Dr. Berry Wiley Stephens, 77, died peacefully on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in Atlanta.
He was born July 29, 1942, in Watkinsville to Ronald and Inez Stephens. Wiley graduated from Athens High School and the University of Georgia and was a member of Kappa Sigma.
Always diligent and determined, Wiley finished college in three years. In high school Wiley met and fell in love with his soon to be wife, Linda Stephens. Wiley married Linda Stephens on Aug. 24 in Athens. Initially looking at law school, Wiley heard a call to ministry and decided to become a United Methodist minister. Wiley received his master’s from Emory School of Theology and his doctorate in ministry from McCormick.
Wiley served faithfully within the United Methodist Church for 54 years with his longest church family being Dunwoody United Methodist Church. While preaching, Wiley also wrote compilations of his sermons and published Bethlehem Voices and Finding God: One Testimony at a Time. Wiley also was an adjunct professor of homiletics at Emory University.
In addition to chairing and serving on many boards, he was elected on four separate occasions to represent the United Methodist Church at its general conference.
After retiring Wiley and Linda moved to Covington to be near their daughter and son-in-law, Kelley and Ronnie Johnston. In Covington, Wiley continued to serve his new church family of Covington United Methodist Church through teaching and served his community through his commitment to Kiwanis and writing for The Covington News.
Wiley is survived by his family who loves him dearly: wife Linda Stephens; daughter, Kelley Johnston; son, Berry Stephens; son-in-law, Ronnie Johnston; grandchildren, Brittany, Zac, Katie and Sidney; grandchildren-in-law, Kevin and Maggie; great-granddaughter, Tenley; and brother and sister-in-law, Ronnie and Mary Stephens.
Wiley’s funeral will begin at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. Flowers can be sent to Dunwoody United Methodist Church or the family would appreciate donations made in his honor to Habitat for Humanity.