Meet one of Middle Cross Baptist Church’s deacons, Doyal Bean
Doyal comes from a large family. His mom and dad, Deadrick and Edna, had five boys and one girl, plus Mr. Bean had a son from a previous marriage.
“We were a very close family, with only a couple of years between each of us,” says Doyal. “By the time I grew up and graduated high school, the older kids were grown, married, and moved out of the house. I have one younger brother, Stan, who is my only surviving sibling.”
Doyal considers himself a jack-of-all-trades, having trained as an electrician, worked maintenance at the old Loveman’s downtown for years, retired from Industrial Water Chemicals as a chemical salesman, and having a second retirement from UTC as maintenance supervisor in the Housing Department.
“I retired from UTC on May 11, 2007 and they hired me back the next day to work one to two days a week,” says Doyal. “So I had a three day retirement and returned back to work part-time. And, Paula threw me the most fun surprise retirement party, with family, co-workers, and even childhood friends. I love my job and working around all the young people … they keep me young.”
Doyal, a huge University of Tennessee football fan, even named his son, Bo (for Big Orange). “Sadly Bo, our only child, passed away October 15, 2019 of a massive heart attack.”
An avid fisherman, Doyal can be found most spring and summer days fishing the Tennessee River, putting in his boat at Suck Creek. When not fishing, he can be found at his computer or working in his garage or woodworking shop.
Doyal and Paula have been married since 1968 and they have one granddaughter, Caitlin. “Caitlin played soccer, so I becaame a soccer fan,” says Doyal. “When she first started playing soccer she played goalie, and would not start the game until ‘Papaw’ was in his place behind the goal to coach and encourage her. Caitlin turned 18 years old July 30, 2020.
Doyal and Paula met the day Doyal came home from active duty from the Army in 1965. “I was in the Army Reserves for several years after my discharge. Paula laughs and says ‘it was love at first sight when I stepped off the bus at the bus terminal’ … but it took her four years to convince me it was love at first sight for me, too!” Doyal and Paula’s first date was the day after Paula turned 18 years old. Doyal was 23 at that time.
“I don’t know what I did in my life that made God choose Doyal to be my husband,” says Paula. “But, I thank God every day for him. He is a wonderful man and husband and I am truly blessed.”
Doyal’s main hobby is collecting lapel pins … The University of Tennessee, the ’84 Olympic pins, Homecoming ’86, and others. “When eBay first came on the scene, I bought and sold all sorts of lapel pins and other UT memorabilia,” says Doyal. “It was a great second income for me for quite a few years.”
Doyal and Paula like to take small one-to-three day trips hunting lapel pins, anything UT, and bells for Paula’s bell collection. She only collects bells that are women figurines whose skirts are the clappers.
“We like going to Pigeon Forge a few times a year. Paula shops and I always go to the Bass Pro Shop. Then we go antiquing or to flea markets” says Doyal. “Now that we have Caitlin, we go to water parks or stay at motels with big slides.”
One of the things Doyal is most proud of is working the 1996 Olympics. He was a volunteer driver for the athletes from Ocoee to Atlanta and back again. “I enjoyed meeting the athletes, and they all had lapel pins to trade or to give to me,” says Doyal. “I took two weeks off work to volunteer at the Olympics.”
Doyal’s brother, Roy, worked for GE in Louisville, Kentucky in the Public Relations Department. GE sponsored the 1984 Baseball team and Roy went to California for the Olympics that year. That got Doyal interested in the Olympics and lead to years of collecting lapel pins.
Doyal never considered completely quitting working at UTC, but finally quit working there in 2017. “I can’t sit still … I am always doing something,” says Doyal. “Not working gave me more days to fish, and I would probably make Paula crazy if I were at home all the time.” Doyal actually sold his boat in 2020.
One thing Doyal used to do to keep himself busy was growing roses. “Paula loved Double Delight’s roses and I always had a few of those rose bushes growing in the back yard,” says Doyal. “Unfortunately the drought a few years back killed about 20 of the rose bushes.”
“We started attending Middle Cross Baptist Church because we received a postcard in the mail from the church,” says Doyal. “We had been visiting several churches, and had even said, as we drove past Middle Cross, that we should visit there. We never got around to visiting until we received the postcard from the church. We visited the following Sunday after receiving the postcard and have been coming here ever since.
That has been five years ago, and the church is about to mail new postcards out the first or second week of December. “A postcard got us to visit Middle Cross and Paula has now helped with this year’s campaign to mail out postcards inviting families to visit our church,” says Doyal.
Doyal always liked attending a smaller church. Paula and Bo were members of Red Bank Baptist Church, but Doyal did not joined there. “I was baptized at Middle Cross in September 2009,” says Doyal. “I love our church and wanted to be a good steward of the church. I volunteered to do maintenance for the church, I took over delivering food to HaCoBa when N. B. Whitehead moved away, and I now drive the van for the Wednesday night Youth Program.”
Doyal became a deacon in the church Sunday, November 18, 2012. “Several people had asked me if I ever considered being a deacon, and I never had,” said Doyal. “But, it just kept weighing on me, and weighing on me, and while I was on the Building Committee, I had to go to the deacon meetings for a few months. During one of the deacon meetings I was attending, a voice came to me that said, ‘Doyal, you need to do this.’ At the end of the meeting, Bro. Ed asked each person in attendance if they had anything to add. When he came to me, I said, ‘Yes, Bro. Ed, I have decided to become a deacon.’ It surprised everyone as much as it did me.”
Doyal, like the other deacons, wants to be an active member of the deacon board and do what the congregations wants … to serve the Lord and help the church grow. To accomplish these goals, Doyal hopes everyone at the church will work together to enable him to be a good deacon.
“I am honored and proud to be a deacon at Middle Cross. I think the world of our pastor, the other deacons, and the whole congregation,” says Doyal. “I hope to be a good steward to the church.”