|There is a plaque hanging on my home study wall that reads, “Those who bring Sunshine to others cannot keep it from themselves.” Reverend Richard H. Harry brought sunshine and joy into the lives of many people during his tenure as a minister in the Louisiana Conference. He and I met during the closing session of former Conference “B”. That unforgettable evening changed my life. Rev. Harry was a gifted story teller. He kept us laughing for the rest of the evening with a non-stop marathon of humorous tales and stories.
In knowing Rev. Harry through the years, it has been impossible to be sad or depressed around him. Thus, he was a mentor to many of us who were entering the ministry at that time (1967-1969.) He taught, by example, that humor, in the right place, can bring healing and solve problems. I can testify that on several occasions, having a sharp sense of humor has enabled me to defuse potential conflicts. For he said, “Sometimes you boys are going to have to laugh to keep from crying.”
After his retirement from the Warren United Methodist Church in 1986, Rev. Harry con-tinued to live in Lake Charles – a few blocks from the church. When I came to Warren in 1996, I found him actively involved in the church. In order to honor his many years of faithful service to the Conference and to Warren Church, the Charge Conference bestowed upon him the title: Pastor Emeritus. He served Warren Church in that capacity until he was no longer physically able. He will be missed by all who love him –(Rev. Kenneth M. Fisher.)
Rev. Richard Henry Harry was born to the late Willie Ive Harry and Lola Lewis Harry on April 15, 1923. He departed this life June 30, 1998 at 2:45 a.m. Rev. Harry confessed Christ at an early age and was baptized at Wesley Ray Methodist Church in Angie, Louisiana where he at-tended church and Sunday School.
Richard graduated form Wesley Ray High School in Angie, Louisiana. He graduated in the top ten of his class because there were only six in his class. He received his B.S. Degree in Building Construction from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and a B.S. Degree in Industrial Edu-cation from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Further studies were done at Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Grambling State University, Grambling, Louisiana; and Xavier University, New Orleans, Louisiana. Rev. Harry’s teaching experiences were: 1948-54 Galvis Street Trade School, New Orleans, LA;; 1956-59 Coleman High School, Gibsland, LA; 1959-67 Webster High School, Minden, LA; 1967-69 Sabine High Schools, Many, LA; 1975-77 Northwood High and Broadmore Junior High Schools, Shreveport, LA; 1978-85 Sowella Technical Institute, Lake Charles, LA. Other work included Shipyard, 1943-45 Richard, CA; 1954-56 Contractor, Opelousas, LA. He was the first black man to be hired in the State of Louisiana as Construction Inspector for the Farmers Home Administration, serving six parishes.
His church affiliations include: Minister of The United Methodist Church for 45 years. He has held membership on many boards and agencies. He is listed in “Who’s Who” in The United Methodist Church. Through the years he has pastored at : Andrew Chapel, Baton Rouge, LA (1954-55); St. Peter in Baton Rouge, LA (1956-57); Johnson Chapel, Shreveport, LA (1958-61); Mt. Zion, Leesville, LA (1962-68); Wilton, Alexandria, LA (1969-73); Asbury, Natchito-ches, LA (1974-75); St. Paul, Shreveport, LA (1975-86); Warren United Methodist Church, Lake Charles, LA in 1995.
Rev. Harry was united in matrimony to the late Mary Green and to this union one child was born, Raymond Earl Harry. Later, Rev. Harry was united in Holy Matrimony to Debra Ann Rideau. To this union no children were born.
After retiring several times, the Lord still had work for this wonderful, obedient warrior. During his retirement years, he served at Mt. Zion in Leesville, Macedonia in Florine, Haskins Chapel in Zwella, St. James in New Iberia, Mallalieu in Lafayette, and Trinity in Bunkie.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1999; p. 261 By Mrs. Debra Ann Harry|