The Rev. Gary B. Byrd passed away Thursday, April 27, 2023. He was 84.
Born in Laurens, he was the loving husband of Joyce Haupfear Byrd for 59 years and eleven months and son of the late Charlie Frank and Lillie Burns Byrd. He was a graduate of Laurens High School in 1957, attended Spartanburg Junior College from 1957 to 1959 and graduated from Western Carolina University in 1961. He earned a Masters in Divinity at Emory University in 1967.
Rev. Byrd was a minister in the United Methodist Church, serving as pastor of Panola UMC in Greenwood from 1967 to 1970; Suber Marshall Memorial UMC from 1970 to 1976 and St. James UMC in Columbia from 1976 to 1978; Belvedere UMC in North Augusta from 1978 to 1983; St. Luke UMC in Walhalla from 1983 to 1987; Bethesda UMC in Powdersville from 1987 to 1997 and Grace UMC in Union from 1997 to 2008. After retiring from full-time ministry in 2008, he served several churches as supply pastor, completing his ministry at Aldersgate UMC in Inman in 2021.
During his ministry, he served as a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Epworth Children’s Home Board of Directors.
His love of music and his joy of playing guitar and singing was a transformative element of his ministry.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Joyce Haupfear Byrd; his son Gary and wife Lori, of Lexington, SC and grandsons Grayson and Jackson; his daughter Karen and husband Rev. Stephen Streett, of Atlanta, GA and granddaughter Melodie and grandson SJ; and his brother, David Frank and Mary Thompson Byrd of Waco, TX.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, May 6, 2023 at Grace United Methodist Church conducted by the Rev. Stephen Streett. Burial will be held at Rosemont Cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 PM until 2:00 PM prior to the services at Grace United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Epworth Children's Home, 900 Millwood Ave, Columbia, SC 29205.
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