By Ralphine Major

This month, the minister and his wife reach a milestone.  Dallas and Joretta Harrell celebrate 65 years of marriage!  They have four children; five grandchildren, including one grandson that has passed away; and two great-grandchildren.

In 1992, Rev. Dallas Harrell retired from the freight business and for several years worked part-time  for Claiborne Funeral Home (now Claiborne-Overholt Funeral Home) in New Tazewell, Tennessee.  This was a perfect place for him to use his years of experience in ministering to families who had lost a loved one.  The minister continues to share God’s message today.  Now retired from public work, Rev. Harrell pastors at Ford’s Chapel American Christian Church in New Tazewell.  I am reminded of a time many years ago when I was in high school and stayed overnight at the Harrell home.  We went to church Sunday morning in New Tazewell.  After service, we went home with some church members for lunch.

Prayer has always been an important part of Rev. Harrell’s daily life, his family shared.  “He always steals away to a private area of his home and humbly prays aloud early each morning and before going to bed each night as well as other times and places throughout the day.  It’s not unusual to walk into his house and find him in the living room reading and studying the Bible with his wife sitting nearby.”  The respect and admiration the two sons and two daughters have for their father is evident as they share more:  “He has always been a man of his word, and he has lived his life before others that speaks volumes about his character, integrity, and work ethic.  Time has changed him physically, but he has remained faithful as he continues to share God’s word.”  His family agrees that “the legacy he will leave is his love for God.”  Powerful words, but not surprising, for the minister who surrendered to preach at the age of 22.

I asked Rev. Harrell his favorite Bible verse.  He answered with what is probably the most important verse in a Christian’s life and bears repeating often.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (KJV).

Everyone is welcome to attend a Focus Author Book signing, Fountain City Lions Club, 5345 N. Broadway, Tuesday, June 19, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Local Authors Day Book Signing, Barnes & Noble, 8029 Kingston Pike, Saturday, June 30, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.