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‘Joshua’s Mission’: Parents honor son killed in Iraq


BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (BP)–As a tribute to their son, an American soldier killed in Iraq in 2003, Lloyd and Mary Byers established “Joshua’s Mission” to help church members understand the urgency of prayer for the nation.

“I don’t use the pulpit as a soapbox,” said Lloyd Byers, who has been a Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, church planter and director of missions during his 32-year ministry. “I just say we need to pray for our country.”

His son, Joshua, was killed in action in Iraq by a roadside bomb while the Byerses were serving as Southern Baptist missionaries in Guam.

Josh loved his country, Byers said, noting, “He believed in what he did and he died believing what he was doing was right.”

Byers emphasized that he does not get political during the messages that he preaches in churches. “I will preach Jesus Christ and He will be the center of my message as I share some unbelievable stories about our son in battle,” Byers said.

Byers said his son was a strong Christian who often shared his faith with his fellow soldiers.

“He loved the Lord. His life showed Christ so much that fellow soldiers were drawn to him because of his faith, not by his words,” Byers said.

Letters written by Joshua Byers were among several featured on a Home Box Office special in 2004 of interviews with parents of soldiers killed in the war.

In his presentations, Byers normally uses a four-minute clip of excerpts from those letters.

Urging Christians to take seriously the matter of prayer for the country in which they live, Byers said, “I believe God has called me to do this in order to bring His people to a real encounter with the Christ who has blessed this country called America.”

Byers can be reached at [email protected] or 615-673-6861.
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    About the Author

  • Lonnie Wilkey
    Lonnie Wilkey is editor of the Baptist and Reflector (baptistandreflector.org), newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.Read All by Lonnie Wilkey ›