Alumnus of the Year 1992: J. Daryl Byler

Daryl Byler of Meridian, Miss., was named 1992 “alumnus of the year.”

The award was presented during the Oct. 3 convocation program of the three schols’ 75th anniversary celebration by Marlin R. Burkholder (HS 57), president of the EMHS Alumni Association, and Sue S. Herr (C 69), president of the EMC&S Alumni Association.

Byler combines his roles as an attorney and pastor in serving as an advocate and spiritual mentor for residents of economically depressed Meridian. He earned a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1988.

Byler works mornings for East Mississippi Legal Services, a federally funded program that provides legal services free of charge or at low cost to persons who couldn’t otherwise afford it. He specializes in social security, Medicare and disability payment cases.

Jubilee Mennonite Church, where Byler is pastor, has outgrown its original meeting place. The congregation is deeply involved in the local community; among its projects is a tutoring program for elementary-age children. An ordained pastor, Byler is moderator of Gulf States Conference of the Mennonite Church and is a member of the executive council of Mennonite Church General Board.

Five other EMC graduates who moved to Meridian to work in church-related programs there called Byler “an inspiration, a visionary, a people person with a solid and Christ-centered attitude and theology…without daryl we wouldn’t even be in Meridian.”

Byler is married to the former Cindy Lehman of Kidron, Ohio, and they have three children.

Published 1992 in Crossroads.

Posted on August 18, 2016