There was a time when I could configure Apache without the help of Google. Alas, that time was years ago.
I wanted several versions of Apache on my machine so that I could test different mod_cluster configurations side by side.
I downloaded the Apache source, built it and put in "/examples" under my home directory. After I started it I got :
You don't have permission to access / on this server.
I immediately checked the directory permissions. They looked okay. I spent some time monkeying with the SELinux security settings.
The problem was simple: Apache needs execute permissions all the way up to the root directory.
Simply moving my "examples" directory to the root fixed it.