Rev. Royce Christmas, 78, of Hamburg, died January 4, 2014 at his home.
Christmas graduated from Hamburg High School in 1953 and attended Junior College at Walnut Ridge. He graduated from Ouachita Baptist University and then attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Dallas, Texas. He received his Doctorate at the Mississippi Baptist Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi in 1982.
He was a veteran of the United States Air Force and a Southern Baptist Minister for over 49 years having ministered at Beirne Baptist Church in Beirne; Live Oak Baptist Church in Gatesville, Texas; was the Chaplin at the State School for Boys at Gatesville, Texas; First Baptist Church in McGregor, Texas; Eudora Baptist Church in Eudora (twice); Highland Heights in Benton; Parkview Baptist Church in Greenville, Miss.; Immanuel Baptist Church in Benton; Immanuel Baptist IMB in Juneau, Alaska; First Baptist Church in Kenai, Alaska; First Baptist Church in Bastrop, Louisiana; Glacier Valley Baptist Church in Juneau, Alaska; First Baptist Church of Judsonia in Judsonia; Arkansas City Baptist Church in Arkansas City; and Greenacres Baptist Church in Bastrop, La. He started two mission churches and made two mission trips to Africa.
He loved spending time with his family and his hobbies were fishing, bow hunting, gardening and doing yard work.
He is preceded in death by his parents, John H. and Mabrey Courtney Christmas; two brothers, Robert Lloyd Christmas and Donald Collins Christmas.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Betty Rodgers Christmas of Hamburg; two sons, John Christmas and wife, Kem, of Arkansas City and Tim Christmas of Hamburg; a daughter, Lisa Christmas Rose and husband, Tom, of Spotsylvania, Virginia; a sister, Joyce Ann Rhodes of Pine Bluff; a sister-in-law, Jan Christmas of Hamburg; seven grandchildren, Brett Christmas of Arkansas City; Liz Christmas Taylor of Virginia; Tyler Taylor of Montana; Zach Christmas and wife, Hannah, of Hamburg; Jonathan Taylor of Virginia; Rebekah Christmas Taylor of Virginia and Samantha Christmas of Arkansas City.
Funeral services will be January 7, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Mt. Olive Baptist Church with Rev. Jimmy D. Wallace and Rev. Eric Hodge officiating. Burial will be in the Hollis Chapel Memory Garden.
Pallbearers are Mark Christmas, Brett Christmas, Zach Christmas, Scott Christmas, Clayton Rhodes, Drew Carpenter, Butch Lochala and Jackie Carpenter. Honorary pallbearer is James Morris. Memorials may be made to the Gideon’s International, PO Box 83, Crossett, AR 71635.
Visitation will be 6-8 p.m., January 6 at the funeral home.