A tough goodbye to beloved Evangelist and stepbrother of Elvis Presley

Sunday, January 20, 2019
News 12 at 6

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) – When you're a part of this family, even on the worst days, you'll still hear music from the king of Rock and Roll.

"I just can't believe at 29 I'm standing here and we would have to say goodbye to our father," Bethany Stanley said. "I just never would have thought. I thought he would marry us and that we would have children."

Bethany says she knew no better man than her father, Rick Stanley.

He was a world-wide known Evangelist, preaching at Billy Graham events and the stepbrother of rock and roll legend, Elvis Presley.

"My father was 5 years old when his mother Dee married Elvis' father Vernon and he moved into Graceland with his brothers Billy and David," Bethany said.

Rick Stanley was on the road for years with Elvis as his personal aide and bodyguard. When Elvis passed away, it was a spiral downward. Until, Bethany says her father was saved.

"October 16th, 1977, that's when daddy got saved."

"His life was not about Elvis, but about proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."John Arthur, the Pastor at Eureka First Baptist Church said.

He devoted the rest of his life to helping others.

"There are thousands of people all over the world that would say I am a better person because I met Rick Stanley."

"I didn't learn how to read until I was 17. And Rick taught me how to read."

"My daddy is the reason I'm still standing here. Through the addictions, through everything. He never gave up on me. So, I am here because of him."

But as family and friends say goodbye, they don't want him to be known for being Elvis Presley's stepbrother.

"I loved Rick having nothing to do with his former life. I loved Rick for who he was, for the kind of man that he was, for the heart that he had for people."

But instead, for his own legacy.