Mary Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Harris

March 16, 2023

On March 13, 2023, Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Harris closed her eyes on this earth and opened them in the glorious presence of her Heavenly Father. She can now attest with assurance that “my ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You” (Job 42:5).

Beth was born to Bob and Patty Tabor on December 30, 1961, in Logan, WV. She was the older sister to Rob, a brother she cherished for a lifetime. At the age of fifteen, Beth committed her life to Jesus and never looked back. In 1990, she married Jim, the love of her life, and spent the early years of marriage teaching third grade at Grace Christian School while serving at Grace Gospel Church and First Baptist Church South Point, Ohio.

In 1997, Jim and Beth relocated to Pensacola, Florida, where Beth began a twenty-three-year career at Olive Baptist Church as Pastor Ted Traylor’s Executive Assistant. Her responsibilities included efficiency and professionalism, of course, but she brought so much more to the position: warmth, energy, and authenticity. While she filled this role fulltime, other opportunities within the church showcased a host of other gifts. For example, Beth was a seasoned Bible teacher; attentive mentor to young women; and innovative Director of Women’s Ministry.

When family and friends think of Beth, they think of so much more than a faithful servant at Olive Baptist. She loved a good joke, a Starbuck’s coffee, and a beautiful beach sunset. Her penmanship was as impeccable as the words she crafted, and there was nothing brighter than that million-dollar smile. For those who knew her even briefly, Beth was a connector of people. One of her greatest joys was in introducing two strangers who were “meant to be friends.” In short, she recognized potential and then helped every walk of life reach it.

Beth loved Jesus. She walked with Him, talked about Him, and exuded His love wherever she went. Memorizing large chunks of scripture was more than a spiritual discipline; it was a balm for difficult moments that needed perspective. Her favorite books of the Bible happened to be the ones she was presently studying—Joshua, Isaiah, and 1 John were recent preferences—and she often quoted them on walks with friends, in social media posts, and in her prayers.

Beth is survived by her husband James P. “Jim” Harris; her brother Robert W. Tabor (Camissa); mother-in-law Athalene H. Harris; sister-in-law Josette H. Hatley (Robert); three nieces Alayna Tabor, Emma Hatley, and Frances Hatley; and two nephews Matthew Tabor and Samuel Hatley. She is preceded in death by her parents Robert E. and Patty J. Tabor and her father-in-law Hargis V. Harris.

An often-quoted passage that Beth shared with friends feels even more significant since her homegoing. It is in these truths that she took great comfort, and so do we: “For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (II Corinthians 4:17-18).

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The Ministry Village at Olive, Inc., 1716 E. Olive Road, Pensacola, FL 32514.

Live stream of funeral service will be available Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. Central Time, at


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