BURRILLVILLE – Members of the Burrillville Town Council acknowledged the loss of a well-known pastor who died last month after decades of service in the community.
Pastor Dr. Bryan K. Speroni, 62, died on Thursday, Sept. 14, leaving behind a family, church and community now mourning his loss.
“He died way too young,” said Councilor Dennis Anderson. “You never realized how many people are touched by a person in their lifetime, unfortunately, sometimes, until they die.”
Speroni, who was born in Framingham, Mass., graduated from Bellingham High School with the Class of 1978. He earned a doctorate in theology at Cornerstone Bible Institute and served as pastor of Pascoag Community Baptist Church and Community Christian School in Burrillville for more than 32 years.
He founded the Baptist Theological School of New England, which offered certificates in basic biblical studies, advanced and post-advanced biblical studies, also serving as the school’s president.
“This is a guy you’d look at and say ‘I don’t know where he finds time to do all that,'” said Councilor Jeremy Bailey. “It’s a huge loss to the community.”
Under Speroni’s guidance, the Pascoag church held Flag Day annually, as well Armed Forces Day in recent years, a celebration honoring veterans that featured students from the Christian school singing patriotic songs.
“That thing was spectacular – the kids, the music, the food, the entertainment…,” said Councilor Raymond Trinque. “He was very giving, and I think the church kind of followed along.”
Trinque noted that Speroni also served as pastor at events for Berard Desjarlais American Legion Post 88.
“He wore God, family and country on his sleeve,” said Anderson, noting Speroni was, “probably the most patriotic pastor I’ve ever known.”
Speroni was the husband of Pamela A. (Harwood) Speroni, whom he married in 1991. He was the son of the late Paul L. and Sandra Lea (Shelley) Speroni, and leaves behind his children Karly Speroni of Milford, Mass.; Katheryn, Kirsten, Krystal and Nathanael Speroni, all of Pascoag; his sister, Shelley Mosher and her husband Richard of Gaines, Penn.; nephew Richard (Jessica) Mosher of Gaines, Penn.; niece April (Curtis) Bard of Mifflintown, Penn., and ten nephews and nieces. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Mary Harwood of Petoskey, Mich., and a very large extended family.
Anderson noted that a funeral service held on Saturday, Sept. 23 lasted two hours and 20 minutes.
“I hope my kids talk about me like that when I die,” he said.
Council President Don Fox said that video of the service, found here, is, “very moving to watch.”
Bailey said that the council plans to present a citation to the family honoring Speroni’s service to the town.
“He really did love this community. That was a man who wore many, many, many hats,” said Bailey. “It came as a surprise to all of us.”
Donations in Speroni’s memory can be made to Community Christian School, 113 Church St., Pascoag, RI 02859.