Mr. Larry Nelson Harris, 73, of Raleigh, NC departed this earthly life on Sunday January 8, 2023. A Memorial Service is scheduled from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM on Wednesday January 18, 2023 at Raleigh Gethsemane Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 2525 Sanderford Road Raleigh, NC 27610. There is no public viewing scheduled.
Larry Nelson Harris passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 8, 2023, at UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina. Larry leaves behind a legacy of love and sharing.
Larry was born on January 14, 1949, in Raleigh, North Carolina, to the late Eleanor "Babe" Harris Brown and James Pope. Larry was born into a Seventh-day Adventist family and reared by his grandparents, William Harris and Lessie Chavis Harris. His grandmother was the spiritual center of the family. He joined Gethsemane at a young age and grew up on stories of the late Elder E.E. Cleveland. Larry would often say that he knew more about the formation of the Gethsemane Seventh-day Adventist Church than his own family. At a young age, Larry spent his summers helping at the tent crusades as a "Tent Master." Larry not only worked during these crusades but also heard God's word.
Larry was educated in the Raleigh Public School system and was a proud graduate of John W. Ligon High School class of 1967. Larry often talked about how he left the church and became active in civil rights organizations while attending Shaw University. He was an activist in political campaigns and often worked alongside civil rights pioneers in Raleigh. However, the gravitational pull of God's love brought him back to the church. He longed to improve himself spiritually and become a better witness to the Lord; therefore, he enrolled at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, and studied Theology.
When school was over, Larry headed back home to go into his former profession, but God had other plans. He was called to Florida by the president and secretary of the Southeastern Conference to join the pastoral ministry. At that moment, Larry accepted the call into the gospel ministry. He was an instrumental asset in developing and building churches for the conference.
As a pastor, he led several churches in the states of Florida and Georgia that included Bethany Seventh-day Adventist in Miami, Florida under Pastor William Byrd, Fellowship Church in Tallahassee, Florida, Ebenezer Church in Dania Beach, FL, and Trinity Temple in Fitzgerald, Georgia. When living in Broward County, Florida, he was voted Outstanding Minister of the Year several times and received similar awards from the NAACP and other civic and community organizations. Larry worked tirelessly on the 2008 campaign of President Barack Obama in Florida, which President Obama went on to win the state. This was the first time a democrat had won that state's popular vote since 1976.
Seeing that his mother needed assistance, Larry returned home to become his mother's caretaker till her death in 2017. Never being one to sit idle, he also worked for Wake Technical Community college teaching adult education at night.
Larry's passion for advising and teaching the Word of God to young adults would soon expand to a global capacity. He traveled to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America to spread the news of God's love. Upon returning, he wanted to increase his impact and created a YouTube channel called "Understanding with Pastor Harris." This series included Spanish subtitles and is watched by hundreds of followers.
Larry will be remembered for his caring and loving spirit, culinary skills, and melodious voice with its deep, rich baritone sound. He willingly and unselfishly shared all his blessings.
Larry is survived by his son Mark Harris of South Miami, FL and his large extended family including cousins; Mary Sharpe, Frances Williams, Dianne Chunn, Renee Hall-Mann, Michael Garcia, Paula Pope, Sherri Belk, Jason Belk, and a host of other relatives and friends.