Music 01

Darvin "Papa Byrd" Byrd

June 7, 1922 ~ October 9, 2020 (age 98)


Darvin “Papa” Byrd

Darvin B. Byrd (known for years as Papa Byrd)
Born June 7, 1922   Went to be with Jesus October 9, 2020
From Wrightsville, Georgia and Augusta, Georgia
Served in the U.S. Army in World War II in the South Pacific, Philippines, and New Guinea. 

Wife Ethel Mosley Byrd Preceded in death 1972
Son Eugene Brooks Preceded in death
Grandson Little Windy Johnson Preceded in death
Granddaughter Lisa Johnson Bailey Preceded in death

Survived by:
Wife Rev. Wilma Byrd
Daughter Mary Ellen Byrd Johnson
Son     Randy Byrd (Mary Ellen)
Angel Johnson Moore, Whitney Johnson, Rebekah Byrd Dowd, Joseph Byrd, Sarah Byrd Hammond.
Several Great Grandchildren and Great Great Grand Children

After World War II Papa Byrd came home to Georgia and followed through with his musical career.  His home was in Georgia, however, he worked with several country music artists from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tn.   
Darvin Byrd and his wife Ethel Mosely Byrd founded The Byrd Family gospel singing group in October 1958 in Atlanta, Georgia. 
 They recorded at Starday Recording Studio in Nashville, Tn. for years and then at Hilltop Studios in Madison Tn. with longtime friend Jack “Hoss” Linneman.  

Darvin Byrd and The Byrd Family did television ministry from Augusta, Georgia for many years in the 60’s and 70’s over WJBF, also in Knoxville, Tn. over WBIR with Cas Walker and eventually their television ministry was seen all through the United States and around the world. 
The Byrd Family Television Program was one of the longest running music programs over WFXG Fox 54 in Augusta, Georgia. 
Papa Byrd was inducted into the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame in Branson, Missouri. Among the artists that have been nominated include Andy Griffin, Dolly Parton, Jimmy Snow and Loretta Lynn.

Darvin Papa Byrd was the Chaplain of American Legion Post 44 Wrightsville, Georgia.

Pastor Randy and Mary Byrd founded Bible Fellowship Church in Martinez Augusta, Georgia 19 years ago and Papa Byrd had a dream/vision of a heavenly visitation hovering over the church property from the western sky.   A Reenactment photo is in the church building depicting that event. 

Mary Ellen Byrd Johnson, Papa Byrd’s daughter, has been a professional pianist and vocalist her entire life including recording, television and concerts.  She is presently ministering each week with music ministry at a church in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

The Memorial Service and Celebration of Life is planned for Sunday December 6 at 4 p.m. at Bible Fellowship Church 3701 River Watch Parkway in Martinez Augusta, Georgia.  
In lieu of flowers, Wilma Byrd has requested donations be made in honor of Papa Byrd to the Darvin “Papa” Byrd Memorial Fund. Checks can be made payable to Bible Fellowship Church.  The Byrd Family has a website at and Bible Fellowship Church at and each site has a place for on live giving and text to give. 
The mailing address is Bible Fellowship Church 3701 Riverwatch Parkway Augusta, Georgia 30907 or P.O. Box 204900 Augusta, Georgia 30917

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Darvin "Papa Byrd" Byrd, please visit our floral store.


December 6, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Bible Fellowship Church (Martinez Augusta, Georgia)
Guaranteed delivery before the Visitation begins

© 2020 McNeill Funeral Home & Cremation Service. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy