July 10, 1929 - June 10, 2007
I first met Byrd when he and I were students at Centenary College back in the 1950’s. That friendship lasted until his death.
Byrd and I had some real vision for our ministry, some of which were dreams. We thought as young Methodist Evangelists that we would become little “Billy Grahams” and the churches we served would be required to put chairs in the aisles to accommodate the crowds.
It didn’t take long for realism to take control. Being interested in the work of evangelism and associating with people such as the great Harry Denman gave us a heart for ministry through the years. We attended the many conferences on evangelism sponsored by our church. Neither of us would have ever dreamed I would become his District Superintendent. His last year of service after retirement was at the Wesley Chapel Church in Ruston. His eyesight became so poor he would bring his notes and scripture by the District Office and use our copy machine to enlarge the print so he could see them in the pulpit.
Byrd was loved and appreciated in all the churches he served. He was truly a servant of God to the people of God.
Byrd Lee Terry, Jr. was born July 10, 1929 in Mt. Lebanon in Beinville Parish to Byrd Terry and Myrtle Jones Terry. His father died when Byrd was young and he grew up living with his mother, grandmother and grandfather. Myrtle was a talented church musician as well as a teacher at Gibsland High where Byrd went to school and graduated. He grew up in a Christian home where he learned the value of the individual, an education and a sense of humor.
Byrd entered Louisiana Tech as an engineering student. It was during this time that he surrendered his life to the ministry. He entered Centenary College and graduated in 1958. During this time as a part-time student, he was appointed pastor of the Hilly and Salem Methodist Churches in Lincoln Parish. He spent much time driving from Shreveport to his parish, but the enthusiasm, vision, and joy with which God blessed him, he shared with the congregation. On Saturday mornings he gathered the young boys of the community and they played ball and on Sunday led and worked with the youth of the churches. It was during these years that he married the former Janice Nobles.
Byrd graduated with a Master of Divinity from Chandler School of Theology of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in June of 1961. While in school there he served as an associate pastor of Mary Branhan United Methodist Church in Atlanta.
St. Francisville was Byrd’s first appointment as elder in The Louisiana Methodist Conference. Later he served churches in Bernice, DeQuincy, Vivian, Monroe, Haynesville and Winnfield. After a year of retirement, he served two churches in the Ruston District.
John Bradford Terry was born while the family was in St. Francisville and Lee Gregory Terry’s first home was in Bernice. Byrd and Janice moved to Ruston in 1997 and were near both their sons, their wives and four grandchildren.
Byrd will be remembered as a faithful servant and minister. His dedication to his heavenly father enabled him to meet difficult situations with grace and love. He enjoyed Bible study, travel, golf, and spending time with friends and family.
Byrd went to his heavenly home, June 10, 2007. The service of celebration was held in Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston conducted by Rev. Fred Wideman, Rev. Rolly Walker, and Rev. Jimmie Pyles.
Source: 2008 Louisiana Annual Conference Journal