Wilbert Lynwood “Bert” Harbison of Lakeland, a retired Baptist pastor, died Sunday February 28, 2021 at Good Shepherd Hospice. He was 90. Reverend Harbison was born February 6, 1931, in Cullman County, Alabama, to Samuel Fernando Harbison and Maudie A. Laurence Harbison. He served as pastor and interim pastor at a dozen churches, most recently at Green Pond Baptist Church where he served twice. He was ordained as deacon and pastor at Crystal Lake Baptist Church in 1976.
Reverend Harbison told his children, “when my life is over, I would like for people to say of me that I loved the One about whom I preached and sang for so many years, and that love was manifested by the way I loved His church and the people He put in my life and have crossed my path.” He loved God. He loved family. And he loved music.
Pastor Harbison is survived by his wife of 67 years, Hazel Hammond Harbison, daughters, Patti Andrews of Lakeland and Suzanne Gibson of Winter Haven, son, David Harbison of Winter Haven, sister, Rheda Griner of Leesburg, Florida, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his son, Michael Wade Harbison, and seven brothers and sisters.
The family will receive friends for visitation at 10:00 A.M. with a funeral service following at 11:00 A.M. Friday morning, March 5, 2021, at Green Pond Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida. A mask will be required to attend. Internment will take place at Oak Hill Burial Park at 2:30 P.M., Friday, March 5, 2021. Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.