Harold James Brewer

14 June, 19526 October, 2021

Harold James Brewer, age 69, (known by all as HB) went home to be with our Lord Jesus Christ on October 6th, 2021 in Columbus, Georgia. He was preceded in death by his parents, Delma Louise Young and James Rayphel Brewer, his infant sister, Sharon Lee, his aunt, Pearle Ameila Reames and uncle, Eugene Lester Reames who raised him, his brother in law Richard Wheeler, and his foster-son Howard Daniel Vagi.

HB was born June 14, 1952, Flag Day, with his twin sister, Cheryl, in East St Louis, Illinois. He grew up in southern Illinois, in Fairview Heights, where he was loved and was deeply involved in his church, Unity Roselawn/First Baptist. He played sports with determination and passion, leading the high school basketball team to State Sectionals and the football team to have an undefeated season. He attended college at Princeton University, where he played football until he sensed a call to give up playing sports and pursue his first love, Jesus and his church.

He met his wife, Kathy Ann Byrd, at Twin County Baptist Church where her father was pastor. He graduated from Princeton with a degree in history, having completed several courses through Princeton Seminary. He taught history at South Brunswick High School and simultaneously co-pastored a church, Liberty Tabernacle. The church met in a school until he and the family moved to Illinois to plant Cornerstone Community Church. He led and served, and the family served right alongside him. He went on to serve on staff at Springbrook Community Church, from 1996-2007, and then at The Chapel, where he served on staff until the fall of 2020. He coached high school football for decades, coached soccer for his kids when they were little, and even helped coach basketball several years ago for two of his granddaughters. Whether at work, at church, on a football field, or in his neighborhood, HB was known for his passion for people, his generosity, his empathy, his patience and kindness. His love for his family, from immediate to extended family and friends (who became family), was remarkably impacting and unforgettable. Some of his mottos that have become more like anthems are: “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission,“ “People are what matter to God,” “It’s character building,” “Let me encourage you….” and most famously, “It’s a good day to be alive!”

His hugs were legendary. His love extraordinary. His hope in God a rock solid foundation that has withstood unfathomable tragedy.

From one of his favorite books, “The Last Battle” by C.S. Lewis, there is a quote that was a favorite of his, and captures what we know is now true: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now...Come further up, come further in!”

HB is survived by his wife of 48 years whom he called “Lovie,” Kathy Ann Brewer; those who called him Daddio, his Serbian daughter Ana Alikalfić, daughter Joy (Jim) DeLaere, daughter Anna (Brian) Paprocki, son Joshua (Corrie) Brewer. Those who called him Papa are grandchildren Jalisha, Lillian, Lincoln, Julianna, and Kyrell; Ian, Gwynne, Aiden, and Emilio; Faith, Joshua, Katherine, Genevieve, and Hoyt. Those who called him brother, Art (Kay) Reames, Robert (Lisa) Reames, Donald (Roseanne) Brewer, Carole (Bill) Whittenberg, Cheryl (Bruce) Wahlmeier, Sandra Wheeler, Allen W. (Janet) Reames.

There will be a visitation in the Rose Room at Carmichael-Hemperley Funeral Home, 135 Senoia Road, Peachtree City, GA 30269 on Saturday, October 9, 2021 from 1:00pm-3:00pm. The service will follow, in the chapel, at 3:00pm.

A memorial service will be held in Chicagoland on Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 2:00pm, at Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL 60010.

Per Dad’s wishes, in lieu of flowers donations may be made to help build a school in Kenya with an organization started by friends at The Chapel: Oasis for Orphans, PO Box 1144, Wheaton, IL 60187, by phone at 224-277-5678, or online at:

“As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God… I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8 NLT


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Harold James Brewer

have a memory or condolence to add?

Steve Roderick

29 October 2021

We'll forever be reminded of HB in the beautiful home he built for us. He was a wonderful friend whose spirit lives on in all those he touched.

We are grateful God brought him into our family's lives and the time we had together.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

The Rodericks

Joanie Luberecki

13 October 2021

Dear Kathy and family,
There are so many good memories of HB and my time at Liberty Tabernacle. He had a way of making people feel comfortable and loved while in his presence. He performed my wedding ceremony, dedicated our first born and even painted our house.
My favorite memory of him is when during our wedding ceremony he cupped Randy's face with those large hands and prayed over him. A gesture of love that caught Randy by surprise, but let him know the seriousness of this commitment.
HB was my pastor, friend and a father figure to me. He will be greatly missed.
Our deepest sympathies.
Love Joanie and Randy Luberecki

Veronica Henderson-Garner

13 October 2021

HB was a godly humble man who was one of a kind. I met him 15 years ago at a Montessori event at the Chapel Church. Later, I became friends with his wife Kathy and children Anna and Joy as we all served together at Willow Creek Church.
Fast forward 5 years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Kathy who was a breast cancer survivor helped me navigate through this very difficult time. They all prayed with me and HB made beef stew and brought it to my house during my many weeks of chemotherapy.
After that 3 years ago, I shared my dream with him to open my own Montessori School and I needed a location. He graciously opened the doors to the Chapel Church for Opus Montessori School. It has been a blessing and an amazing journey of faith for me and my husband Geoff. HB encouraged, supported, advised, and prayed for our success. Now we are thriving! I am so grateful that God used him in this way. My life and the lives of so many others have been changed.
What a role model. He made me want to be a better person and a better Christian. Reminding me always no matter what life brings.” It’s a good day to be alive”. I will miss you my friend!
Love, Veronica Henderson-Garner

Todd Alexander

12 October 2021

Mr Brewer was my teacher and coach many years ago in New Jersey. My sincerest condolences to all his friends and family. So grateful to hear that he was a blessing to so many. He is in the Lord's joyful embrace.

Carrie Freund

11 October 2021

HB always referred to me as "Miss Carrie". He was one of those people you only had to meet once for him to make an everlasting impression. I am so grateful to have known this wonderful person. I am appreciative of the collaboration with him in getting the year round shelter built. He will always have a place in my heart. Rest in peace, HB. You are loved and missed.

Sam Tenuto

10 October 2021

Sending Prayers to HB and his family, God Bless.
HB was instrumental in creating the new PADS Homeless Shelter in McHenry County. His passion to serve, huge smile and care for others fueled the mission for all!
I know you are with us HB and we all love you!

David Matthews

10 October 2021

I met HB and Cathy some thirty years ago when we moved from Michigan to Algonquin. We met when our sons played soccer. He was our small group leader, mentor and a man that you could look up to and admire his love for God.
I will always remember his statement to me "It's not about me". He was a statue of strength and character! I will miss his wisdom, his teaching and his friendship.

Fred Cerequas

10 October 2021

I worked with Hal for just a couple of years at SBHS, but he had a huge impact on my spiritual life. I will never forget him and know that he is at his real, eternal home.

Ted Renn

9 October 2021

I like thank HB for being my. Friend for along time . Gre at watching him play for my dad Dea n Renn& the 1969 Undefeated team I’m watching play basketball him help Swanson for the state and your favorite football season love them both I love you guys always I love you Beverly’s family thank you very much much

Linda (Conley) James

9 October 2021

Harold and Cheryl were like younger siblings in the youth group. I know HB will be greatly missed!
May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your minds and hearts dwell in you...
Much love and prayers,
Rev. Linda
Center for Indigenous Ministry
Christian Church (DOC)

From the Family