Reverend Dr. Otha Gilyard of Shiloh Baptist Church in Columbus has passed away. On December 1, 1993, Dr. Gilyard formally became the Pastor-Elect of Shiloh Baptist Church in Columbus. He was proud to have served two years as President of the Board of Ohio Council of Churches and served as past President of the Board. 

Dr. Gilyard was born on a farm to Caldonia Gilyard Moore in Brickeys, Arkansas. He was raised by his grandparents, Robert and Della Gilyard. Otha attended the public schools and graduated from A.M.P. Strong High School in Marianna, Arkansas. After graduation, he attended college briefly before enlisting in the Army and serving in Vietnam. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.

Dr. Gilyard's degrees included Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, Master of Sacred Theology from Union Theological Seminary, and he earned his doctorate degree from the University of Chicago Theological Seminary. Dr. Gilyard was awarded the prestigious Merrill Fellowship to study at Harvard Divinity School. Dr. Gilyard has received an honorary degree from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and an honorary Doctorate of Human Letter from Lee Bible College in Memphis, Tennessee.

In 1971, Dr. Gilyard accepted the call to Second Calvary Baptist Church in Hopewell, New Jersey. In 1975, he accepted the call to Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

In 1993, Dr. Gilyard became the Pastor-Elect of Shiloh Baptist Church in Columbus. He was appointed by both Governor Strickland and Governor Kasich as a Board Member of the Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. He was appointed by Mayor Coleman as part of his Education Commission. Dr. Gilyard was the immediate past President of the Ohio Baptist General Convention.

He was married to Frieda Rand Gilyard and they had one daughter and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother, Caldonia Gilyard Moore; grandparents, Robert and Della Gilyard; brothers, Eugene, Roosevelt, Archie, and Marvin; and child, Kareem. Dr. Gilyard leaves behind to cherish his memory: his wife, Frieda; daughter, Karla; grands, Kareem and Margeaux Jackson; brothers, Otis (Maria) Moore, William, Jerry (Jacquelin) Moore, and Terry (Lynn) Moore; seven godchildren, Howard McCullough, Brandi Lockett, Danielle Carter, Shawn Gardner, Reverend Sheldon McCullough, CJ McClure, and Charline McClure; brother-in-law, Lary (Denice) Rand; sisters-in-law, Carolyn Rand and Veneda Saunders; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends.

Please keep the Gilyard family in your prayers.