Daryl Hall graduated From Harriman High School in Tennessee in 1985. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in criminology From East Tennessee State University, followed by entering New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Daryl will be completing his master’s degree in theology this year.
Sharing that he comes from a family of five children, Daryl adds that he had “two amazing parents.” He even compares his childhood to John Boy’s, stating, “My upbringing was as close as it gets to the Waltons.” He goes on to say that, regardless of financial struggles, his parents instilled love, a strong work ethic, a sense of duty to family and country, and a deep love for God.
Although Daryl answered God’s call to serve Him at the age of 15, he did not expect to become a vocational minister; rather, he had ambitions to become a U.S Naval officer. However, at the age of 17, he had a minor issue with his lungs, and, although the problem cleared up within two weeks, he says he was not allowed to enter any service of the military, “And I tried every branch.”
With no initial backup plan, while in college, Daryl was encouraged by his pastor to work with kids. This led him to become committed to foreign missionary ministry; thus, he began to pursue this as a career. Along the way, however, he grew to believe, “…our most urgent mission field is our next generation.”
Therefore, Daryl has spent most of the last 25 years as a Baptist minister, “usually in a combined roll as a student/family ministry pastor/missions pastor.” And, alongside his ministry, Daryl owns a Christian film company called MissionWorx Films. His company has produced three feature-length Christian films and one sports documentary. At this time, the company is in pre-production for a film called “The Journey to Nairobi” that they hope to film in Freer and Devine. The purpose of this film is to shine a light on the importance of mentoring.
Mentoring is a key aspect to Daryl’s ministry. As such, he has organized two mentoring networks, one in Tampa, Florida, and another in New Orleans, Louisiana. He says that he has volunteered as a mentor wherever he has lived, mostly focusing on kids in the juvenile justice system. Again assuming a role with teens, a few years ago he served as a counselor in social work with the state of Tennessee.
Daryl’s ministry is multi-faceted. It includes refugee work. He served on The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, Brick by Brick Ministries International (in which he also served on the board), and Samaritan’s Purse. It also includes chaplain ministry. He humbly says, “I have had the honor to serve as Chaplain for several police departments and fire departments.” Additionally, Daryl has served on several ministerial boards including The Roane State Community College Foundation in Harriman, Tennessee, Jesus Centered Ministries in Knoxville, Brick by Brick Ministries in Tampa, and The Aletheia Fellowship of the Arts in Knoxville.
Another aspect of Daryl’s ministry includes his mission work. He feels blessed to have been able to serve in such exotic places around the world as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Morocco, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Canada, and most states in the United States. He unabashedly admits that the Philippines, Kenya, and Ecuador are at the top of his list of favorite places.
Anecdotally, Daryl shares that, in 1989, during the time when he was still considering becoming a Baptist missionary, he served as a student summer missionary in Manila, Philippines. There were 49 students from all over the United States serving with the group, and part of Daryl’s role was to visit with the other students to check on their progress. To do so, he had the opportunity to travel the length of the Philippines and “to meet so many people and build relationships that have lasted even until today.”
Also during this time, Daryl was allowed to attend the 1989 Lausanne II International Congress on World Evangelism, an event that was “spearheaded by Billy Graham.” Daryl found this to be “an extraordinary event” that included attendees from over 30 countries. This international experience resulted in his meeting wonderful Filipino people who became friends, building a network of ministry friends, meeting and learning from Christian leaders from all over the world, and becoming a participant and co-founder in a missions network that has touched thousands of lives for Christ. Daryl reflects, “God lit a fire in my life, propelling me to pursue a life of evangelism and mission service.” And, he adds, “No other experience has had the spiritual impact on me as this event. It has helped to define and enrich my ministry as well as my personal walk with the Lord.”
Continuing to serve in his calling to work with young people, Daryl has spent the last five years in social work in San Antonio, counseling teens in the juvenile justice system. In this capacity, he often works with gang-related teens, immigrants, and refugees. Volunteering with the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department, Daryl also serves as a mentor and occasionally a mentor trainer.
A few years ago, Daryl lost someone special in his life and thus became content to remain single. However, “Then, I met Laura, and I was content no longer. My marriage to her is the most fulfilling and joyful aspect of my life.” Daryl and Laura married on October 10th, 2016, in Castroville, Texas.
Marriage to Laura is the reason Daryl moved to Texas. However, that move meant that he would be starting all over again in every aspect of his life — ministry, filmmaking, even social work. What is more, despite all of his years of experience, because they were not experiences in Texas, he was not well received. “However,” Daryl admits, “With Laura pushing me, I have been slowly building a life again — and even better — in ministry and in film.” And, he adds, “Together, Laura and I are starting to build up MissionWorx Films with the intent on making films that win others to Christ and speak to specific issues in our culture.” While rebuilding his life here in Texas has been tough, as Daryl professes, he adds that being married to a “tough Texas lady” has helped. And, he is humbled that God has blessed them through their community of friends.
Meanwhile, Daryl accepted the position on February 3, 2019, as pastor of First Baptist Church, Freer, Texas. That is his primary focus today. Yet, although they continue to live in LaCoste, the Halls feel that their primary community is their church family at First Baptist Church Devine. Their ministers — Dr. David Cook, Pastor Mike Barrera, David Hightower, and Johnny Davis — and their teachers — Phil and Linda McAnelly — as well as mutual friends in their Sunday school class and Laura’s friends in choir have contributed to God’s blessings in their lives. Daryl adds, “Our hope is to continue to be connected to those we have come to love in Devine and to maintain a presence with our film company in the community.”