Born in 1972, Clayton was adopted by Joe and Jane King and raised on a farm in rural South Carolina. He grew up in three denominations; his parents were Southern Baptist, his grandfather was Pentecostal and he attended a Presbyterian Christian school. Though he was raised in the church, he did not become a Christian until the age of fourteen. It was his parents example and the testimony of a converted drug-dealer at his school that eventually led him to faith in Christ.
The night that Clayton accepted Christ, he sensed a strong, overwhelming desire to tell others about this new love he had experienced, so that very night, he committed himself to preach the gospel for the rest of his life, regardless of where that may send him or what that might cost him. Almost immediately God began to open doors for him to preach, first at a local prison and then at local churches. Clayton was preaching several times a week before he turned fifteen years old, and his parents had to drive him to his speaking engagments before he even had a driver's permit.
He began attending public school in the 10th grade in order to play football and begin a Christian club on campus. In 1988, he started The Solid Rock Club which met weekly and was attended by hundreds of students. The club still meets today. He was an outstanding athlete in high school but decided not to pursue a lifelong dream of playing college football in order to devote more time to ministry in college. He received the Presidential Scholarship at Gardner-Webb Universtiy in 1991 and graduated as the Outstanding Male Graduate of the Year in 1995 with a Bachelor's Degree in Religious Studies. He is currently working on his Master's with a concentration in Missions and Evangelism.
At age 32, Clayton has spoken to almost 2 million people since 1988 and has traveled in 44 states and 22 countries. He has led 200 mile backpacking expeditions to the Himalayas, made 7 trips to India, and nearly died of malaria in Africa. He was chased by the KGB in Moscow, Russia in 1992 and nearly killed by mortar fire in Kashmir in 1999. He has many stories to tell! He has written 3 books and hosted his own nationally syndicated radio show called "Clayton King Live" for 3 years. He was the 1991 National Secretary of the National Beta Club and has spoken to hundreds of thousands of students in public school assemblies, conferences and conventions about non-religious themes, such as sexual abstinence, peer pressure, and making right decisions.
Clayton has shared the stage with artists like Third Day, Audio Adrenaline, Rebecca St. James, Newsboys, and Charlie Hall. He works with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in their Emerging Evangelists Institute and teaches on topics such as; marriage, music, missions, dating and relationships, post-modernism and youth ministry, the gospel in movies, filtering your culture, discipleship, mentoring, and sexual purity. However, the one thing that Clayton is most passionate about is preaching the gospel; he is an evangelist above all else.
Clayton's early years on the farm taught him to value simplicity, family, and authenticity. He does not fake anything. He communicates clearly and with humor and can relate to any crowd from any background of any age. Clayton has been married to Charie since 1999 and they have a little boy named Jacob with another baby on the way in August of 2005. They love to travel, run, write, read, and watch movies. They are both obsessed with Jacob and constantly wonder what they will do with another one! Clayton loves his wife, the outdoors, 4 wheel drive vehicles, strong coffee, and tackle football. He still wants to go to Alaska and one day figure out math.