Passing of a Dear Pastor

We just received word that Pastor Harry Reeder, Briarwood senior pastor, was killed in a Shelby County crash Thursday morning 5/18/23. 




Longtime Briarwood Presbyterian Church senior pastor the Rev. Harry Reeder III was killed Thursday morning in a Shelby County crash.

The wreck happened at 10:01 a.m. on Dunnavant Valley Road near Dunnavant Place.

Authorities said the driver of a 2022 International dump truck was stopped to make a turn when Reeder’s vehicle - a 2022 Buick Envision - crashed into the rear of the truck.

Reeder, 75, was pronounced dead on the scene, confirmed Shelby County Coroner Lina Evans. The dump truck driver, 38-year-old Brad Dawson, was not injured.

Reeder has served as the church’s senior pastor since Briarwood founder the Rev. Frank Barker retired from the pulpit in 1999. Barker oversaw Reeder’s transition to senior pastor.

The church has more than 4,000 members.

Briarwood Executive Pastor Bruce Stallings released this statement to

“It is with a deeply heavy heart that I communicate to you that our Lord has called Pastor Reeder home through a car accident. Please pray for Cindy, Jennifer, Ike, Abby and their entire family as well as our staff and church family as we all grieve this tremendous loss together. But we do not grieve without hope because we know our pastor is with His Savior and has been received by grace with - ‘Well done My good and faithful servant.’'’

Reeder, also an author and podcast host, is survived by his wife, Cindy, as well as three children and numerous grandchildren.

Reeder began his undergraduate work at East Carolina University. After marrying, he withdrew in order to allow his wife to finish her BA degree in chemistry from UNCC.

After his wife’s graduation, Reeder returned to East Carolina University but left after he was called into the ministry, and eventually finished his undergraduate work at Covenant College in 1974.

With a degree in History and Bible, he began to pastor an Independent Bible Church in the Chattanooga area. This ministry continued for six years, during which he went part-time to Tennessee Temple Seminary.

Reeder then became a Presbyterian pastor in Miami at Pinelands Presbyterian Church. While in Miami, he completed his Master of Divinity Degree with Westminster Seminary through the Florida Theological Center. Pinelands Presbyterian Church grew from an attendance of 50 to more than 400 in his two-and-a-half year pastorate.

In February of 1983, Reeder became the founding pastor of Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church in North Carolina. The ministry began with 38 committed members, and in seventeen years attendance grew to more than 3,000 during Sunday morning worship services.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.