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Rev. Robert Darnell Sanders, Sr.

May 31, 1940 - January 19, 2020

U.S. Veteran

Burial Date: January 29, 2020

Funeral Home Comeaux Community Funeral Chapel

Interment Houston National Cemetery

Church St. Paul AME Church

Tuesday (01/28): Visitation – 10AM; Celebration of Life Service – 12PM noon; St. Paul AME Church

Wednesday (01/29): Burial – 10:45AM; Houston National VA Cemetery


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The Abbreviated Life Story of Rev. Robert Darnell Sanders, Sr.

Rev. Robert Darnell Sanders, Sr. was the youngest of six children born to James “Jim” and Margaret Bunton Sanders in Powhattan, Alabama.

He attended public Schools of Powhattan, Alabama. After graduation from high school because of his love of music he pursued degrees in music and voice. He attended Daniel Payne College in Cleveland, Ohio, receiving a B. A. in Music Education, and, Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina receiving a B.Ed. in Music.

During the Vietnam War era he proudly served his country by volunteering for the United States Air Force while others were being drafted for military service. After being honorably discharged he returned to college attending Huston-Tillotson University, Austin, Texas where he received his B.A. in Vocal Education.

He enjoyed competition and excelled in basketball and football while in high school, college and during his time in the Air Force. Rev. Sanders passed his love of competitive sports to his students as the basketball coach while teaching school at Price Elementary and Fehl-Price Elementary Schools.

He also loved to fish and shoot pool in his spare time.

He was a compassionate and lovable person who became a father figure to his sister’s children when their father passed.

He was born and raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Church faith and accepted his call into the ministry. He was ordained by Bishop Mayo as an Itinerant Elder circa 1977. He pastored at St. James A. M. E. Church, Lockhart, Texas, Boyd Chapel A. M. E. Church, San Antonio, Texas, St. Annie A. M. E, Church, Austin, Texas, Anderson Chapel A. M. E. Church, Wichita Falls, Texas, St. Paul A. M. E, Church, Beaumont, Texas, and St. James A. M. E. Church, Dickinson, Texas. Upon retirement, his family out of love requested that he assist in keeping their home church of 148 years alive, Greater Oak Grove A. M. E, in Egypt Community, Centerville, Texas, which he continued to do until his death. He never lost his love for the A. M. E. Church. He continued to help support St. Paul A. M. E. and Israel Chapel A. M. E. Church in their Music Ministries.

He was married while in the military and to this union two sons were born, Robert Darnell, II and Michael Ray.

He later met and married Jo Sanders and they became a well-blended family. He leaves to mourn his passing and cherish his memory to his wife, Jo Sanders of Beaumont, Texas; son, Robert Darnell Sanders, II of Cleveland, Ohio; daughters, Melita Selvette, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Ericka Jones of Beaumont, Texas, nine grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and a double blessing of twins due soon; special niece, Gwendolyn Britten-Fox of Indianapolis, Indiana; reared like a son, Gerald Heard of Indianapolis, Indiana; Rev. Dr. Tonya Spellmon, goddaughter of San Antonio, Texas; a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James Jim” and Margaret Sanders; son, Michael Ray Sanders, and all his siblings.

If anybody should ask about my life’s story, tell them “I lived well. I have fought a good fight. I ‘ve kept the faith and I finished my course. Now I enter into eternal peace.

Rev. Robert Darnell Sanders, Sr. passed away on Sunday, January 19, 2020 at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont.

On Tuesday, January 28, 2020 there will be a visitation at 10 a.m. until the celebration of life service at 12 noon at St. Paul AME Church located at 3320 Waverly St. in Beaumont. His funeral services will include military honors.

On Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 10:45 a.m. Rev. Sanders will be laid to rest at 10:45 a.m. at the Houston National VA Cemetery in Houston, Texas.

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