Jackson Michael Doggette Sr. was born on December 11, 1930, in Chase City, Virginia. The second child born to Herbert Richard Doggette, Sr. (deceased) and Sally Blanche Robertson Doggette (deceased), he was brother to Al Lee (deceased), Edward (deceased), Herbert, Jr., and Gereal.
Jack’s family moved to the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York. Jack told many stories of his and his brothers’ many escapades growing up in Bed-Sty. As a teen, he won a bet that he could not pass the entrance examination to the prestigious Brooklyn Technical High School. Determined and resolute, he passed the test and chose to concentrate on the first course of study listed, Architecture.
After graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1948, Jack worked as a bicycle messenger riding through the streets of Brooklyn. He intended to live in Brooklyn forever. However, the Lord had different plans for him. His home church, Bethel SDA, took up a collection and sent him to Oakwood College to study pastoral ministry.
While at Oakwood College, Jack was smitten with the lovely Edythe Marie Young, an elementary education student from Los Angeles, California. Two weeks after Edythe’s graduation, the couple married and began their ministerial life together. Nine months later, Linda was born. Four more children were born to their union: Jackson, Jr., James, Joy, and Sylvia. Jack and Edythe were married for nearly sixty-one years at the time of Edythe’s death on April 26, 2015.
Jack’s hobbies included golf and eating sweets, which he called “health food.” During one of his early morning golf rounds, he achieved a Hole in One. He was also very proud to have played in a foursome with Elgin Baylor, Bill Russell, and Maury Wills.
For 56 years, he served the Seventh-day Adventist Church pastoring a total of 21 churches, including 13 districts in four conferences. His first ministerial assignment was pastoring a district that spanned 400 miles with three churches in the Southwest Region Conference (1954-1957). He also pastored in the Southern California Conference (1958-1965 and1970-1985), the South Central Conference (1965- 1970 and post-retirement), and the Southeastern Conference (1985-1998) where he served as president from 1988 to 1994.
In 1965, he accepted a call to pastor the Memphis, Eads, and Clarksdale, district. The Memphis congregation was worshipping at a church building onMississippi Boulevard that housed a small two-room church school. Seeing the need for expansion, he led the congregation to purchase a larger property on Alcy Boulevard for the church and school. The Lord blessed the church and school to grow. During the time the congregation was at Alcy Boulevard, the civil rights movement was in full swing. The 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike was impacting the whole city, and Elder Doggette was fully engaged. During the volatile marches, he could be seen in the crowd with his camera around his neck as he helped injured protestors to the South Central Conference Community Service van for medical treatment. On April 4, 1968, while he was at a joint Seventh-day Adventist pastors’ meeting between the South Central Conference and the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference it was announced that Dr. King had been shot. Shockingly, the pastors from the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference celebrated the news, but Elder Doggette had an overwhelming sense of sadness as he navigated his way back home to avoid the riots and the National Guard.
Little did the pastors of the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference know Elder Doggette had persuaded the Black Panthers not to burn down their school in retaliation for the murder of Dr. King and their racially insensitive practices. Elder Doggette had influence with the Black Panthers (and the Invaders) because he worked with them to support their nutrition and clothing drives to make life better for the Black citizens of Memphis.
Elder Doggette’s example had a profound impact on his children and particularly his two sons, both Seventh-day Adventist pastors. They carry on the tradition of being committed to social justice initiatives in line with Christ’s method of winning people for God’s kingdom. Christ mingled with people as One who desired their good, showed sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then, He bade them “Follow Me” (GW363).
In 1969, Elder Doggette and Dr. Calvin B. Rock conducted an evangelistic tent meeting that led to 200 baptisms and the need for the congregation to move to a larger facility. That year, the Longview Heights property was purchased, and the church and school continued to grow.
In 1985, Elder Doggette accepted a call to the Bethany Seventh-day Adventist Church in Miami, Florida. Three years later, he was elected President of the Southeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and served until 1994. After his time as President, he pastored in the central Florida area until his retirement in September 1998.
In retirement, he continued to work and went back to Memphis to pastor the Word of Life SDA Church for nearly 11 years. After a brief hiatus, he served one final time as the interim pastor of the New Covenant SDA Church in Memphis. In full retirement, Edythe and Jack settled in Memphis to be in close proximity to their progeny. After the death of his dear wife in 2015, he made his final move to Orlando, Florida. After a prolonged illness, Elder Doggette took his final rest on April 17, 2023, in Apopka, Florida. A wise, kind, humble man of integrity, he was a shepherd, spiritual father, and mentor.
Elder Doggette leaves to anticipate his resurrection two siblings: Herbert Doggette, Jr. (Betty), Gereal McCray (Bill); his 5 children - Linda Doggette Anderson, Jackson Doggette, Jr. (Celia), James Doggette (Erin), Joy Doggette Peifer, Sylvia Darville (Gregory); eighteen grandchildren - Joseph Anderson II (Shoshannah), Jason Anderson, Lorian Anderson, David Richardson (Nayshi), Jacquelyn Doggette, Jackson Doggette III, Shawn Doggette, James Doggette Jr. (Demia), Austin Doggette (Aisha), Milton Doggette (Erica), Tatyana Davis, Masika-Joy Peifer, Michaela Foster (Daniel), Gregory Darville II, Nia Darville Stokes-Hicks (Armondi), Giana Darville, Laila Darville, Ethan Darville; twelve greatgrandchildren - Joseph Anderson III, Brendon Anderson, Jason Anderson II, Roman Anderson, Vivian Richardson, Charles Richardson, Noa Doggette, James Doggette III, Legend Doggette, Callee Doggette, Morgan Doggette, Wesley Doggette; extended family - Barbara Bryant (Leon), Lindsey Bryant, Leon Bryant, Jr., Leon Bryant III; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, parishioners, colleagues, and friends who expect that at Christ’s return, Jackson Michael Doggette, Sr. will hear the words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant…enter now into the joy of thy Lord.” Matthew 25:21