Denzil Sinsel served 51 years as an evangelist of the Church of Christ, with well over 40 years as minister of the Philippi Church of Christ, located at 367 South Main Street, Philippi, West Virginia. He was born at Philippi, the son of Monzel Marcellus and Verda Blair (Ketchum) Sinsel. Denzil graduated in 1942 from Philippi High School; he was president of his class. He served with the 284th Anti-Aircraft Battalion during World War II.
On August 31, 1947, he married the former Nola Novada Daugherty, the daughter of Virgil and Cora Blanche (Ervin) Daugherty, at Oakland, Maryland. Novada, as she was normally called at home, was born on August 15, 1931, at Union Community, Barbour County, near Philippi, West Virginia. She passed away at the Broaddus Hospital in Philippi on November 17, 2001, just a few days short of seven months after her husband Denzil passed away. They were married 53 years and had four children: Anita Carlette, who married Grant Norman of Morgantown; Berna Dean, who married David Stanley of Moatsville; Gloria Jean, who married Mark Hill of Belington; and Douglas Edward Sinsel and wife Donna of Belington.
Denzil had 8 brothers, Ivan, Boyd, Brady, Gerald, Thomas, James, Junior and Adrian Sinsel. Adrian, a member of Union Church of Christ, says: "Denzil was a very faithful worker for the Lord."
Denver Cooper, the director of the West Virginia School of Preaching and former preacher at Philippi Church of Christ years ago, lived in the same home that Denzil occupied years later, and where the present preacher now resides.
Denzil began preaching at the Union Church of Christ near Philippi in the late 1940's until about 1961 when he became the first full-time preacher at the Whitehall Church of Christ in West Virginia. Mike Phillips, the preacher at Belington Church of Christ, said Denzil was mostly responsible for his becoming a preacher, as Amos Orison was responsible for the author of this story becoming a preacher. Mike said, "He was my apostle Paul," in referring to Denzil. Denzil left Whitehall in about 1965 when he moved to become Philippi's preacher for about 46 years until his death in Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.
Denzil worked together, while preaching at Philippi, with R. D. Ice of the Union/Independence Church of Christ. R. D. says that Denzil had a great passion for singing. He would attend every song-service within driving distance. He could sight read new songs. He spent much time each day practicing, and his delight was those songs in four-parts, which are very difficult to sing. His brother Brady was a very powerful bass singer. Denzil had a collection of songbooks, some of which R. D. gave him. He also wrote some new songs. R. D. says, "When I think of Denzil, I think of the song, 'When All of God's Singer's Get Home.'"
In his last days Denzil taught Sunday school only, and he attended until February 2001 when his daughter Berna Dean took him to the hospital. Berna Dean said, "Anytime anybody in Barbour County, that was a member of the church died, he would get his singing group together and sing at the funeral." He sang at other congregations over 1,000 times and was known all around for his beautiful singing voice.
Denzil Sinsel could speak French, Spanish, and Italian. He also studied Greek. He was a very generous, caring, and loving father, friend, and Christian who helped and taught many from the gospel. He worked at the Working Man's Store in Clarksburg, where he was a receiving and sales clerk. He was also an employee of the Big and Tall Man's Store in Clarksburg. He was owner of Quality Signs in Philippi. He did his work in the church basement. Painting signs became very profitable for him. Some of his signs can be seen in the Barbour County-Philippi area. The signs he painted are there as you enter and leave the county, in downtown Philippi, the Blue/Gray Park, the Adaland Mansion, and other places around the county. His daughter Berna Dean says she took pictures of many of the signs her well-liked dad painted.
Mike Phillips, evangelist of the Belington Church Of Christ, and evangelist Kenny Dadisman officiated at Denzil's funeral, on April 23, 2001. He was buried at Pitman Cemetery near Philippi and the Union Community, where the Barbour Post No. 44 American Legion presented the American Flag to the family.
As I walk through the town of Philippi evangelizing with its people, many say that they knew and loved the former preacher at the Philippi Church of Christ, Denzil Carl Sinsel, and that he was a very good preacher. This was enough to encourage me to write about this beloved servant of the Lord. He fought the good fight and finished the course. All are still very welcome to attend the Philippi Church of Christ where Bible Study begins at 10:00 A.M. on Sunday Morning and Worship at 10:45 A. M., and Sunday & Wednesday Evening Services begin at 7 P.M.
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