Share |

Albany Pastor, Local Legend Remembered As Man of Faith, Community Activist, Daddy

By Judith Hampton Thompson

TMG Publisher/Editor

ALBANY, GA – Hundreds of people came to bid farewell and celebrate the life of a long-standing Baptist preacher and icon who touched their lives in so many ways individually and collectively, inside the church as well as in the community and around the nation. 

Funeral services for the late Rev. Horace C. Boyd, who transitioned Sat., June 25, 2016 at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, was held July 2 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Daniel Simmons, pastor of Mt. Zion, officiating.  Burial followed in Macedonia Gardens Cemetery in Ludowici, Ga, where Pastor Boyd was reared.

The fact that he was revered and loved by so many was evident by the number of people who attended his service.  But, Boyd's son, William simply stated, "he was just daddy" to he and his sister, Dr. Dolores A. Boyd McCrary. Boyd shared the time his mother before leaving to go out of town told he and his sister to always listen to their father, that he always knew how to take care of them in any situation and was both proficient and efficient in that capacity.  But, that he or his sister should call the police or the fire department immediately if he so much as even looked like he was going into the kitchen to cook anything or even boil water, he quipped.

Dr. McCrary spoke fondly of her father too.  "Many of you don't know this, but he wore a belt around his pajamas."  He taught his children to trust God, she said.  He was also a very strict disciplinarian, she added. His sister, Mildred Elder called him "the patriarch of the family."

Rev. Boyd was the senior pastor at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church for 57 plus years. He was the fifth child of 10 children born to his parents on Nov. 28, 1926. He went to elementary, middle school and high school in Long County, Ga and was a WWII veteran.

His college and seminary training was spent at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga where Dr. Benjamin E. Mays was president and he and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were classmates. Rev. Boyd received his Doctoral degree in Divinity and obtained numerous achievements, including serving as Dean of the Albany Seminary, which he founded and coordinated for years, was a member and secretary two years of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia and of the Albany Interdenominational Ministerial Brotherhood for 30 or more years. He was also a member of the Albany Baptist Ministers Conference.

He was married to the late Barbara Mae Riles Boyd in 1949 and the couple had two children, William H.B. and a daughter, Dolores Ann Boyd McCrary.

Rev. Boyd started preaching Oct. 13, 1946 in Oahu, Hawaii and served several churches during his almost 70 years of ministry beginning with Mill Creek Baptist Church in Ellabell, GA.  Shiloh became a voting precinct under his leadership and he served often as a pollster who never stopped encouraging all to become registered and to vote.  Over the long years, he served on numerous boards, and was called upon to preach revival messages and thought-provoking, soul-saving sermons at churches whose locations spanned the length and breadth of this nation.

A past moderator of the Hopewell Association, Boyd served for 33 years before resigning that position.  He was a commissioned board member of the Dougherty County Family and Children Services, serving for more than 25 years. 

During the 1960s he was the first pastor to open the doors of a church for mass meeting planning and for mass meetings because he saw the need of African-Americans who needed to be released from under the fists of Jim Crow laws and unfair practices in his community, a story shared in his obituary.  Even amidst bomb threats at some of the meetings, Boyd’s determination and unrelenting faith would not let him postpone the gathering, another recalled.  “He kept right on preaching and encouraging those in attendance.”

Poteat Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements