Byrd Blackwell


The Rev. Dr. Byrd Blackwell, age 81, of 1222 Old Durham Road, Roxboro, departed this life Saturday, June 1, 2019 in Hock Family Pavilion in Durham. He was a native of Person County, a member of Shady Hill Baptist Church and a U.S. Army veteran.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Reuben and Irene Winstead Blackwell; a son, Eric Blackwell; and former wife, Gracie Paylor Blackwell.

He was a charter member of the Roxboro Person County Ministerial Alliance. Rev. Byrd was awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Northern Piedmont Bible Institute and during his tenure at Shaw Extension, he studied under Southeastern Seminary.

In 1976, he was elected to serve as pastor of the Pettiford Grove Baptist Church in Oxford, where he served for 11 years. He also pastored the Dan River View Baptist Church for four years. In 1982, Rev. Blackwell was elected pastor and installed on March 20, 1983 at St. James Baptist Church where he served for 37 years. In 1979, he was elected to serve on the Advisory Board of Campus Ministry at Piedmont Technical College in Roxboro and also worked with the Person County Council on Aging.

Rev. Blackwell was a member of the Roxboro City Council and served as Moderator of the Banister Missionary Baptist Association of Halifax, Va.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis Blackwell of the home; four children: Ferndena Harvey (Charles) of Timberlake, Frederick Blackwell (Marlene) and Tangela Blackwell-Stoner (Franklin), both of Roxboro and Teresa Blackwell of Durham; one sister, Belladonna Dirton (Charles) of Greenville, S.C.; one sister-in-law, Doris Blackwell of Roxboro; four grandchildren: Charles A. Harvey, Ashleigh Crawley, Franklin Stoner Jr. and Eric Stoner; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

The funeral service will be held Wednesday, June 5, at 11 a.m. at Shady Hill Baptist Church, 1500 Old Durham Road, Roxboro, with the Rev. Dr. James A. Richmond, Sr., Pastor Emeritus of Shady Hill Baptist Church, providing the eulogy and the Rev. A. Chandler, 1st Vice-Moderator of the Banister Missionary Baptist Association, St. Matthew Baptist Church, Clover, Va., presiding. Burial with military honors will follow in the Blackwell Family Cemetery, 1222 Old Durham Road, Roxboro.

Visitation will be Tuesday at the funeral home from 1 – 6 p.m. with the family present during the last hour from 5 – 6 p.m. At other times, the family will receive friends at the home. His body will lie in state in the church for one hour prior to the service.

Cunningham and Nelson Funeral Directors are in charge of the service of comfort for Rev. Dr. Byrd Blackwell.

Online condolences may be expressed at


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