Pastor Daniel Burnell Harris Sr.

Mr Daniel Harris

The Legacy of Daniel B. Harris, Sr. – “A Journey of a Man after God’s own heart”

Daniel B. Harris, Sr, was born in St. Louis, Missouri on January 28, 1943, during the latter part of World War II. His middle name, Burnell was his grandfather’s first name; his mother ‘s father. Daniel was the 4th of six children {4 sons and 2 daughters} to the matrimonial union of his God-fearing mother and father, Deaconess Myrtle A. Sutherland Harris and Deacon Julius D. W. Harris, Sr, born in Huntsville, Alabama.
During Dan’s early years, he grew up in the projects of St. Louis, Missouri and he has often reflected that “the smell of the world and the gang type of environment was nauseating” to him during his early life experiences. His Father, Julius Sr., was his childhood hero. He watched him intensively and admired how he graciously and faithfully loved his mother and provided for his six children. Dan’s father worked tirelessly in a steel mill and at Wabash Railroad as a freight handler. He admired his Dad’s calm demeanor, controlled temperament, his discipline approach and his hardworking ethics to provide for his family. He was a praying warrior with his mother as well. Though he was not a large man in stature, he was big in Dan’s eyes. He would later reflect on his father, after studying him as a youth: “I came to this conclusion – That’s the kind of husband and father I want to be”.

In Dan’s adolescent years in the 1950’s, and during the height of the turbulent racial unrest in the United States, there were several cruel times that were earth shaking to him. One day after school, Dan and his best friend were walking home when a gang of youth boys from another neighborhood, grabbed them both in an alley way and stabbed his friend to death. Inexplicably, they released Dan. This horrific event that he witnessed as a youth, caused him to fear his surroundings and induced anger in him, that was already simmering from living in the projects. And though his parents often referred to him as a “dreamer”, he begins to withdraw more, into his academic books, anger thoughts, fear and seclusion.

When he was 14 years old, his appendix inflamed and dangerously raptured with a life-threatening sign of poison exposure while in school. His younger brother, Leonard, aka “Butchie”, had to carry him to their apartment for his parents to eventually rush him to the hospital. In the Emergency Room, they almost lost him, yet while in his comatose state, Dan remembers seeing Christ on the Cross – “Jesus
became a reality to me”. He remembered, “I believe Jesus spoke to me: I did this for you Dan. After prayers from my parents, I was baptized. I felt a tremendous sense of peace, and the anger and the hatred weren’t all there. I felt that I was in a place where I was protected.” A change occurred.

Three years later, he met the bride of his youth at Vashon High School during his junior year, which really freed him. Dad said, “after Christ, Margaret A. Harris, is the second-best moment that ever happened to him. Ever!” They married several years later and began an amazing life, love and line crossing journey together, in faith, with God orchestrating their every step! Psalms 37:23
Dan’s first college days was in Harris College, then he matriculated to Washington University, and majored in Chemical Engineering. ‘Mr. Wizard’ was his favorite person on TV, and he desired to pursue organic chemistry and science. It was during his employment at a Chemical Lab, where God’s orchestrated steps would connect early dots in his professional journey. He met a man named Kanta Gonde, a chemist, who became his business mentor and fast tracked-taught Dan Instrumentation, Clinical procedures, the process of physiological chemistry, and more. This caused Dan to learn so much in a short period of time, and he was hired by Monsanto Chemical, as a research scientist. This led to Xerox Corporation’s pursuit and offer to Dan as a Research Analyst in Rochester, New York in 1969. Dan accepted the offer, and this gave he and Margaret the opportunity to take their 3 sons, lift them up and relocate his family from St. Louis to Rochester, New York. Dan said, at this point, “we’ve been on a plan, purpose of God, ever since.”
In just three years, Dan’s success with Xerox in Webster, New York, in the Research lab as a quality control analyst in carbon products and papers, led to an opportunity to enter the Commercial Field of Xerox in Chicago. Dan was promoted again, and his family relocated to Chicago, Illinois for 6.5 years and then another promotion to District Manager and relocation to Toledo, Ohio. In 1982, Dan felt in his spirit that the Lord came up on his heart and spoke to him, it’s time to leave Xerox, as the Lord was filling him up with a thirst and hunger for His Word. Dan realized that the Lord was calling him into ministry. He then went to Moody Bible Extension College, and he felt as if he was walking in Abraham’s shoes. He read the Word continuously and couldn’t get enough. Dan obtained subsequent ministerial assignments of youth pastor, associate pastor and interim pastor. Dan and Margaret also started a business together developing leaders, writing and supporting businesses and strategic plans, titled JIL Associates {Jesus Is Lord}. He and Margaret did it together; praying, rejoicing and being silent together. A walk of faith, trusting God.

In 1990, Sterling Commerce offered Dan a role to start an electronic data interchange with the retail market, and relocated Dan and Margaret to Columbus, Ohio. “When we moved to Columbus, my oldest son, Daniel Jr and his family were living in Columbus and attending Rhema Christian Center. He introduced Margaret and I to Rhema. Dad said, “the first day we walked into the lobby, we knew, that this was the place that God wanted us to connect with. After several months, we met with Apostle Scales and told him, “We want to yoke up with you. Where there is a void or a need, we’re here to help. We came with the attitude; we want to be a giver and a helper”.

Pastor Daniel Harris – Rhema Christian Center
In 1990, Pastor Dan Harris and his wife Margaret were called to the ministry at Rhema Christian Center, where they were both active as pastors and continued to faithfully serve. Pioneering such ministries as the marriage ministry enterprise, “Partners for Life”, they have sown into the lives of singles and couples, reaffirming the original plan of God. Through this ministry the couple facilitated marriage conferences, seminars, and small group sessions.

Prior to retirement, Pastor Dan functioned in the offices of Pastor-Elder with the oversight responsibilities to the Men’s Department, Business Cultivator Institution, Kingdom Foundation Studies, Ministry Development, Healthy Church Development, B.R.E.A.D Justice Ministry and the Marriage Life Department. By the leading of the Holy Spirit, he has been instrumental to many lives within and outside of Rhema Christian Center.

Pastor Dan, Sr leaves to cherish, honor and replicate his amazing life precepts, his best friend, suitable helpmate and beautiful bride of over 62 years, Margaret Ann Harris; first born son, Daniel B. Harris, Jr; middle son, Derrick C. Harris Sr (Chrystal); youngest son, Dennis C. Harris, (Chanell); Granddaughters, Raffinee Johnson; Patrice M. Harris; Grandsons Sheldon M. Harris (Lyndsie); Daniel B. Harris, III; Derrick C. Harris, Jr. (Alicia); Denzel A. Harris; Jordyn D. Harris; Marcus A. Harris; Isaiah A. Harris; Christian G. Harris; sister and matriarch Shirley Cabbs; sister in love, Jo Ann (Willie); nephews, Jeffrey C. Cabbs (Connie); Justin A. Harris (Trudy); nieces Michelle Douglass; Kerri V. Mack (Donald); Angela Harris; Nicole Cabbs Fondren; Joyce Banner; La Donna Williams, Dionne Kelley (Jack), Cassondra Moore (Marshall), Demi Roseman (Angelique): 10 Great-Grandchildren and a host of cousins, other relatives and countless friends.

Visitation 11:00 AM and Funeral Service 12:00 PM Friday, September 1, 2023 at Rhema Christian Center , 2100 Agler Road.

Interment at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens.

Daniel Harris_Booklet 3

Pastor Daniel Haris Cover copy

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Condolence Messages

  1. So sorry to hear of the passing of Pastor Dan. He was an awesome man of God and a great leader. He helped me when my brother passed away. He was always pleasant and encouraging. He will be truly missed.

  2. Our Condolences to the Harris Family,Pastor Dan was one of a kind, full of wisdom and passionate for the development of God’s men. A shining example of marriage to his bride Miss Margaret and raising a wonderful family. Let God’s comfort and peace and memories carry you forward.The Bradley Family

  3. I’m saddened but not crushed to hear of Pastor Dan Harris passing. He was a spiritual father and mentor to me and poured into my life. He loved the Lord and his his family and modeled for me how to complete this Christian walk. May God comfort the family with His awesome mercy and grace.

  4. Damaris kendrick

    My condolences to Margaret and family. Praying God gives you peace that surpasses all understanding.

  5. Thank you for sharing Pastor Dan with us! My prayers for God’s comfort, strength and peace at the Family’s every point of need.

  6. Lori Strickland Palmore

    May God Comfort and encourage you in this difficult time and loss of such a great leader!

    Danny your CSU family could not be there for hugs in person but we hope you know how much we love you and our support is offered as prayers go up.

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