The Edmond Sun
Gary D. Byrkit, 65, senior minister of Southern Hills Christian Church in Edmond, Okla., died suddenly on August 13, 2013. Family will receive visitors 5-7 p.m. Friday, August 16 at Matthews Funeral Home on Kelly in Edmond. A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, August 17 at Southern Hills Christian Church, 3207 S. Boulevard, Edmond.
Gary D. Byrkit was born April 1, 1948 in Peoria, Ill., to Grover C. and Marie A. Byrkit. He graduated from Peoria Central High School in 1966. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Bradley University in 1970, a Masters of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in 1974, and a Doctorate of Ministry from Lexington Theological Seminary in 1993. He dedicated his life to ministry with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and he served the following churches: San Leandro, Calif., Overland Christian Church in St. Louis, Mo., First Christian Church in Chaffee, Mo., First Christian Church in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and for the past 28 years, Southern Hills Christian Church in Edmond. He was active at all levels of the Christian Church, serving on the general board, countless committees and most recently as the regional moderator of the Christian Church in Oklahoma.
During his lengthy pastorate at Southern Hills, he encouraged those in the congregation to live lives of service and dedication to others, locally and around the world. The congregation has been involved in Stephen Ministry, CROP Walks, Honduras mission trips, Habitat for Humanity, Hope Center, Whiz Kids, the yearly Pumpkin Parish and many other projects.
A family man, Gary was a dedicated father, husband, son and brother who always put his family before himself.
He was preceded in death by his father, Grover C. Byrkit.
He is survived by his wife, Annie Guzman of Edmond; son Aaron and wife Sarah of Dallas, Texas; son Trevor of Edmond; and daughter Briana of Oklahoma City; his mother Marie Byrkit of Edmond; brother David and wife Sharon of Peoria, Ill., brother Mark and wife Elaine of Plano, Texas; several nieces and nephews who reside around the country, and a host of loving friends and church members who will miss his wisdom, love, and encouraging words both from the pulpit and in person.
Flowers may be sent to the Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond, or in lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Tree of Life Endowment at Southern Hills Christian Church.