Thomas Berry

REDFIELD - Reverend Thomas A. Berry, 77, of Redfield, Ark. passed away Tuesday, August 5, 2014. He was a long time resident of Miss. and La. He relocated to Ark. 10 years ago, where he was “adopted” by the family of his wife, Nancy Hawkins Berry.

He served as pastor and church staff member in several churches in La. and Miss. following graduation from New Orleans Seminary. In 1972, he joined the staff at Louisiana College (alumnus) as Director of College Relations. Enrollment increased from about 700 students to over 1500 students during his tenure there. He later became Director of Development at the college and directed successful campaigns before joining the staff at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as VP for Development where he was responsible for a comprehensive development program. He retired as the Director of Drug and Alcohol Rehab for the state of Miss.

He was ordained as a Southern Baptist Minister at First Baptist Oak Grove, La. in 1956. He was fluent in American Sign Language, sang as a tenor in many programs and directed various choirs. He used these gifts to beautifully proclaim God’s message.

He was preceded in death by his parents, T.F. Berry and Oree Berry and a brother Scotty Berry. He is survived by his sisters, Edna Tatum, Bastrop, La., Brenda Herrington (Rick), Oak Grove, La., Dorothy Johnston (Ken), Summit, Miss.; stepchildren, Beth Harrison (Bo), Patty Heird (Sammy), Ray Chanslor (Laura), Lisa Weeks (Mike); grandchildren, Ashton Johnson (Trey), Nick Heird (Abby), Tyler Peters, Seth Heird, Anna Grace Weeks, Mary Margaret Hester and Madison Chanslor; several nieces, nephews and other loving family and friends.

He spent the last several months lovingly cared for by the staff of Davis West Nursing Home and Arkansas Hospice.

A private gathering was hosted by the family. Contributions may be made to River Road Baptist Church, 723 River Road, Redfield, Ark. 72132.

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