Andy Clay Harris
|Andy Clay Harris|
|Born|| September 1, 1961 |
|Spouse|| Sheryl Lynn Harris|
|Religion||Assembly of God clergyman|
Andy Clay Harris (born September 1, 1961) is an Assemblies of God pastor from Bossier City in northwestern Louisiana, whose former congregation, The Church of the Cross, erected in 2009 a 199-foot Christian cross on the grounds of its sanctuary in Haughton. The silver cross is seen from various points about U.S. Highway 80.
The son of a Bossier City builder-father and teacher-mother, Harris graduated from Bossier High School in 1979. He studied at the Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas, the alma mater of the famous pastor John C. Hagee of San Antonio, Texas. For a time, he was on the staff of The Gurdon Times in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He also lived for a time, dates unavailable but prior to 1996, in Carson City, Nevada; Miami, Oklahoma, and Sarepta in Webster Parish, Louisiana. Harris completed an internship at his home congregation, the Broadmoor Assembly of God in Shreveport and was ordained into the ministry in 1985.
On March 7, 2018, Harris was arrested for possession of methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia and booked in the Bossier Maximum Security Facility, at which he posted a $5,000 bail. He accepted the pastorate of The Church of the Cross in 1996 and resigned after more than twenty-one years amid the arrest. He reportedly earned between $100,000 and $150,000. Police said that Harris was questioned on another unrelated, undisclosed matter when Harris revealed the drugs in his home. Police found 3.5 grams of meth, a smoking device, and a snorting straw.
A Republican, Harris was pictured in The Shreveport Times with then state Senator Ryan Gatti of Bossier City (unseated in 2019 by Republican Robert Mills) and Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.
On the Sunday after his resignation as pastor, a letter from Harris was read to the congregation. He described his time at The Church of the Cross as one of "faith and victory" and long-term friendships with members who were "saved, healed, and filled by the Holy Spirit. We have loved and felt love by you all." Harris described his recent years in the ministry as like being in "a pressure cooker" with betrayals, sickness, and family issues. Harris continued, "A few months ago in a time of weakness I attempted to ease the pain in the wrong . I have sinned, and I have asked the Lord to forgive me. I have asked my family to forgive me. And I am asking you all -- all of you-- to forgive me. ... Pray all the good the Lord has done through us will outshine the bad the devil has done to us."
Doyle Dempsey, the secretary-treasurer of The Church of the Cross, described his broken heartedness: "Although we do not condone his behavior in this matter, we are all eternally grateful to Pastor Harris for his years of dedicated service to this church body. ... We are all just mortal men. One decision away from sudden destruction." The case against Harris has yet to come to court.
In the wake of Harris' departure, the pastoral staff rotated the ministerial duties pending the call of a new pastor.rris is
Harris was confined to the Bossier Parish Jail in Plain Dealing on March 7, 2018, on a $5,000 bond.
- Andy Harris (Clay). Mylife.com. Retrieved on March 14, 2018.
- Andy Harris: Bossier City, LA. Intelius.com. Retrieved on March 14, 2018.
- Nick Wooten (March 9, 2018). Bossier Parish pastor arrested for possession of meth. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on March 14, 2018.
- Nick Wooten (March 12, 2018). Arrested pastor to former congregation: forgive me. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on March 14, 2018.