Longtime pastor Lonnie B. Byrd died Nov. 28. He was 84.
Byrd was a chaplain with the Alabama Army National Guard for 23 years, culminating with service in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He retired in 1999 at the rank of colonel.
Called into ministry as a teenager, Byrd served numerous churches during his five decades in ministry. In addition to churches in Florida and Louisiana, he served several Alabama Baptist churches as pastor, including New Hope Baptist Church, Florala; Ruffner Valley Baptist Church, Irondale; James Memorial Baptist Church, Gadsden; First Baptist Church Childersburg; and First Baptist Church Theodore. After his retirement from full-time pastoral ministry in June 1997, he preached at many churches and served as interim pastor at Zion Baptist Church, Mobile; Montgomery Hill Baptist Church; and First Baptist Church Theodore.
He was a graduate of the University of Alabama and completed graduate work in mathematics at the University of Florida at Gainesville. He held master’s degrees in theology and religious education from New Orleans Seminary and completed basic study for intentional interim pastors through the Center for Congregational Health in North Carolina.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Beverley Shepherd Byrd; daughters, Mona Crawford, Tina Dearborn, and Lonette Kidwell; 12 grandchildren; and 18 great grandchildren.