Bishop Billy Ray Payne

June 16, 1942 ~ December 26, 2021 (age 79)


Bishop Billy Ray Payne, 79, of Columbia, transitioned peacefully from this life on December 26, 2021, to his heavenly home. He left behind an enduring legacy as a devoted husband, father, Christian, and philanthropist.

Billy was born in the family home on June 16, 1942, to William and Lucinda Christine (Williams) Payne in the Neatsville community of Adair County, Kentucky. His family later moved to the Sparksville community. He attended Adair County public schools and worked on the family farm until moving to Chicago as a young man. 

In 1971, Billy met Beverly Pollard in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Virginia Grill, where she was a waitress and he was a cook. He knew from the moment he saw her flowing, long red hair that she would become his wife. True to his intuition, they married on January 3, 1972, and raised 11 children together. They celebrated 49 years of marriage and were just a few days shy of their 50th Golden Anniversary at the time of Billy’s passing.

Billy worked many years for RCA Company in Indianapolis. After moving back to Columbia in 2006, he began working for the Adair County Board of Education as a bus driver. His love of community and fellowman led Billy to work at the Adair County Animal Shelter, Goodwill Industries, and J.O.Y. Ministries. He also volunteered his time delivering food and goods to the elderly and those in need.

If he was not tinkering with his cars, watching basketball, or mowing the lawn, Billy was certain to share a good story of his life and faith. He considered himself a blessed man. He was a faithful servant to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He started his ministry at the Voice of Pentecost Church in Indianapolis in 1976 at the age of 34. After moving back to Columbia, Billy and Beverly began attending the Eunice Church of God, supported by Pastor Elder C.R. Payne.

Along with his parents, Billy was preceded in death by one brother, Joseph B. Payne, and a sister, Amanda Weathers.

His adoring wife, his “Queen”, Beverly Payne, survives to mourn his passing.

He leaves to cherish his memory 11 beloved children: William Ray Payne, Jr. of LaGrange; Brenda Payne of Chicago, Illinois; Daniel Farris (Bonnie) of Brandon, Florida; Ronald Farris (Donna) of Danville; Sherry McCree (Lee) of Indianapolis; Joseph Farris of Stanford; Elizabeth Morrow (James) of Indianapolis; Lorna Wyatt of Atlanta, Georgia; Clayton Farris (Debbie) of Indianapolis; Eric Farris of Stanford; and Anthony Payne (Peggy) of Columbia.

Billy is also survived by the following siblings: Mary Hendrickson, Carolyn Cox, Sheila Payne, Phyllis Payne, Sharon Payne, and George Payne (Joann), all of Columbia; James Payne (Ernestine) of Delaware; Richard Payne (Cheryl) of Benton Harbor, Michigan; David Payne (Sharon), Henry Payne (Janet), and Clyde Roy Payne (Teresa), all of Danville; Larry Payne (Reggie) of Woodbridge, Virginia; and Timothy Payne (Yuvondra) of Bardstown.

His many adored grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren also survive, as well as a host of nieces and nephews.

Billy also leaves behind Joshua and Stephanie Cheatham and their daughters, Kyliee and Jaielyn, whom he embraced as his own.

Visitation at Eunice Church of God, 12515 Liberty Rd, Columbia will begin at 10 A.M. Saturday, January 1, 2022 with Going Home Service to follow at 12:00 P.M. with Elder C.R. Payne delivering the Eulogy.


Pallbearers are David Payne, Henry Payne, George Payne, Larry Payne, Timothy Payne, and Doug Rayburn.

Grissom-Martin Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

To send flowers to Bishop Billy Ray Payne's family, please visit our floral store.


January 1, 2022

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Eunice Church of God
12515 Liberty Road
Columbia, KY 42728

Funeral Service
January 1, 2022

12:00 PM
Eunice Church of God
12515 Liberty Road
Columbia, KY 42728

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