|“A servant of Jesus Christ whose work was with God’s children here but whose citizenship was in heaven,” might well be an epitaph for the Reverend John Shearer. One of his favorite passages of Scripture was Philippians 3:20-21 which reads as follows in the New American Standard Version of the Bible:
“For our citizenship is in heaven from which also we
eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
who will transform the body of our humble state
into conformity with the body of His glory, by the
exertion of the power that He has even to subject
all things to Himself.”
John Byars Shearer was born August 14, 1899 at Houston, Mississippi and passed from this life in Ruston, Louisiana, February 21, 1984. He was the son of Edward Baxter Shearer and Henrietta McDonald Byars Shearer.
He attended the Houston public schools and graduated from Houston High School in 1920. He attended Millsaps College and Louisiana State University receiving his B.A. degree from Millsaps. He served in the United States Army in both World Wars, in 1917-1919 and in 1942-1946. He served in France, England, and Germany and in North Africa and Italy in 1942-46.
His ministry was in the North Mississippi and Louisiana Conferences as well as in the chaplaincy. He supplied the Teccopola Circuit of the North Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in 1924-25. He was received on trial into the Conference in 1925 and served Braxton, Benton, and Ocean Springs in Mississippi. He transferred to the Louisiana Conference and served: Louisiana Avenue, New Orleans, Guyedan, Clinton and Gibsland., Grand Cane, Trout, Marksville, and Jackson. He retired in June 1969.
He was married to Helen Irene Louise Kearney of Flora, Mississippi. To this union were born four children: Minetta Louise (Mrs. Aaron C. Greer); Helen Irene (Mrs. Cleveland F. Kerry); John Byars, Jr and Edgar Kearney. His first wife died February 18, 1937. Later he married Glennie Burkhalter of Gibsland, Louisiana and they had one son, Milo Edward.
Reverend and Mrs. John Shearer made their home in Ruston, Louisiana after his retirement where they maintained active relationship with Trinity United Methodist Church. Brother Shearer attended choir rehearsals regularly with his wife, and was considered the chaplain of the choir.
The funeral service celebrating his entrance into the heavenly home of which he has been a citizen all of these years was held in Trinity United Methodist Church February 24, 1984 with Dr. Merlin W. Merrill and Reverend M. Rolly Walker officiating and Reverend James R. McLelland playing the organ.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1984; p. 199 By Merlin W. Merrill|