Dr. Arthur Derral Rockett
Published 12:01 am Tuesday, March 28, 2023
After 96 years here, Dr. Arthur Derral Rockett went to be with Jesus on March 22, 2023, at 3:20 a.m.
Arthur was born in Union Parish in the Camp Creek community of Spearsville, La., to Carlus and Lois Turnage Rockett on March 16, 1927. He was known as “Cotton” to all his family and friends because of his white/blond hair. Growing up with childhood friends and cousins named “Dank,” Puddin,” “Pecker” and “Guts” perhaps explains why he was always a “big tease!” “Cotton” played basketball in school on a dirt court and spoke fondly of his growing up years.
After graduating high school at age 16, he enrolled in LA Tech to study pre-veterinary medicine. He studied there for a short time before the draft for World War II convinced him to join the Navy. The war ended shortly after he finished medic training in San Diego, so he was assigned to work from a ship docked at the port of New Orleans. He served there 16 months.
Arthur received Jesus as his Lord and Savior at a revival at age 13. While in the Navy, he struggled with what he wanted to do in life and felt God calling him into the ministry. He surrendered to the gospel ministry at a revival. When he told his dad that he was going into the ministry, his dad said he better get to preaching and assigned him to preach that next Wednesday night for prayer meeting. The sermon was 7 minutes and included two prayers!
After his Navy discharge, he enrolled at LA College to pursue a bachelor of divinity degree. He also began preaching at two churches in North Louisiana. He met Tela Davis while attending LA College, and they married after he completed his studies there.
He then enrolled at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary to study New Testament while continuing to pastor in North LA. Later he became pastor of Mesa Baptist Church in Tylertown, Miss. Arthur completed his ThD in New Testament studies in 1955 and became pastor of First Baptist Church Hodge, La. Later he pastored FBC Jennings, and then in 1964, became the Director of Missions for Southwest LA for Louisiana Baptists. He traveled 5 parishes, serving churches and ministering to pastors and congregations. After 26 years, he retired but continued to serve as interim pastor in many churches in the area. At 88, he finally gave up his long-time interim pastorate at Texas Ave. Baptist Church. He and his wife were longtime members at Trinity Baptist in Lake Charles, and after retirement, they became members of FBC DeRidder.
Arthur truly loved his church, family and friends! He also enjoyed hunting, vegetable gardening, watching sports and the family chili sauce that he and Tela made for over 65 years from fresh homegrown tomatoes.
Arthur was predeceased by his parents, Carlus and Lois Rockett; his wife of 68 years, Tela Davis Rockett; his newborn/firstborn son, Michael Eugene; his youngest son, Bryan Edward; his brother, Grady; and his sisters, Nita Hollis, and Yvonne Barron.
Left to cherish his legacy are his daughter, Sharon Graham (Bob); son, David Rockett (Linda); and six grandchildren, Thomas (Ashley) Rockett, Laura Rockett, Laura Graham, Collin Rockett (Sonia), Rebecca Graham, and Abigail Rockett. He also had three great-grandchildren, Evelyn, Ben, Kimber and one arriving in June. He also was blessed with a host of nieces and nephews.
Arthur left a legacy of strong faith. He always hoped that all his family and friends would follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior and come to the realization that Jesus would provide the best life possible.
Service will be held at FBC DeRidder on Friday, March 31, at 10:30 a.m. Visitation will be at First Baptist Church from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, and 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 31. Burial will be at the Jimmy Davis Tabernacle cemetery near Jonesboro, La., March 31, at 4 p.m. Services are entrusted to the care of Labby Memorial Funeral Home in DeRidder.
Memorial gifts may be given in his honor to Dry Creek Baptist Encampment, FBC DeRidder and FBC Longville, La., building fund.
Words of comfort may be expressed to the Rockett Family at www.labbymemorial.com.