 2 PM at Rehoboth Baptist Church (6 Rehoboth Road SW, Cave Spring, GA 30124) with Reverend Ed Archer officiating. Burial will follow in Fain Cemetery at 5pm.

You may leave the family online condolences at


Thomas Funeral Home has proudly been entrusted with the care of Rev. Dr. David Everette McKenzie.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. David Everette McKenzie, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 1576

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree