Oct. 18, 1933 – Aug. 29, 2022
Services were Sept. 2, 2022, at Main Street Baptist Church for Dr. Lonnie Byron Harbin, 88, of Hattiesburg, interment in McLaurin Cemetery. Born in Tuscaloosa County, AL, Oct. 18, 1933, Harbin died Aug. 29, 2022, at Bellevue Assisted Living in Hattiesburg.
Harbin was the first in his family to finish high school, going on to earn a Th.D. in Old Testament. He pastored several churches in Mississippi and South Carolina, including Dinan Baptist Church in Walthall County. He also taught at North Greenville College, prior to being appointed as a career missionary along with his wife.
He met his wife Dora on a blind double date while he was a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and she was a student at Mather Nursing school. They were married June 12, 1960, and began serving together in ministry, a shared journey of over 61 years.
The Harbins arrived in Brazil in February of 1970, where they studied Portuguese in Campinas as preparation for his career teaching mainly Hebrew and Old Testament in São Paulo and Recife. Between terms in Brazil, he taught at Carson-Newman College, Houston Baptist University and Mississippi College. Toward the end of his teaching career, he helped create a master’s degree program of theological education and wrote a textbook in Portuguese on the Holy Spirit in the Bible, the Church, and history. Alongside his teaching responsibilities, he served a succession of churches as pastor where there was some need of healing and intervention.
After retirement, Harbin taught at William Carey College and the University of Southern Mississippi, served as minister to senior adults, preached in various churches, was leader of a missionary fellowship in Mississippi, taught Sunday School, and later became a deacon after over 50 years of ordained ministry.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lonnie Elmer Harbin and Maude Belle Harbin of Montgomery, AL; his sister, Joyce Bryant of Montgomery, AL; and his sons-in-law, Stephen (Steve) Bozeman of Hattiesburg, and Joseph “Joey” Sanderford of Brandon.
He is survived by his children, Patricia “Trish” Sanderford of Hattiesburg, and Deborah “Debbie” Harbin Ingram (Clyde) of Hattiesburg; his grandchildren, Kasey Renee Ingram Burge (Austin), Jessica Ann Ingram, and Joseph Ramshur Sanderford (Stephanie); his great grandchild, Kayson Grant Burge, two siblings, Judy Lindsey of Mobile, AL, and Jerry Harbin or Phoenix, AZ.
Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home of Hattiesburg was in charge of the arrangements.