On Sunday October 21, 2012 while Herbert was surrounded by his family and friends, God said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Rev. Herbert Byrd, Sr. was born to Cornelius Byrd and Amelie Markham, November 26, 1934 in Muskogee, OK. He was the eighth of ten children. He attended Muskogee Public Schools. Herbert was baptized at Macedonia Baptist Church at an early age and attended there until he became an adult. He united with St. Thomas Primitive Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon and was called into the ministry in 1970 and was ordained on December 2, 1972, in Mexia, TX. He was the pastor of St. Thomas Primitive Baptist Church and Mount Perron Primitive Baptist Church, Chockie, OK for fifteen years. In 1982, he affiliated with Christ Holy Mission Church and served as Associate Pastor. He and his late wife, Rev. Libra Byrd served as co-pastors with Rev. Donna Jackson, of Second Christian Church, Muskogee, OK. After Rev. Jackson left, he and his wife accepted the position of Pastors of Second Christian Church and served in that capacity until their deaths. Herbert married the love of his life, Libra Gardner, on March 1, 1957. They were married for fifty-four years at the time of Rev. Libra Byrd’s death on June 24, 2011. Their union produced three children, Lovie Ann, Geraldine Barbara and Herbert Byrd, Jr. Herbert served in the United States Air Force from 1952 until 1955, receiving a honorable discharge. After returning to Muskogee, he worked for the Long Bell Lumber Company, First National Bank and retired from the MKT Railroad after fifteen years of employment. After retirement he received a Small Mechanics Certificate from Indian Capital Area VO-Tech. Herbert enjoyed tinkering with small engines and riding his lawnmower. He took pride in keeping the yards he cared for well manicured. Herbert enjoyed reading his bible, serving as pastor, raising a garden each summer and being with his family. He was a dedicated and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.
Rev. Byrd was a big man in stature with a gentle spirit.
Those who preceded him in death were his son, Herbert Byrd, Jr., wife Rev. Libra Jean Byrd, parents, four sisters, Maryetta Wright, Letha Harlin Holdman, Cleotha Harlin and Louise Wagner. Three brothers, J.D. Oliver, Cornelious Byrd and Lonnie Harlin. He leaves to celebrate his life, two daughters, Lovie Ann Byrd and Geraldine (Willie) Lee, all of Muskogee, OK, three grandchildren, Sheneka Walker, Muskogee, OK, Herbert Byrd, III, Edmond, OK and Daniel (Lydia)Byrd, Tulsa, OK and three great-grandchildren, one sister, Jamestta Russell, Muskogee, OK and one sister-in-law, Dolly L. Byrd, Fisherville, VA and a host of other relatives and friends.
The going home service for Rev. Byrd will be held 11 a.m. Friday, October 26, 2012 at Harvest Ministries Church with Rev. Lester Beasley as host pastor. Officiating the service will be Rev. Glenn Gardner, pastor of Faith Love Church. He will be laid to eternal rest in Greenhill Cemetery. Visitation hours are today from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Services are under the direction of Ragsdale Funeral Center.