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Interview with Newton Hardin, May 14, 2003 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Title:
Interview with Newton Hardin, May 14, 2003
Date:
May 14, 2003
Description:
Interview with retired Air Force Chaplain Newton Hardin.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee:  Hardin, Newton Interviewer:  Zarbock, Paul Date of Interview:  5/14/2003 Series:  Military Chaplains Length  47 minutes

 

Zarbock: Good afternoon. My name is Paul Zarbock, a staff member with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington’s Randall Library. This is a continuation of the military chaplains project. I’m at the residence of retired Air Force Chaplain Hardin. Today’s date is the 14th of May 2003.

Zarbock: Good morning Chaplain. How are you?

Hardin: I’m doing just fine.

Zarbock: It’s a pleasure to be here and thank you for making the time.

Hardin: I appreciate that.

Zarbock: Off camera for the purpose of this tape, the pastor has had a very, very crowded day and he’s gracious enough to make time for me and I and we at the University are very appreciative. Al right to the point, sir what events took place that led you into the selection of the ministry as a profession?

Hardin: Well for one reason, both my father, his twin brother and my grandfather were in the ministry and they played a very vital role in my life. My dad, in particular, he was one of the best friends I ever had and he wanted me to be in the ministry. At first, I did even give it a second thought. Then I went in the Navy in World War II and it was during that period of time that I felt the Lord wanted me to be in the ministry and I also felt at the same time that he wanted to be a Military Chaplain and to serve in that capacity.

So from that day forward, I planned my life based on what I realized was God’s calling, to be a chaplain in the military. All my education including my seminary and my work in the churches was geared to the fact that eventually when the call came that I would be ready to make that transition into the military.

Zarbock: Where did you go to seminary, sir?

Hardin: I went to Southeastern Seminary. I was in the first class there at Wake Forest, 1954.

Zarbock: And you graduated in …

Hardin: 1954, that was the first graduating class of the Seminary of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary at that time. There were 61 of us as I remember.

Zarbock: And after graduation, where were you assigned.?

Hardin: I was serving here. I was pastor at Stone’s Grove Holloway’s Baptist Church Field. We had two churches working together at that time.

Then from there,after serving what they call a three year period to be fully prepared to enter the ministry as a chaplain, then I was called to Active Duty and I was then sent to my first base assignment, Omaha, Nebraska.

Zarbock: Why did you select the Air Force?

Hardin: I had thought about the Navy because I had been a part of it for three and a half years, but they had no slot available at that time. The Air Force had a slot and so I took it and to me that was an open door and I was very pleased and very happy with this assignment in the Air Force because they were new, brand new at that time. So our ministry was geared very similar to what we have in the churches at home.

We had the Sunday schools, we had the youth groups, we had choirs, we had the men’s groups, the Wednesday night Bible studies and prayer time, services on Sunday. It was just like moving from your home to another church, moving from your home to a life in the military and fit right in perfectly.

Zarbock: But chaplain, you knew how to be a civilian. Who taught you how to be an Officer in the Air Force?

Hardin: Well the Air Force of course, all branches of the service have their schools, their introductory schools where they trained each of us how to be a military person. Of course I already knew since I’d had 3 1/2 years in the Navy. So I had more time insofar as other members of my class so I was selected to be the leader of the group for training the others to be more military, how to march and how to drill and all of this. That was one of my jobs in basic training.

Zarbock: Was there any orientation to weapons?

Hardin: No because we are non-combatant therefore we are not involved with guns at all.

Zarbock: But you have to march?

Hardin: Oh yes, just like anybody else, we had to perform as a military person in that respect. When they would have parades, of course we would be asked to be a part of it since all of us had had similar training. I enjoyed myself because to me, it helped me to be a lot more proud of who I was and what I was and where I was serving. I was serving not only my Lord, but serving my country as well and I was proud to wear the uniform.

Zarbock: What was your rank when you went in?

Hardin: I went in as a Captain. I was a first for chaplains to be brought to active duty as a Captain. Most of the time, well all the time they had been brought in as a 1st Lieutenant because of the seminary training. Then through some quirk I guess it was, my brother had called General LeMay, a good friend of his at that time, he was in Washington, D.C. and told him I had waited all these years to go to Active Duty. Because I made Captain, I couldn’t go.

He said now the doctors go in as a Captain and said why shouldn’t he if he has the same number of years of education plus the three years it takes for a residence. So he called the Chief Office and made the recommendation that they called me to Active Duty and so they called me up and I was very pleased and very gracious. The good Lord had answered my prayers.

Zarbock: (Laughter) How did your brother know General Le May?

Hardin: Well he was a florist at that time in D.C., there were three or four florists and one was on base. Also he was a good maintenance man for television and he had been called on several occasions by the Staff of General Le May to go down and fix his television so he became acquainted with him that way. He was also a good cook as am , I am and General Le May, loved good home cooking…you know, cornbread, buttermilk and all of that so he always cooked him a cake of cornbread with buttermilk whenever he was there.

So that was one reason they knew one another. I was real pleased when my brother called me and said you should be hearing from the Chief of the Air Force Chaplains in the very near future.

Zarbock: Sir, it is true that the Lord moves in mysterious ways (laughter).

Hardin: In mysterious ways because had it not been for that, I wouldn’t have been called to Active Duty because I had made the rank and also I was nearing the age where we would be eliminated. Age 39.

Zarbock: What was your age when you entered the military?

Hardin: I was 38 I believe it was.

Zarbock: All right, we now find you on a military base. There were other chaplains there, but you were the junior…

Hardin: No, I wasn’t the junior since I had previous military experience which gave me credit for longevity. So I had four years already. As a consequence, that made me the Senior of the Class. Now there were two others that had Army training so they had two years and as a consequence I was still the Senior. That was the reason I was in the position I was at that time. It gave me a position of leadership at the outset.

Zarbock: What duties were assigned to you on your first base?

Hardin: My first assignment, my primary position was that I was the Sunday School Chaplain. I ran the Sunday school and we had a rather large Sunday school, 400 or 500 in attendance.

Zarbock: That’s a school district for heaven’s sake.

Hardin: Oh yeah, of course that’s a large base, a very large base. They have Strategic Headquarters there in Omaha. We had a large Sunday school. We had six or seven chaplains. Also I was given the responsibility for a 9:00 service. They didn't have one at that time so I initiated a service and it was very, very successful. Then I worked with the youth program as well.

I was Hospital Chaplain and also worked with flight line work too. That was one of my favorites, getting to know the people down on the line where they work. By being able to do this, I made a lot of contacts. As a friend on the job and they knew I had been enlisted they could tell by my actions and how I worked with people and so my attendance grew because I visited where they were. I also visited their homes as well. I stayed busy. I enjoyed it. It was a good, good ministry. I did a lot of counseling.

Zarbock: Were you married at the time?

Hardin: Yes, I was.

Zarbock: Children?

Hardin: Yes, we had two boys.

Zarbock: What sort of stress is there placed on a family…what sort of stresses were placed on your family when you were on that base? Was it comfortable?

Hardin: Well it wasn’t really an uncomfortable situation. It was a new situation and for a little while, it may have been a little uncomfortable until they were able to adjust to a new environment, but they had no problem with that at all. We had the local schools where our kids attended. My wife was involved with the women’s groups and also the Officers’ Wives’ Club had their meetings periodically so she was a part of it.

She was also a chaplain’s wife. She gave support to my ministry. She enjoyed living with me in the military because we traveled so much. We lived overseas. Of course you couldn’t travel during the period of war when we were over in Southeast Asia in Vietnam and all of that. But she did enjoy Japan, the Azores and Spain. We traveled all over Europe and all over the United States, Alaska, Hawaii all other places. So she was able to see a lot of the world that many folks are unable to see and so did our children.

Now the kids adapt rather quickly to a foreign country because they’re in that learning stage and that teaching stage where they can learn the language rather quickly. So in Japan every year, they would go off Base and live with a Japanese family for about a month or three weeks and they learned the language real well and just enjoyed it. It was an easy thing for them to become acquainted and to become friendly with a foreign family.

Zarbock: Looking back over your shoulder into the history of your military career, what was your favorite place?

Hardin: Well every Base was always a special Base to me. Of course I learned very early in life that wherever you are, it’s up to you to make the most of what the Lord has given you. So rather than I don’t want this Base, I went in to find out what I could do to make it better and what would make me feel good about being there. You know, you find what you’re looking for. I never had a bad assignment.

Some I liked a little better than others. One of my favorites was Torrejon, Spain. I was in Command level there as the 16th Air Force Staff Chaplain so I traveled all over that part of the world. I was also the Base Chaplain, Installation Base Chaplain there. I had 8 or 10 chaplains there.

Zarbock: A big Base.

Hardin: Yes, it was a big Base. It was one of the bigger Bases that we had overseas. Of course, it’s gone now. It was closed a number of years ago. It was one of my favorites. Of course I travel about 25 trips a year. I got to know all my chaplains and their families and the bases. I was able to work with them in the event there were some difficulties or problems or they didn't have enough supplies or equipment. One of my jobs was to make sure all this came to pass.

Zarbock: Now did the chaplains who, this may not be the right word but I’m trying to convey an idea, the chaplains who you supervised, did that include Catholic and Jewish rabbis?

Hardin: Yes. There were a number of denominations and faith groups involved. I had no difficulty with it. I always took time to sit down and talk with each individual and find out all I could about them and their faith. Then I tried to find out what every person on my staff really liked to do.

I wanted them to have two things they really enjoyed doing. If you give them two things they really enjoy doing, then the rest of us will join together to handle the mediocre because there will always be some mediocre things. Having two things to work that they really enjoyed doing, it helped have a good team. I was a team person and I expected my staff to be a part of the team. Every place I served, I helped create a working team.

Zarbock: Give me an illustration for the purpose of the tape here, what would be two assignments that a chaplain might really enjoy or two activities?

Hardin: Okay, most of the time they liked to preach or they liked to teach. I had one chaplain who was an excellent writer. Several of them were excellent writers, but for some, this was a part of their livelihood after they left the military. So he wrote all the news articles about the chapel programs and everything of this nature. This gave him something that he really enjoyed doing.

I had those who were good with graphics. They prepared my slide presentations and it made the presentation a lot more acceptable because I had a variety of things going on. We’d have three slides going at one time or all together. This one man, he was very, very adept at doing that. So he prepared our chapel bulletins and all our slide presentations. Even when we had inspections, he would work with me and the team to prepare what was really necessary and essential to satisfy Inspectors.

Zarbock: So you sought out the talent in individuals and the skills?

Hardin: Absolutely. If you don’t do that and you just indiscriminately give jobs, then you’re not going to have a team. Each one must feel they are doing something constructive, something they really enjoy doing. I learned that a long time ago, that people must enjoy what they do in order to be productive and t their best. .

Zarbock: And you enjoyed what you did?

Hardin: Absolutely, I’ve always enjoyed my work. I had a good time with it. That was one reason I guess,I made full Colonel. Not many of us ever made that rank. That was my goal when I began my career. Even at that time it was most unusual for many to make the rank of Colonel, but as time went along we had more chaplains to be promoted, about 8 to 10 percent overall.

Zarbock: How old were you and what year was it that you had your eagles pinned on?

Hardin: Let’s see, I was about 50 years old.

Zarbock: Young.

Hardin: Yeah. I was promoted once below the zone to Major, and after that since so many were being passed over, we did not select any more below the zone even though some of the Generals that sat on our Board with us, wanted to have at least one promoted below the zone but we had so many that couldn’t make it. We felt if they were that good,they would be promoted during the next cycle.

Zarbock: I’m sorry, for the purpose of the tape, would you explain what do you mean “below the zone?”

Hardin: Below the zone would be one year before you would really be eligible on a regular basis. There is a certain year…let’s say in ’68 or ’69 the guy would be available October 1, ’68, but if he’s promoted before that, say a year early and that would usually be the situation, then that is below the zone. Everything else is in the zone, the Zone of Eligibility.

Zarbock: Pastor, I’m going to ask you a question that I’ve asked all of the other interviewees that you’ve seen on the roster. At any time in your military career, did a superior officer ever order you or were you ever hinted at broadly or were you ever slyly requested to do anything or something that violated your personal ethic and religious beliefs?

Hardin: Not one time, ever! My Commanders, had respect for me and I for them. I would explain my position where I stood, my faith, my beliefs and my ambition to be a part of his team on the base and the chaplain community. I’ve always made a habit to get to know my Commanders and they to know and trust me. With this kin of relationship, we would have mutual support.

But I always made it a purpose to be a friend. Never in my whole military career did I ever have anyone, any Commander or senior in grade to me request that I deviate from what I believe in, not one time. Never did any Commander try to tell me how I was to preach. I know that some Commanders did tell others, but never me and I was real pleased with that.

There’s a reason I guess for some Commanders, especially if they’re really not involved with the ministry or with the chapel program, they don’t quite understand everything about you or your chapel facility or the program, but in today’s world or even during the last 10 years while I was on active duty I found that most Commanders, they were very actively involved not only with the chapel program, but with all of the staff of chaplains just as they were with the medical staff and with the flying staff and all of the administrative staff.

I was very pleased to have all ranks very actively involved in the chapel programs. That was a part that they needed to support because they believed in it themselves and I was grateful for it. Now not all Commanders and other personnel would attend , but I never forced, coerced or intimidated anyone into attending church. I extend an invitation, that’s all I would ever do.

Zarbock: Other chaplains have indicated exactly what you have said, saying in effect, some of the commanding officers were perhaps indifferent. Perhaps that’s too strong a word, but at least they were not involved in what would appear to be a religious and spiritual life. They weren’t against it, but they were just not actively committed to it, but that did not mean, according to other chaplains, that they were a block in any way whatsoever.

Hardin: No, they never did block me or even suggest anything to the negative. I always had good support from my Commanding Officers. Ninety-five percent of the time I had outstanding support from my Commanders. Of course I learned through the years that you have to be a friend if you wanted a friend, and that’s what I try to be to all my staff, to all church families and to my seniors, the Commanding Officers of the Base, try to be a friend to them and just be a part of their team. I wanted to share in their responsibilities and many of them asked me on many occasions, for recommendations and suggestions for certain situations or problems. I was happy to comply.

Zarbock: You mean in a counseling sense?

Hardin: Yes.

Zarbock: Faced with an ambiguous situation, they would ask you…

Hardin: Yes, they would ask my opinion and ask if I would come and sit and then make some suggestions or recommendations and I had no problem with that at all. I respected them because they respected me. To me a chaplain is just a part of the overall military. I think as long as we have people who are in the military, they deserve a chaplain. Some do not, they feel that the Chaplaincy should be pulled out of the military and I don’t agree with that at all.

Zarbock: Why not?

Hardin: For one reason, if you are not a part of that group, they don’t have quite as much respect for you. You were hired from the outside, to come in and share. They respect you as a minister, but you cannot really associate with what they are doing, with the job that they have to perform in the military life as such. So that’s why I feel the Military Chaplain is a mandatory thing for any military service.

Zarbock: I’m going to jump ship again for the purpose of this tape. The span of professional activity that you experienced in the military, when you first went in, were drugs a problem?

Hardin: No, not really, not at the very outset of my ministry. It came on later on in years down close to the end of my career. Of course I’ve been out now 18 years so a lot has transpired since then. We did have drug problems at that time, but not like we do in today’s world. In my earlier ministry, it was almost unheard of.

Zarbock: Alcohol perhaps?

Hardin: We had alcohol problems, yes.

Zarbock: But not the drugs?

Hardin: We didn't have the drug problems.

Zarbock: Again other chaplains have indicated to me as part of the Chaplain’s Story that occasionally they would be told,” we just appointed you the Morale Officer.” Were you ever appointed a morale officer?

Hardin: No, I never was. The Navy did that for quite a while. In the Air Force, we began at the very outset that was not our job. Our job was to be the minister, the pastor of the congregation of the whole base and that’s the way it operated and the commanding officers supported it. Now we would from time to time consult with our morale officers.

They would ask suggestions on certain situations and I was most happy to do that for them. Sometimes I would go and speak with various groups and again this is teamwork, working together for the betterment of the entire organization. But I was not a Morale Officer, I was a Religious Officer. I was there to be the pastor of a congregation to do my best to be the preacher, the pastor, the counselor and the friend. That’s what I tried to be.

I ministered, my ministry included the hospital ministry, the flight line ministry. Over in Japan my mentor, Chaplain Roy Terry at that time, wanted a Flight Line Chaplain’s Office. So I established one. I sold it to the Commander and he said, “you find a place and it’s yours.”

The first one that I worked with was over in Misawa, Japan. Found a hangar right in the middle of the maintenance complex. Had an old rundown area about 20 feet by 20 feet and so I took that. Being a former enlisted man, I knew exactly how to scrounge and get things that I needed. So I found ways of obtaining things that I were necessary to get me started.

We had a supply building that was being remodeled and so I go to the contractor because it had good pine paneling, good fluorescent lights, swinging doors, the whole works. I asked him what would happen to all of those things. He said they would be turned into garbage or go into the dump. I said if I get a group of men on a Saturday, did he mind if I came and just took all of that out and he wouldn’t have to haul it away and he said “Be my guest”.

Within two weeks I had borrowed a couple of prisoners who were being discharged. They were in the jail. They were both carpenters and so they helped me build my office and I really had a nice office by the time it was over. I had to borrow an electrician to rewire everything and so I planned every place I wanted my electrical circuitry including my lights and plug-ins and all of this.

It turned out to be a fantastic ministry because I was right there where the people were. My counseling load increased tremendously and they bought me a bicycle and called it The Padre. I had them to name my office. On the first day of opening when the Commanding Officers were all invited, they all came and the staff of chaplains came and we opened it up. I had one of the gentleman to pull the cord and drop the cloth. They had named my office Spiritual Maintenance and I thought that was real fundamental.

Another time in Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida, again Chaplain Terry, my Command Chaplain, wanted me to do the same thing there. I found an old tower, control tower, they had built a new one and the old one was still there. It needed a lot of work in the office side of the house. I got the tower from a Commander and laid the floor myself. The guy down two buildings away, was in the parachute business. He had a lot of old parachutes he couldn’t use.

He said,“ let me make you some draw drapes,” the whole thing was all glass. So he did a marvelous job with that. Then some of the other men helped me do the painting, got everything fixed. I was on vacation and I said the guys should make me a sign and when we’ll come back we’d have a day of opening. Commanding Officers will be here and some of the VIP’s of the Base.

I told them to just have it covered and then one of them would pull the cord and drop it. So what happened when we did come back and we had the dedication and the opening, they pulled that cord and it was called the “Upper Room”. I thought that was most appropriate. They too gave me a bicycle and I was called The Padre. I had a good ministry working with those troops on the front line. It was just a wonderful experience for me.

Zarbock: But you followed your own counsel to go where the people were.

Hardin: Oh yes. I enjoyed this type of work because I was involved with so many people. That’s where the bulk of the personnel are. In that maintenance complex. With my bicycle I would go up and down the flight line every day. That would be in the afternoons. My mornings were all filled with counseling. Every afternoon I would be out on that flight line with my bicycle.

Sometimes I’d have me a little cart I’d pull behind. I’d carry water or soft drinks. I always carried some magazines and tracts also some things they might want to read. I’d use this wherever I was. They knew me because I had a little horn on my bicycle they had fixed for me. I tooted my horn and they would open the door and I could go right on in. It was a good ministry, to just sit down and visit these men and women would come and feel comfortable talking with you in your office right in the complex where they worked.

Of course if you are there where they are, they come to hear you when you speak or preach. So I always had a good congregation and I was very pleased with that. I enjoyed that kind of a ministry. I also enjoyed being in a hospital. Had a lot of wonderful experiences there, working with people, the sick, those who were dying, the families and all of this.

I remember on numerous occasions that these elderly people whose husbands had been military and all the children were gone and the husband was gone. They knew they were dying. I’d spend time with them every day. One of the General’s wives, had a big rose garden at one base where we were. I asked her if I could snip some rosebuds now and then to take to these older folks. “Take all you want!” And I did. Every day I would take a fresh rosebud with a stem about this long (about 6 inches) and put it in a little vase I had already provided for them.

These people looked forward to it. And even when they were reaching the end of life’s journey, they would ask the doctor to call me. I would go and sit with them and I’d stay with them until the Lord carried them home. I felt good that I could be there because they trusted me. They didn't want to die alone is what it was. So I enjoyed being there, being help to them and to the family and friends. Sometimes they had no family, they were at the end of the line.

So with their friends and the doctors, I had a good rapport with the doctors nurses and staff in the hospital I tried to be a good friend to everyone. When there was a call for an emergency, they had no hesitation in giving me a call. It was a good ministry. I tried to be there when they were sick, when they knew they were terminal. Even after death came, I was there to help with the funeral and to be with the families who were still there, to be there to lead, guide and give them some direction during that period of grief.

Zarbock: Another question I’ve asked most of the other chaplains. That is very heavy emotional work. Who was your pastor? To whom could you turn?

Hardin: Well almost invariably I would have one chaplain, either senior or my peer, that I would select to be my pastor. We would get together about once a week for coffee or breakfast or maybe lunch. This would give me a chance to ventilate. It helped me to keep moving along. Otherwise it’s bottled up and then you have a problem. So that was the way I handled it.

I think most all chaplains did. I know I was a mentor to a lot of these guys. Well I did have some lady ministers as well, chaplains. None were afraid to sit down and talk with me. They knew when they would come to me it was in confidence and I would listen and then I would give the best response I could based on knowledge and understanding. I was a pastor, that’s what I was. I tried to be a pastor in everything I did.

Throughout my ministry, I’ve had 414 funerals. A month ago I had my 699th wedding. This was one of my adopted grandchildren so to speak. I’ve had 14 that I’ve married off. I still have about a half a dozen more. When were overseas, grandpa’s weren’t available. It was too far away from home. So I was the right age and so I had a good time with children, with kids.

They’d come to my house and they’d wait on me. I’d play with them, run with them, have games with them. They knew where my peanut can was and jelly beans and my soft drinks. All through the years they said they wanted me to have their wedding when they were ready to be married. So slowly through the years, since I’ve been retired, I’ve married about every one of them.

I made that wedding part of our last vacation. We used an RV and my brother and sister had never been on a trip like that before. I had a good extra driver this way.

Zarbock: Where did you go?

Hardin: We went to Fort Worth. That’s where the wedding was. But I visited a friend of mine, one of my good chaplains over in Spain in Little Rock. They lived in a little town outside of Little Rock, Sherwood. Then to Oklahoma City then down to Fort Worth and then to the Grand Canyon because my brother and sister had never been to the National Parks. I enjoyed being a tour guide for them, all the way to the West coast.

I still enjoy supplying once in a while…I don’t have the time really because of the situation with my wife, I do get to preach every once in a while, have a Bible study and I still get called on to help or assist with a funeral and to have a wedding. But it’s still a part of my overall ministry. I’ve been in the ministry 56 years.

I’ve had a good productive ministry. I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. My military chaplaincy was the thing I felt God had called me into. I never had a doubt about in my whole life. I was happy with it and I worked hard. I tried to do the best job possible and even do better than most and tried to be the best pastor I could to my staff as well as to the congregation. It pays off.

Zarbock: What would you see as advantages and disadvantages of women in the chaplaincy?

Hardin: Well one of the big disadvantages is that if they’re married, they do have children from time to time so at times they do not get to take an assignment because of that. I have to agree, if they’re in and they do have a family, I think the military is very wise to accept that. As time moves along, they will be given these assignments. But it is somewhat difficult for the families to leave children behind. It’s very difficult especially if both are in the military, father and mother and one will be here and the other there.

Most of the time, I know the Air Force tries to have both parents assigned to the same Base and that was much more convenient for everyone and produced greater productivity. I have no regrets about the women being in because they do serve a purpose. They’re there and they do a good job and they’re eager to work. I know the three female chaplains that I’ve worked with, were very, very good chaplains. They were good pastors.

Zarbock: Oh you had worked with female chaplains?

Hardin: Oh yes, I had no problem with that. Some of those ladies could preach as well or better than some of the other male chaplains. They were good administrators. They were good in education. They were good in the teaching areas and very good in counseling. So over all they were good chaplains. I had no problem with that at all. I’ve never had a problem with women being Deacons or ministers because I feel that if the Lord calls, who am I to say no?

I’m a firm believer that if the Lord calls, if they answer, I’m going to treat them with great respect because they heard and answered and responded. So I have no problem in dealing with women in the ministry at all.

Zarbock: I’m going to again ask you to do something that I’ve asked most of the other chaplains. Please look right into the camera and leave a message for your grandchildren. At the ages that you and I both are, we’ve seen a fair piece of life, some of the peaks and some of the valleys. Of all the times that you’ve had, what would you tell your grandchildren, what did you learn from all of your experiences?

Hardin: I’d like to tell my grandchildren that through the years I’ve been very, very proud of them. They’ve learned well and they’ve done well. I’m so proud that I can be a grandfather and they know that I love them and I care about them very much. Hopefully they will always remember that I am a person that has served God all my life.

They could do nothing better than to continue to live a life for Christ as I have done and I’m glad for the ones who are. They’re doing very, very well. I appreciate them ever so much. I ask God daily to bless them in whatever endeavor they work toward or are a part of and that He will lead them and give them a rich and full and vibrant life. Always remember that Grandpa cares and he loves and supports you with all his heart and soul.

Zarbock: Pastor, thank you. May be the Lord be with you.

Hardin: Thank you.

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