John William Harrell, 82, Spring


Last updated 2/5/2024 at 12:44pm

John William Harrell, 82, passed away on February 2, 2024, at his home in Spring Texas.

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m., Monday, February 12, 2024, at Bridge City United Pentecostal Church in Bridge City, Texas. Officiants will be Reverends Murry Ray and David Elms. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens.

Visitation will be prior to the service beginning at 10:00 a.m., Monday, February 12, 2024, at Bridge City United Pentecostal Church in Bridge City.

Born in Port Arthur, Texas, on October 4, 1941, Reverend Harrell was the son of D.I. and Josephine Harrell. He fiercely loved his wife, children, and grandchildren. He recently told one minister, “I sure am proud of my kids and grandchildren.” 

He leaves behind an immeasurable legacy that is too vast to be comprehended by the human mind. Rev. Harrell lived a life of ministry.  He assisted his pastor, Rev. J. W. Evans, for several years in Lake Charles Louisiana. Then he and the love of his life, Hazel, evangelized for three and a half years traveling throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. It was during a revival in Groves, Texas that Rev. Harrell was a pastoral candidate for the little Pentecostal church in Bridge City. In March 1971, Rev. Harrell accepted the invitation to assume the pastorate of the Bridge City United Pentecostal Church. And thus began the story of Rev. Harrell’s pastoral ministry. He pastored in Bridge City for forty-eight years, from 1971-2019. He retired in March of 2019, and lived the rest of his days in Spring Texas.  

Rev. Harrell lived out a life of preaching and has influenced the hearts and lives of thousands, both laity and ministry. The sound of his voice was rarely heard away from his local church, but few preachers’ words echoed across America and the world more than his as they were repeated by hundreds of preachers in innumerable pulpits every week. However, he nobly felt his position was in the pulpit of the church in Bridge City. He fiercely loved his congregation in Bridge City, second only to his family… and his congregation loved him. He rarely took vacations; instead, service after service he was consistently behind his sacred desk doing what he loved to do… preaching the Word of God as only he could. His sermon titles alone had a lasting impact because they were intricately connected to the principles and teachings of the messages. He had a unique way of driving those principles and teachings into your heart.  Many remember sermon titles and messages they heard him preach twenty, thirty, and even forty years ago.  Getting Used to the Dark; A Loaf of Bread and a Flagon of Wine; Moab is My Washpot; Treasures in the Snow; A Thief Called Familiarity; When God Smiles; and The Hidden Part of a Dream are just a few of the unforgettable sermons he preached through the years.  

He was a “preacher’s preacher,” and was referred to by many as the “Prince of Preachers.” Rev. Harrell helped and supported preachers all over the country.  Whether it was a sermon they might have been working on, a pastoral issue they were trying to work out, or personal problems that were deep-seated and challenging, he did his best to help them out.  

He was renowned for his ability to make John Bunyan’s Pilgrim's Progress come alive. He would use the characters to motivate, encourage, and strengthen the listener, and help you to live and navigate life. One of those characters was Valiant-for-Truth… And just like Valiant-for-Truth, on February 2, 2024, he “passed over and all the trumpets sounded on the other side” (Bunyan, 1862, p. 243).

He is preceded in death by his parents, D.I. and Josephine Harrell; his sister, Peggy Jean Johnson; his niece and nephew, Michael and Deborah Cardinal;his great-nephew, Kane Cardinal; and his parents-in-law, Leon and Bethel Andrus.

He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Hazel Harrell; his children, Jahnette Colleen Wilson and husband, Scott, of Cypress and Derryl Ivan Harrell and wife, Dana, of The Woodlands, his grandchildren, Dylan Ivan Harrell, Derick William Harrell, and Daniel Lee Harrell; his sister-in-law, Janet Donahue and husband, John; his brother-in-law, Royce Andrus and wife Glenda Andrus; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of friends.


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