SPIRITUAL LEADER: Church to honor pastor for 35th anniversary

Published 9:54 am Saturday, June 6, 2015

MARIAN BARROW CELEBRATING A SPIRITUAL LEADER: Rev. James W. Harris (pictured), of St. Reddick Missionary Baptist Church in Belhaven, will be honored Sunday for his 35th anniversary in leading the church.

CELEBRATING A SPIRITUAL LEADER: Rev. James W. Harris (pictured), of St. Reddick Missionary Baptist Church in Belhaven, will be honored Sunday for his 35th anniversary in leading the church.

BELHAVEN — A local church is gearing up to recognize its pastor for 35 years of spiritual leadership and teaching.

St. Reddick Missionary Baptist Church in Belhaven will honor Rev. James W. Harris on Sunday at its morning services, starting at 11 a.m. The program, honoring Harris, will feature guest speaker Rev. Marvin Davenport of Mt. Etrew Missionary Baptist Church in Roper, as well as Mt. Etrew’s choir, which will present musical selections during the service, said Marian Barrow, St. Reddick associate minister. Also during the service, representatives of various organizations within the community and the church will give words about their interaction with Harris. Among them are the youth group, ushers, deacons, the church choir, Sunday school, Albemarle Union and Roanoke Missionary Baptist Association, to name a few, Barrow said. After the service, the church and guests will share a meal as part of honoring Harris.

“There are several people, who will be coming in and giving honors and recognition and tribute to (Harris) from different organizations that he has served in and been dedicated to in the community and in the church,” Barrow said. “It will be a program especially for him and his family.”

Rev. Harris, born in Pitt County and raised in both Pitt and Edgecombe counties, is married to Fannie Wooten Harris, his wife of 46 years, and has two children, Attorney J. Ghita Harris and James Edmond Harris. Harris serves as the moderator of the Roanoke Missionary Baptist Church Association, member-at-large of the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and former moderator of the Albemarle Union, where he now serves as advisor, according to Barrow.

Rev. Harris is the Grand Chaplin of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the State of North Carolina, member of Susanna Chapter 161, Order of Eastern Star and Member of La Glory Lodge, Odd Fellow, according to Barrow. He is a retiree of Walter B. Jones Alcoholic Center in Greenville and his theological training includes Shaw University and Trinity Theological Seminary.

Barrow said Harris has faithfully walked with God and pastored the church for 35 years. He has led his congregation in spiritual growth and has impacted many lives in and outside the church.

“He’s a humble pastor, a great man of God,” Barrow said. “In the church, he has shown excellent leadership. Through his sermons, he has given us the Word and the way to spiritually grow. He delivers (messages) with power and clarity that helps us grow and live a better Christian life. He’s a caring and giving man of God and loves his congregation, and he shows it through his life and what he does for his church.”

Barrow and her husband, Kenneth, both of whom serve under Harris as associate ministers, said their service alongside Harris has been a great honor. Through the advice Harris gives, and through making sure they are well educated, having sent them to seminary school, he has enabled them to become better spiritual leaders, they both said.

“He encourages us to further our education in the ministry,” Marian Barrow said. “He makes sure we are well informed of what’s going on in the community, and he encourages us to become active and involved in the community.”

“He’s a very spiritual man,” Kenneth Barrow said. “He gives us advice and wisdom, and I’ve learned a lot through his teachings and spiritual advice. I have grown tremendously. It’s a great honor to honor a man of his stature and wisdom and his knowledge. It’s gives me great joy to be under his leadership. He’s a man among men. I’m so happy for him as my pastor, as my father in ministry, as my mentor…I can go on and on about our pastor that I just love deep down in my heart. We just love him, and we just want God to bless him.”

St. Reddick Missionary Baptist Church is located at 586 Pamlico St. in Belhaven.