The Late Elder A. R. Harris

A.R. HarrisAgain, I don’t want to spend a lot of time on the standard biography history of this man, but to be correct, I shall for a moment. As this is a man that I never met, never knew, only heard of, but yet his life and the decisions that he made, will and has affected my life, not only in this life, but the life to come.

Alexander Russell Harris was born October 27, 1902 and passed at very young age of 57 in 1959. With me, being born in 1960, as you can see our paths never crossed. But he was born the late Mother Francis Harris, along with his sisters, Annie M. Tillman, Christine Davis, and Ellease Williams, who was my grandmother. Though always raised in a Christian environment, it was in 1928 or 29, thereabout that my life and my family life would change forever.

In the late 1920’s A.R. Harris would join the Way of the Cross Church, under the leadership of (Elder) Bishop Henry C. Brooks. And until his death he served faithfully as Bishop Brooks assistant pastor, when he joined the ministry in 1931. He served as the Superintendent of the local Sunday School for 28 years, he organized such groups as the Senior Brothers Club, the Junior Brothers club, (which many are pastors today), and the 10-14 Boys Club, as well for 13 years as the Recording Secretary, and 25 years as the General Secretary of The Way of the Cross Churches of Christ International. And though he was handicap by the lost of an arm, those who lived doing that time would testify that he was a strong disciplinary that demanded respect.

But enough of that, for it wasn’t for his decision to join the Way of the Cross Church of Christ in 1920’s, I may would have never known the biblical truth of in Christ Jesus abides the fullness of the Godhead, I may have never known that the Baptism in Jesus Name was correct, I may would have never know about receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. But most of all, I may would have never known the life of Holiness that the Lord demands his people to live. It is because of The Late Alexander Russell Harris that I stand today as a third generation of many Apostolic ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I wish I had got the chance to meet “Uncle Bubba” which he was called by the family, I was told that he was a great singer and his favorite song was “My Body, My Whole Body Belongs To God”. Throughout his life and the example that he showed, many family members followed him as he followed God. As not only his sisters, along with his wife Dorothy and his children  would join the Way of the Cross Church with him, but many more would follows, such as the, the Harris, Williams, the Wilson’s, The Davis, the Jacobs the Samuel’ s, the Lindsay’s, the Richburg’s, and the Atkins.

One of the greatest influences he had was on a young man named Elijah Williams, who was my father. In 1978, when Daddy was called to be a pastor, he honored his late uncle by naming the church, the “A.R. Harris Memorial United Way of the Cross Church of Christ.

He departed this life in June of 1959, at a very young age of about 57 years old. Like I said, I never knew the man, never saw, never touched, but the life that he lived and the decisions that he made, has touched me so many way and the favor of God upon my life, has a lot to do with this great man of God. My great uncle, the Late A.R. Harris, thank you Uncle Bubba.

Published on September 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm  Comments (6)  

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  1. There was another family that joined TWOTC under the influence of Elder Harris, was his mother’s sister, Gillie Samuels, and her family, The Jacobs. I can remember Cousin Bubba, being very strick. He believed in the children behaving in Sunday school, and church.
    If we didn’t, there was a spanking, and when you got home, there was a whipping waiting for you. I thank God for all the teaching that I got in the WOTC. It has brought me this far in life still believing in the doctrine, and obeying the word of God..

  2. My name is Khalid Moussa Foster. I remember Elder Harris well and loved him dearly! My grandmother Lovie Brooks Foster Brown was the youngest sister of Bishop H.C. Brooks and co-founder of the WOTC. You would remember my parents Elder Walker and Sister Dorothy Foster as well as Elder Prince Edward and Sister Lois Foster. The Foster brothers were dynamic preachers and church planters. Their wives could sing beautifully although they had totally different styles. I have a brother Edward and a sister Mary who are both involved in liturgical music. You would know us as Tertius, Rocky and Marguerite. Our cousin Naomi was a younger version of Aretha Franklin. God bless and keep you

  3. It was so very inspiring and heartfelt to read your commentary on my grandfather Elder Alexander Russell Harris. I’m the daughter of his 4th child, John Russell Harris, Sr. My name is Kim Harris Washington. I have two older brothers, Kevin Alexander and John Russell Harris, Jr who was just about 3 months old when granddad passed away. So sorry we never got the opportunity to meet such a wonderful man of God. But as you’ve so beautifully conveyed, his legacy has touched so many and will forever live on. We too thank God for our strong apostolic foundation through his teachings!!! Thank you so much for that posting!

    • Hey Cuzzin Kim. Getting old, don’t remember you, but I did know your father very well, he grew up with my dad. And I know your brother Rusty as well. Yes! We are blessed by life and the legacy of your grandfather and my great uncle, Elder A.R. Harris.

      • Hello, I’m John R Harris Jr, it was a pleasure in reading this amazing history of my grandfather and how he impacted the lives of many.God is good just knowing that we have a great background that was laid for all the children in the families coming up today.i do remember as child we use to play together in the yard, because I do believe your dad was also Elijah Williams. Thankyou again for the history.

      • Is this “Rusty” and yes my dad was Elijah Williams….to most of family I am known as Bubby. And yes! your grandfather, we owe a lot, and should never be forgotten.

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