Darius Nelson, the late pastor of music and arts at Saint Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, will be honored with several homegoing services before his funeral on October 14.
Darius Lamar Nelson died on October 6, 2023, at 52. His cause of death remains unknown.
Memorial services for the leader begin on Friday, October 13, and run through Saturday. All services will be held at his home church.
Beginning on Friday afternoon, Nelson’s body will lie in honor. Then, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.’s Omega chapter will hold its own service. Afterward, a memorial musical service will held for the late pastor. And he will again lie in honor on October 14, then finally have his funeral afterward.
“Funeral services [have been] entrusted to Premier Funeral Home,” Saint Mark Baptist Church stated on its Facebook page. “The family requests all floral arrangements given in Pastor Nelson’s honor be white.”
Although Nelson’s cause of death is unknown, his passing appears sudden. Saint Mark Baptist Church’s senior pastor, Phillip L. Pointer Sr., mentioned during his announcement of Nelson’s death that “while we do not understand, we still trust God.”
Nelson was born on August 12, 1971, in Little Rock. He was a beloved member of the Saint Mark community and was known for his passion for music and his dedication to his ministry. He also worked for the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
Nelson “discovered his love for music and singing at a local church, and he carried that love with him into adulthood,” according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The paper also reported that Nelson led the Saint Mark Baptist Church choir to many honors, “including singing Christmas carols at the White House….and being one of the choirs chosen to sing ‘Let It Go’ from ‘Frozen’ during a sing-a-long on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ in 2014.”
Just two years ago, Nelson opened for Le’Andria Johnson at the Music Moves Sunday Service in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Nelson is survived by his wife, Dr. Michelle Riddick-Nelson, their two children, and his granddaughter and mother, Willie Jean Nelson.
Pastor Pointer announced his music minister’s death on October 6, stating via the church’s Facebook page:
“It is with overwhelming sadness that I share that our Pastor of Worship and Arts, Darius Nelson, has passed. Darius was loved by so many, including the Saint Mark family, the Saint Mark Sanctuary Choir, the Saint Mark Praise Team, as well as the broader Little Rock, Central Arkansas and national gospel music community. He was an anointed and gifted leader who showed his love and dedication for lifting God’s name in worship.
“Darius was steadfast, dependable, and created an unmatched sound during his leadership tenure. We continue to seek God’s peace during this extremely difficult time. And while we do not understand, we still trust God.
“To Michelle, Daria, Devhan, Dawness and Emersyn, the entire Saint Mark community wraps its arms around you and holds you in our prayers.”
Saint Mark Baptist Church is located at 5722 W. 12th Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72204. Services will also be livestreamed on the church’s YouTube channel.