Billy Laydon Harris

13 entries
  • "Phoebe...I just today found out about Billy...I am so sorry..."
    - Carol Walden
  • "I was a classmate of Billy's at Howard College. I am not..."
    - Tom Sorrells
  • "Phoebe, Our deepest sympathy to you Michelle,Donna, Timothy..."
  • ""I was in the youth department at Glenaddie Baptist with..."
  • "I'm so grateful for all that Dr. Harris meant to my family..."
    - Debby Adams Milledge
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Funeral service for our beloved Dr. Billy Laydon Harris, 77, will be Wednesday, October, 5, 2016, at 11 a.m. at Parker Memorial Baptist Church with the Reverend Morris L. Jackson, the Reverend A.L. Courtney, Reverend James Cohorn, and the Reverend Bill Hartley officiating. The family will receive friends beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the church parlor. Burial will follow the service at Forestlawn Gardens. Billy was born on June 18, 1939, and went to be with The Lord on October 1, 2016. Born to Arthur Leroy and Cora Irene Cobb Harris and the youngest of six children, Billy grew up playing in the creeks and woods around Choccolocco, near Oxford. At age 16, Billy was invited to Glen Addie Baptist Church by a great friend, Bill Hartley, and re-dedicated his life to Jesus Christ. Two pastors, Floyd Battles and Billy Kitchens, mentored Billy and several young men who had also surrendered to the ministry. Affectionately known as the "preacher boys," youth rallies and revivals ensued; the flame for evangelism was sparked. After graduating Oxford High School in 1957, Billy attended Howard College (Samford University), New Orleans Baptist Seminary and Florida State University where he received his Master's and PhD On September 1, 1962 he married his lifelong sweetheart, Phoebe Butler, of Anniston. Billy & Phoebe embarked on a remarkable journey of 54 years, supporting each other, loving each other, and establishing a wonderful legacy of a Godly marriage. They continued the call to ministry, serving churches in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Billy joined Samford's faculty in 1968 as a professor of preaching, speech and religious education. As he continued to preach on weekends, Billy developed young ministerial students for ten years - teaching them the fundamentals of communication and sermon preparation. During this memorable time, they were busy raising their three young children, Michele, Donna and Timothy. In 1978, Billy & Phoebe returned to the full-time pastorate at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Hueytown, building relationships and memories that would last a lifetime. In 1986, Billy and Phoebe moved 'back home' after 30 years, to serve Parker Memorial Baptist Church in Anniston. He thought the church should be a stabilizing force in the life of a family. He believed people were in need of Jesus Christ as their Savior and needed to be part of a dynamic, caring church family. "Ministering to the world, beginning at our own front door." Throughout his ministry, Billy also served on the board of directors for The Alabama Baptist; board of regents for The University of Mobile; president of the board of governors for Judson College in Marion; chaired the committee of boards and commissions for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions; and served on an international mission team. In 1992, he was selected as one of Samford's "Ministers of the Year." After retirement from full-time pastoral ministry in 2005, Billy served as interim pastor at Gladeview Baptist Church for a year and Pleasant Valley Baptist Church for eight. He and Phoebe enjoyed these loving congregations - continuing to teach, comfort, and share the Good News of the Gospel. Billy enjoyed spending precious time with his children, grandchildren and friends - and loved Phoebe's cooking. He relaxed working on yard, pool and house projects, reading a good book and cheering on the Atlanta Braves. They traveled to exciting places, delivered Meals on Wheels together and certainly had many laughs and hugs along the way. Their love for each other was unmatched. Billy loved Phoebe. Billy loved his sweetheart. His goal was to please Christ, not men. His hope was that Jesus Christ will one day say to him, "You've been faithful," as a reflection of his service to church and family. We're thankful. Thankful for his storytelling. Thankful for his humor. Thankful for his gentleness. Thankful for his prayers. Thankful for his willingness. Thankful for his Godly example. Thankful for his thoughtfulness. Thankful for his teaching. Thankful for his leadership. Thankful for his calling. Thankful for his influence. Thankful for Billy. "A man after God's own heart. And yes, a good man. Thank you, dad." He is preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Cora Harris; three sisters, Evelyn Harper (Hubert), Helen Ward (Frank), Elna Sanders (Clarence); and two brothers, Gerald Harris, and Frank Harris (Mary). Survivors include his wife, Phoebe B. Harris; three children, Michele Andrews (Chris), Donna Howle (David) and Timothy Harris (Rachel); seven grandchildren, Scott Andrews, Haley Sheffield, Zachary Andrews, Bailey Howle, Trent Sheffield, Michael Sheffield and Gracie Howle. Pallbearers will be Bruce Britton, David Bryant, Larry Irwin, Sparks Harper, Randy Harper, Paul Harper, Jerry Harris, Mike Sanders and Dwayne Wells. Online condolences may be made to the family at K.L. Brown Memory Chapel 620 Golden Springs Road Anniston, AL 36207 (256) 231-2334
The family requests memorial donations be made to The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions - Disaster Relief Fund, PO Box 11870, Montgomery, AL 36111 ( or to Meals on Wheels in care of Interfaith Ministries of Calhoun County, P. O. Box 1444, Anniston, AL 36202 (
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K.L. Brown Memory Chapel
620 Golden Springs Road
Anniston, AL 36207
(256) 231-2334
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Published in The Anniston Star on Oct. 4, 2016