Enon Grove Pastor Hardin retires in August comment (0)
September 6, 2012
By Neisha Fuson
After 40 years in ministry, Gary Hardin retired Aug. 26 from his six-year role as bivocational pastor of Enon Grove Baptist Church, Cedar Bluff.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a doctor of ministry degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Hardin preached his first sermon at First Baptist Church, Centre, in 1972, and later served as pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church, Pinson, and First Baptist Church, Cordova. Outside Alabama, Hardin served as pastor of Crossroads Community Baptist Church, Ann Arbor, Mich., and First Baptist Church, Shepherdsville, Ky.
Hardin was the design editor of The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (now LifeWay Christian Resources) from 1984 to 1992 and now works as a correspondent for The Alabama Baptist newspaper, specializing in articles on disaster relief.
“Gary has been a blessing to me personally and to those with whom he works on the disaster relief beat,” said Jennifer Davis Rash, executive editor of The Alabama Baptist. “His pastor’s heart shows through in the way he carries himself, the way he relates and the consideration and concern in which he writes.”
Enon Grove Baptist members showed their appreciation to Hardin on Aug. 26 during a special service and fellowship lunch. They also showered him with a plethora of cards and a love offering.
There was a “packed house” and several former members, family members and current members attended the service, Hardin said.
Hardin recognized the “joy and privilege of serving the Lord in multiple roles … and in different states.” And when asked what the biggest lesson was he had learned in his years of service, Hardin answered, “2 Chronicles 20:15 — The battles aren’t yours, but God’s.”
Hardin plans to serve as interim pastor, write and develop a blog during his retirement.
Hardin and his wife, Linda, have three children and four grandchildren.