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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Meet William Harvey, A Lifetime of Service

Example of a Christian Lifetime spirit serving our community
By Sid Riley
He is a man of many talents. He can fix you automobile….or he can fix your soul. He has spent his entire life doing both. When he addresses you in his deep, sincere voice which is normally accompanied by a twinkle in his eye and a warm smile, there is something unique about the aura of dignity and honesty he conveys.
William Harvey has been married to his lifelong friend and companion, Sister Pat Harvey for fifty-seven years. They have one daughter who lives in Lakeland, three grand children, and three great-grandchildren.
William is the first of seven children, born in 1931 in Grand Ridge. His parents were Susie and Tom Harvey. William graduated from Jackson County Training School and then attended Chipola College. His wife, Pat grew up in her home near Bellamy Bridge, and attended school in Greenwood.
William Harvey first went to work as an auto repairman, working in the garage operated by Jack Minchew, located in the triangle near the former site of the Caravan Restaurant. Finally, Harvey went into business for himself, starting Harvey’s Motors located on Highway 71 North in 1966. For over fifteen years he operated at that site until he later moved his business to Old U.S. Road near his residence. His business was always one of the most reasonable and most reliable places in Jackson County to have your car repaired or serviced. Harvey consistently operated his business with a Christian philosophy of honesty and integrity.
William Harvey retired from the automotive repair business in 1988 after thirty-three years of auto repair work, but his career was far from over. Because of his strong faith in God, and his ability to earn the respect of all who know him, he found himself thrust into the process of ministering to others. Today he is lovingly referred to by many as "everybody’s minister". He is the man that many families in the black communities in Jackson County want to be their minister at funerals, weddings, and other meaningful events in their lives.
He has been the official minister for the Buckhorn Missionary Baptist Church, near Greenwood for thirty-two years. However, in reality his ministry reaches far beyond a single church. One of the many who love and respect him, Sister Sharon McMillion, says of Harvey:
"He is as faithful as Abraham,
He is as full of good as Dorcus,
He is as obedient as Paul,
He is a God fearing,
Bible preaching man,
He is everybody’s preacher"
Harvey began preaching in 1975 and received his "Certificate of Ordination" in 1976. In that same year he became the full time minister for Buckhorn Missionary Baptist Church. Today that church has grown to over 160 members. William Harvey is also the Vice-Moderator for the 2nd West Missionary Baptist Association, which covers thirty six churches over a three county area. His ministerial duties with his own church, combined with this position with the Baptist Association, creates a busy schedule for those needing his service. His phone often rings during the late hours of the night, requiring him to rise to help some family in need….he is everybody’s preacher.
William Harvey is another example of the thousands of wonderful people we are fortunate to have living in our Jackson County community. May God continue to bless him, his family, and his work.

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