Derk John Madden, 53, passed away Monday, November 9th, 2020. He battled bladder, kidney, and liver cancer his last four years. The family will have an intimate ceremony. There will be an open house November 21st, 1-4 PM at the family’s residence.
Born August 14, 1967 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Derk John Madden was the youngest son of Clifford and Mary Madden. He is survived by his wife Connie, and their four children Clay, Montana, Tristan, and Ian, his mother, Mary, and his brother Todd.
Derk’s rebellious youth and love for competition shaped him into the figure we know today. He grew up a stellar Bay Area athlete and fell in love with the game of baseball. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1985, but decided to play collegiately and pursue his Business Administration degree at the University of Notre Dame. After a shoulder injury derailed his pitching career, Derk found his way into ministry. He worked as a financial analyst in Silicon Valley while simultaneously achieving his Masters of Divinity from Western Seminary. He continued seeking wisdom and guidance at Talbot Seminary where he came a thesis short of obtaining his Doctorate. Derk entered the Pastorate in 1992.
Later that year, he met Connie at her hometown church in Redwood City, CA where he was the Singles Pastor. They were engaged four and a half weeks later and married in December. Derk and Connie moved on to lead a church in Sacramento, CA where he began fulfilling his God-given ability and purpose. Derk spent nine years growing and ministering there before answering another unexpected call.
In 2003, with Connie eight and a half months pregnant, they moved to Collinsville, OK where he initiated God’s transformation of Westport Mennonite Brethren. Derk led the church to a new name, unparalleled spiritual growth, and a truly global impact. He was relentless in pursuing others’ spirituality and fostering an inclusive, relatable, and loving environment at Discovery Bible Fellowship. His Birkenstocks on stage and motorcycle next to the front door were noticed by many as he insisted upon welcoming people from all walks of life. All knew him to be relatable, consistent, and a profound communicator.
Derk’s brother Todd, also in ministry, motivated and encouraged him to seek more. In 2009, Derk and some others from the church traveled to Uganda intending to serve one of the poorest countries in the world. The group came back changed. With the same fire, determination, and vigor he attacked his baseball career and relationship with the Lord, he founded Project Hope Worldwide. The Non-Profit was established to serve the vulnerable, foster spiritual growth, and give orphans legitimate opportunity. The organization has established multiple churches, an orphanage, school, and sponsorship programs in Uganda, Nicaragua, Mexico and Bangladesh. PHW has changed thousands upon thousands of lives. His vision, determination, and impact on others will live on forever.
Derk later consulted for the WS Pyle Family Foundation and directed The Common Good in Tulsa, OK. The NW Tulsa Hub community center was established in 2019 to invest in children and give them better opportunities for their futures and careers.
While he wasn’t ministering or traveling, he spent every second coaching sports, instilling hard work, and making sure none of his children would ever quit anything. He taught Clay that seat belts were hardly needed en route to eleven tickets from the Owasso Police Department. He moved meetings to become a pitching consultant when Tristan began growing into a tall lefty. Derk then established a fearlessness in his youngest, Ian (Bodie), to guarantee he was the hardest hitting middle linebacker in the state.
Then there is his little girl, Montana Jesse. She was his world. Derk named his only daughter after his favorite place in the mountains of Montana. The two shared all of his favorite songs and he supported her endlessly. Most Sundays after church, Montana would kick Clay into the bed of the truck so Derk could drive her around the neighborhood in circles blasting Hootie and Willie Nelson.
After all of the practices, traffic tickets, and singing sessions, he finished every night staying out on the front porch with his iPad and a cigar waiting for the Giants bullpen to blow a lead. Derk and Clay cried together for hours when their team finally won a World Series in 2010.
Derk was a wonderful father, mentor, friend, and leader. He was relatable, honest, and willing to listen. He wanted the best for everyone and made a lasting impact in every person he came in contact with. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
His battle with cancer ended peacefully and with each of his children surrounding him.
He is survived by: his loving and devoted wife, Connie Madden; his children, Clay Madden, Montana Madden, Tristan Madden, Ian Madden; his mother, Mary Madden and Rich Bland; and his brother Todd and wife Jennie Madden.
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