BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The pastor at one of the oldest megachurches in the Birmingham area was killed in a car crash Thursday morning.
Harry Reeder III, senior pastor at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, died following a crash involving a dump truck on Dunnavant Valley Road at 10 a.m., Shelby County Coroner Lina Evans confirmed. Reeder, famously prefaced as “Pastor/Teacher Dr. Harry Reeder,” had been pastor at the church since 1999, taking over for longtime pastor and church founder Rev. Frank Barker.
“It is with a deeply heavy heart that I communicate to you that our Lord has called Pastor Reeder home through a car accident,” Briarwood Executive Pastor Bruce Stallings said in a statement. “Please pray for Cindy, Jennifer, Ike, Abby and their entire family as well as our staff and church family as we all grieve this tremendous loss together.”
“But we do not grieve without hope because we know our pastor is with His Savior and has been received by grace with — ‘Well done My good and faithful servant.'”
Reeder died one day after the fifth anniversary of the death of his sister, Vicki.
Reeder, 75, was a native of Charlotte, North Carolina and had been ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America since 1982. Reeder previously attended seminary training at Covenant College and Westminster Seminary, where he completed his master of divinity degree.
Reeder’s son, Ike, memorialized his father in a Facebook post, remembering how he and the family were able to gather together Monday for dinner.
“Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers for our family during this difficult time with the loss of my father, Harry Reeder,” said Reeder, who is also president of Birmingham Theological Seminary. “God has called his servant home and I know he will hear, ‘Well done good and faithful servant.'”
In addition to his work as a pastor, Reeder was also a prolific author, writing about the Christian faith in books like “From Embers to a Flame: How God Can Revitalize Your Church,” co-written with David Swavely, and “3D Leadership: Defining, Developing and Deploying Christian Leaders Who Can Change the World.”
Briarwood Presbyterian Church was founded in 1960.