Jay Carl Byers of Warren, MI passed away in the early morning hours of June 10, 2017, surrounded by his four sons (Daniel, Stephen, Philip and Joseph) and his two daughters in law (Yolanda and Katie) who had served as his primary care givers in the last years of his life.
Jay was born in New Eagle Borough, PA on April 29, 1948, to Foster and Harriet (Cowen) Byers. His younger years were filled with outdoor adventures pursuing his love for camping, hunting, and fishing, most often with his brother Mark.
Jay moved from his boyhood home in Pennsylvania to Detroit, Michigan in 1953 where he attended McKenzie High School, in Detroit, graduating in 1966. Shortly after graduating Jay felt called to the ministry and attended Elim Bible Institute graduating in 1970.
After Jay graduated from Elim he worked various jobs waiting for an opportunity to enter full-time ministry. During this time he began to raise a family, ultimately having four sons as well as opening his home to two foster children. He also pursued his other passion, aviation, that he hoped would open opportunities for missions work.
In 1980 Jay moved to Shinglehouse, PA where he became an assistant pastor at Myrtle Gospel Tabernacle.
In November 1983, Jay fulfilled his calling to ministry when he became the senior pastor at Mt. Zion Assembly in Depauville, NY, a position he served in for 13 years. During his time there as pastor, he started several ministries such as a K-12 school, a prison ministry and in 1987 fulfilled his dream of being involved in missionary aviation. He made numerous trips to northern Canada where he ministered at Indian Reservations. In one trip he and a group of men built a church building in 7 days!
In 1997 Jay left full-time ministry and returned to the Detroit area so he could be closer to his sons and grandchildren. He loved nothing more than spending time with his grandchildren, usually playing his ukulele or tickling them.
Jay will be missed by many and none more so than his four boys: Dan (Wife Memree) Byers, Stephen (Wife Sarah) Byers, Philip (Wife Yolanda) Byers and Joseph (Wife Katie) Byers, 19 grandchildren: Corey Byers, Kimball Henderson, Ashley Byers, Zane Henderson, Kyle Byers, Alita White, Jason (Goob) Byers, Savannah Henderson, Natalie White, Kelsey Byers, Seth White, Isabella Byers, Sofia Byers, Joelle Byers, Nathaniel Byers, Josianna Byers, Julietta Byers, Matias Byers and Kole Byers. Jay is survived by his brothers Dwayne, Marvin and Mark and sister Anne and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Foster and Harriet Byers and a sister Janice.
The Byers family would like to request that any donations that are made in honor of Jay Byers can be made to the Rose of Sharon Mission House. If you would like to make a donation in honor of Jay Byers please click here to make your donation, thank you.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32