Pastor William T. Erby of Bethel AME Church in Bartlesville, OK transitioned from time to eternity on March 21, 2015 at his home.
Celebration of life:
Date: March 28, 2015
St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church
1845 North Peoria
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74106
Bishop Samuel L. Green, Presiding Bishop of the Twelfth Episcopal District
Mrs. Phylis N. Green, Episcopal Supervisor
Reverend Dr. Roger O. Alford, Presiding Elder of the Easter District/Oklahoma State Conference
Reverend Dr. Harvey G. Potts. Presiding Elder of Western District/Oklahoma State Conference Reverend Kevin Clayton, Dr. Host Pastor of St. John A.M.E. Church, Tulsa
On February 10, 1941 a beautiful baby boy was born to William T and Connie Tellis Erby in Atkins, Arkansas. He was the last of fourteen children born to this union.
William accepted Christ at Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Atkins, Arkansas at an early age.
In 1957, after completion of school, William moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. He served with the Church of the Living God. Later he united with Galilee Baptist Church where he received his licensed to preach on March 1 , 1968. Shortly afterwards he was asked to travel to Coffeyville ,Kansas to serve a Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. After serving in Kansas, he returned to Tulsa and connected with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He attended Jackson Theological Seminary Extension School in Little Rock, Arkansas under the leadership of the late Rev. Dr. B.S. Roberts. He was later ordained as an Itinerant Elder.
In 1980, wedding vows were shared between William Timothy and Cleve Erby. With this union came nine children.
In 2007, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity in Human Letters from Harvest Time Prayer and Bible College.
During his service in the ministry, he pastored numerous churches. Just to mention a few: Pleasant Hills/ Chiles Chapel-IXL, Cooper Chapel- Bristow, OK
Bethel A.M.E- Claremore, OK
Shorter Chapel- Okmulgee, OK
Flipper Chapel- Taft, Ok
Bethel A.M.E- Muskogee, OK
Bethel A.M.E- Bartlesville, OK
William was preceded in death by his parents, six sisters and five brothers.
He also leaves to cherish his memory , his loving wife of the home, Cleva M. Erby ; nine children, Sharon Erby, Kathleen Erby and Tywan Erby all of Tulsa,OK, Loretta Simpson (John) of Charleston, SC, William T. Erby (Gertha) of Minneapolis, MN, Elder Darrick R. Erby (Janice) of Eldorado, AR, Linda, Rolland and Michael (Shirley) McBee all of Tulsa, OK; two sisters, Easter Cole of Tulsa, Mealenease Erby of Kansas City , MO and a host of grandchildren, great- grandchildren, nieces, nephews ho loved him and will miss him dearly. He also leaves to mourn his church family , the African American Methodist Episcopal Church.
Life is but a Stopping Place Life is but a stopping place, A pause in what’s to be,A resting place along the road,to sweet eternity.
We all have different journeys,Different paths along the way,
We all were meant to learn some things,but never meant to stay…
Our destination is a place,Far greater than we know.
For some the journey’s quicker,For some the journey’s slow.
And when the journey finally ends,We’ll claim a great reward,
And find an everlasting peace,Together with the Lord.