Pastors' Memoirs

Byron Sylvester Hallstead, 1920-1994

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Byron S. Hallstead was born August 1, 1920, the son of Edith and Arthur Hallstead. His childhood and youth were spent in Fulton, New York, growing up with his two sisters, Catherine and Doris. He was married to Jean H. Carr from Chester, Virginia (upon return from an Army station in Greenland). From this marriage came five children: Thomas, Donald, Gail, Brenda, and John; and nine grandchildren.

He was a graduate from Fulton High School and Oswego Normal School, Oswego, New York, and Houghton College, Houghton, New York. His seminary work was completed at Duke, North Carolina. He received his local preacher's license in 1941. In 1942 he joined the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Lee. It was there that he met Jean whom he married on December 10, 1944. He became a probationary member of the conference in 1950 and was ordained an elder in 1957. He served the following churches in the Virginia conference: Sussex, Emmanuel, associate at Park Place, Courtland, Wesley, Baylake, Community, Oakton, Grace, Asbury and, after retirement, Claremont After retirement he and Jean resided in Surry, Virginia.

Byron led a very full and interesting life other than his ministry. Growing up he was active in the State Street Methodist Episcopal Church, was editor of the Epworth League newspaper, active in DeMolay, led church minstrel shows and plays, and played professional baseball with the Cincinnati Redlegs while in college. He was in the United States Army from 1942-1945 and traveled with the 1st Army Special Service All-soldier Show into a foreign theater where he performed with U.S.O. shows. His performances took him to Greenland, Newfoundland, Iceland, and a number of outposts in the Arctic regions. He liked to sing and often wrote lyrics to songs. He substituted as chaplain after the Dorchester incident for one year until new chaplains arrived. Throughout his ministry Byron worked in community theatrical groups such as the annual historical pageant at Sweetbriar, directed high school glee clubs and many Civitan Theatrical plays. He sang with the ACCA Shriners Chanters, read for the Virginia Voice on a Richmond radio station and directed tours through the Chippokes State Park in Surry, Virginia.

Byron died January 7, 1994, and Jean, his wife, died March 20, 1994. Both funeral services were from Asbury Church, Richmond, Virginia. Interment was in Sunset Memorial Park, Chester, Virginia.

-William G. Price Sr.



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