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Hallmark retires after 50 years of ‘dynamic’ ministrycomment (0)

February 2, 2012

As a teenager, Gerald Hallmark knew God was calling him into the “gospel ministry.” And after 50 years in ministry — 20 as senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Alexander City, in Tallapoosa Baptist Association — Hallmark knew it was “about time” to retire.

He earned his bachelor of arts from Samford University in Birmingham and later his master of theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and doctor of ministry from Luther Rice Seminary in Lithonia, Ga.

Hallmark served as pastor of several Alabama churches, including Eastmont Baptist Church, Birmingham; Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, Cropwell; and Mount Hebron Baptist Church, Elmore, as well as one church each in Tennessee and Mississippi.  

Beyond leading churches from the pulpit, Hallmark was active on the associational level, serving as a moderator six times and chairman of six committees. He also served on the state level as vice moderator of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions and on the boards of Judson College in Marion, the University of Mobile and Samford. He was nominated for Alabama Baptist State Convention president in 2002. He currently serves as a Samford trustee.

Barry Cosper, director of missions for Tallapoosa Association, had nothing but positive remarks to share about Hallmark. “I would describe him as a positive and dynamic leader that has made an impact as a pastor, in the association and in the state convention,” Cosper said.

When Hallmark wasn’t busy serving in Alabama, he was going on missions trips. “I’ve been able to travel the world and work with missionaries ... and it makes [missions] more alive to me,” Hallmark said.

He and his wife of 47 years, Jerri Ann, plan to spend plenty of time with their six grandchildren after he retires April 30.

“I don’t have any great profound statements to share,” Hallmark said of his life in ministry. “I’ve just been serving the Lord for these years, and now I think it’s time to pass the [job] over to the next man (the Lord has prepared).”

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