Vernon Harris died Friday, September 12, 2008 at the age of 87.
Pastor Vernon J. Harris came from a single-parent family and was raised in the Yakima Valley of Washington State in pre-and post-depression years. He had excelled at sports and music as a young man, so much so that his high school football coach challenged him to “go collegiate” at Washington State University. Serendipitously, during those formative years, he met one Dr. Herman A Hoyt, whose impact upon him influenced his eventual decision to attend the fledgling Grace Theological Seminary following his undergraduate education.
He graduated from both Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Ill. and nearby Wheaton College. It was there during those undergraduate years that he met his wife, Glyndowyn, with whom he celebrated 65 years of marriage in August of this year. They were the parents of six children. Five of them survive. A son, Rudy, went to be with the Lord in October of 2007.
Pastor Harris served for 54 years in the local church ministry of a variety of the churches of our fellowship: Clayton, Ohio; Portland, Ore.; Roanoke, Va.; Akron (Fairlawn), Ohio; Philadelphia (First), Pa.; Lancaster (Rohrerstown), Pa.; and Lancaster (Southern Lancaster-now Grace Brethren Church at Willow Valley), Pa. Following retirement, he also served in associate roles at the Grace Brethren Church of New Holland, Pa., and Gateway Grace Community Church, a Grace Brethren church in Coatesville, Pa.
In late 2002, he and his wife moved to Texas. In 2007, they moved to Longview, Tex., where they have lived until now.
Among other ministries outside of the local church, Pastor Harris’s burden for souls led him to serve for a time on the Brethren Board of Evangelism.
He is survived by his wife, Glyn; children: Ron, Ramah Lee Stewart, Roy, Ruth Blake and Randy, who live in Texas, California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, respectively. There are also grandchildren and great-grandchildren who mourn their loss at this time.
“A saint in glory stands” is written in the “subject line” of this e-mail with apologies to author Norman Rohrer and Alva J. McClain. Vernon James Harris was one of the generation who followed McClain from the small-town (First Brethren) church in Sunnyside, Wash.
Vernon Harris was a man of God who finished well. – by Pastor Dan White, nephew