Becky Harber shares her life of faith starting from her birth to where she is now – Baptist Press recognizes her as the much-loved and respected wife of evangelist, pastor, author and radio personality Frank Harber.
About 34 years ago, Becky was born in the Edna Gladney Home, a medical care facility for unwed mothers in Fort Worth, Texas (now called the Gladney Center for Adoption). When she was only a week old, Vernon and Delores Florence who had been unable to conceive more children after having their biological sons Sam and Jay, adopted her into their family and took her to their east Texas home in the town of Big Sandy.
When Becky was about 8 years old, she recalled the moment she felt so special when her mother told her she was adopted. "We were in the bathroom getting ready to go to a family reunion. My mom said, 'Becky, did you know you were adopted?' I walked out of the bathroom and walked right back in, seeking a definition for that word 'adopted'. I don't remember the words she said. All I know is that when she was done, I felt so special."
Vernon Florence later told Becky he had been reluctant to tell her about being adopted because he didn't want her to feel any different than the boys. "That made me feel special, that he didn't want me to feel any less his child," Becky recounted.
In Becky's teen years, her mother showed her the adoption papers. Her birth mother was 19 and her biological father was 21 at the time she was born. In processing that information, Harber has often thought, "Obviously they were old enough to have kept me."
"It may not have been her plan to conceive me," Becky said of her birth mother, "but thankfully she followed through with her pregnancy and my birth, giving me a chance at life."
Harber doesn’t know much of her biological parents but she is not bitter of leaving her.
Harber has a deep respect for her birth mother: In giving up her baby, her mother made the greatest sacrifice of love possible. While she knows little else about her birth mother, Harber learned that she became an attorney. "She went on with her life, learned from her mistakes and made something of herself. I'm so proud of her -- whoever she is and wherever she is."
Becky is very proud to be part of the Florence family. "My adoptive parents are two of the best people you will ever meet." She credits them with helping her become the person she is now. "They taught me to be responsible and how to put others first. They taught me self-respect and taught me there wasn't anything I couldn't do. They were my biggest cheerleaders."
Since Becky was 3 years old, she started attending church. Beck’s parents did not attend church but they allowed Becky and her brother to go to church. "They never pushed us to go, but if that's what we wanted to do, they were right there ready to take us," Becky recalled.
It was at First Baptist that Becky accepted Christ as her Savior in her early teens. In her mid-teens, she began dating Frank Harber, who was very opposite of Becky. Back then he wasn’t a believer and it was actually through Beck that Christ was introduced to him. "We were so opposite," she said. "I was a child-like faith person and he was a prove-it-to-me person. He would try to talk me out of my faith, but he couldn't do it."
Eventually God changed his heart and he became a Christian. Pastor Wells baptized them and they got married. "Both were committed to the Lord when they married," he noted.
Frank and Becky attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary together and served God and Frank who decided to become an evangelist. Becky supported her husband by handling the business side of his evangelistic ministry the first 12 years of their marriage. In 2001, God changed her role from evangelist's wife to pastor's wife at the Fort Worth-area First Baptist Church in Colleyville.
Ever since childhood, Becky’s personal qualities distinguished her as a with a great sense of compassion for those in need. Becky’s friends would refer to her as “a good listener” with “balance” and “wisdom beyond her years.”
"My personality plays a lot into that. I believe it helped significantly, especially during my days as an evangelist's wife," Becky said. She recalled seeing the commercials on television asking for donations for hungry children in Africa. "One time I had two dollars, and I stuffed them in an envelope and put the envelop in the mailbox. Mom found it and explained, 'You have to have an address to mail something.' Another time I collected all the money I had and took it way out onto the patio and set it there. Then I waited for God to get it to take it to those kids. I wanted to help them. I didn't want them to be hungry."
Pastsy Wells who taught Becky in Sunday School was always amazed at how faithful Becky was although her parents were not churchgoers. "She is such a loyal friend, and has always had the capacity to care, and tremendous mercy," Patsy Wells said.
The Harbers have three children: 5-year-old twins Graham and Gabrielle and 3-year-old Hunter. "We as people have different seasons in our life," Becky observed. "My main ministry in this season of my life is Frank, Graham, Gabrielle and Hunter. I am involved a little bit in other areas. But right now, this is it. This is my ministry."
Reflecting on her statement that, "Nobody had a desire to have me, except for God," she said God has had a wonderful plan for her life, and she hopes all parents experiencing unplanned pregnancies will realize God has a plan for their child as well. Quoting Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future," Harber added, "Every day, unplanned babies are conceived all over this world, but no human being is a mistake. God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us, regardless of our biological parents' intentions."