OBITUARY: James Darrin Church


James “Darrin” Church, 47, passed away on August 13, 2022, at his residence in Santa Fe, Tennessee following a 3 ½ year battle with cancer.

Born on May 21, 1975, Darrin was the son of the late Frank Church and Gail Church of Columbia.

Darrin first met his wife, Gayla by chance at the age of 15. As fate would have it, their paths crossed again 1 ½ years later when he attended Santa Fe High School. They later married in the spring of 1995.

Darrin was proudly employed at F.S. Sperry Company since the early age of 17. Through his years of service, he served as a laborer, brick apprentice, bricklayer, superintendent, and branch manager. He was passionate about his job and loved his trade. Furthermore, he cared deeply for his work family. Many of his employees, coworkers, customers, and vendors became some of his dearest and closest friends.

Darrin was extremely talented in design and construction of all aspects. He spent hours breathing life into the complex needs brought forth not only by his customers but by his wife and 3 daughters as well ranging from what should have been simple school projects to a complete house renovation without ever complaining. No matter what was asked of him, he always excelled and always went above any expectation.

Darrin is often described as talented, dedicated, hard-working, passionate, caring, loving, sincere, and generous. He will always be remembered for his love of Ford Mustangs, DC and Marvel comics, Hulk Hogan, and Superman but most of all for the love he had for his family.

Darrin is survived by his wife, Gayla Church, daughters, Shelby Paige Church, Sidney Brooke Church, and Sophie Grace Church all of Santa Fe, mother, Gail Church of Columbia, brother, Kevin Church of Fayetteville, mother-in-law, Sharon Potts of Santa Fe, brother-in-law, Chris and Angela Potts of Burns, niece, Madison Potts, and nephews, Michael Potts and Matthew Potts of Burns, as well as several special aunts, uncles, and cousins.

In addition to his father, Darrin was preceded in death by his infant brother, Samuel Church, grandparents, Sam and Cleo Church and Macon and Martha Moore, and father-in-law, Roger Potts.

Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home with Reverend Jacob Haywood officiating. Burial will follow in Potts Cemetery. The family will visit with friends Monday from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Pallbearers are Desmond Miner, Chris Sharp, Chris Potts, Brian Sharp, Jeremy Haywood, and Chris Holland. Honorary pallbearers include Kenny and Teresea Moore, Jerry Vaughn, Donnie Goodwin, Bill Derryberry, and the employees of F.S. Sperry Company.

The family would like to express their sincerest gratitude to Caris of Columbia for their excellent care and unwavering support during their time of need.

Condolences may be extended online at


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