Dr. Gary Allison Furr
Gary was a Baptist pastor from 1979 until 2021. For the last twenty-seven plus years of his career, he was the Pastor of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. He received a B.A. from Carson-Newman University, an M. Div. from Southeastern Baptist Seminary and the Ph.D. in religion from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He is a frequent speaker in conferences and as a writer has edited, written for and co-authored seventeen books, including The Library of Distinctive Sermons, Ties That Bind: Life Together in the Baptist Vision, The Dialogue of Worship, For Faith and Friendship, Theology in Service of the Church, and Encountering God in the Prayers of Others, also published by Parson’s Porch. Most recently, he has published Poems, Prayers and Unfinished Promises with Mossy Creek Press. He served as an adjunct professor at Samford University and Beeson Divinity School and now spends his full energies writing, speaking and as performing musician and songwriter, as well as being involved with his children and grandchildren. He and Vickie continue to make their home in Birmingham, Alabama and enjoy traveling and family together.
Gary is called upon to speak in a wide variety of venues. He continues to enjoy preaching and teaching in churches, and through the years has spoken at corporate events, universities and chapel services, retreats and college classes.
Gary has been playing, writing and singing music his whole life. He started playing guitar at age 9. A veteran of lots of bands of the years, he performed with Shades Mountain Air, a Birmingham acoustic-bluegrass band for twenty years and contributed many of the band’s original songs through the years.
In 2007, Gary put out his first solo album of all original songs titled permanent world of pretend. It was followed by Overload of Bad News Blues in 2010 and What It Is in 2012. In 2017 he released his newest effort titled “Uncle Vance’s Guitar,” and in 2020 co-released Flat Tire on Memory Lane with his friend and fellow musician Mark Weldon.
He has played a lot of places over the years–both solo and with the band at a wide variety of venues, including colleges and universities, conferences, churches, coffee houses and festivals. “Music is how I rest and sometimes pray. Music and telling stories come as naturally to me as sports does to others.”
His concerts always involve heart, soul, laughter and maybe a tear or two, and for sure more than one story worth hearing.
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