Dr. Willie L Hardin, 69, of Kingston, departed this earthy life and went home to be with the Lord, on Tuesday October 1, 2019 at the Health Alliance Hospital with his loving and cherished family by his side.
He was born on June 21, 1950 in Gastonia, NC and was the son of the late Humbert and Louise Francis Hardin. After graduating from Lincoln High School, Class of 1968, Dr Hardin came to Kingston NY where he met and married Naomi Hatcher on June 29th, 1974 at the New Central Baptist Church in Kingston. Born to their union were two daughters Alicia and Andrea.
Dr. Hardin was a lifelong learner, he completed his bachelors and master's degree in Mental Health, Psychology and Theology at the Christ Theological Seminary
He had been employed with IBM of Kingston and Poughkeepsie for 22 years, until leaving in 1990 to pursue his true passion, Preaching the Gospel.
Dr Hardin began his first pastorate as the pastor of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Wappinger Falls, NY in 1977 under the leadership of Pastor John H Gilmore, Dr Hardin was then called to be Pastor of the Riverview Missionary Baptist Church, where he served for 25 years.
During his pastorate Dr Hardin had many accomplishments. He was appointed to be the director of the Kingston Human Rights Commission by the late Kingston Mayor T. R. Gallo. He served as president of the Black Ministers Alliance of Kingston and successfully opened and operated the Stepping Stones Job Development and Employment Program, along with opening the first black christian bookstore he named New Wine Christian Bookstore in Kingston, NY.
Dr Hardin later completed his Theological studies at Christ Theological Seminary under the tutelage of Archbishop Herman R. Cannady, Sr. receiving an Honorary Doctorates degree in Theology.
Dr Hardin's passion for teaching and preaching the Gospel afforded him countless opportunities to do so across the nations. He was noted by his peers, students and fellow pastors as a Great Theologue and was also noted by the Kingston community as the "Voice of Kingston". During his pastorate at the RMBC, Dr Hardin formed the WLH Singers and the United Voices Choir singing throughout the Hudson Valley. Dr Hardin was committed and devoted to his family, church and his community.
Dr Hardin was elevated to the office of Bishop by Bishop Lester Williams, CCC of Jamaica Queens, NY as he continued preaching and teaching the Word of God.
In addition to his beloved wife and children, he leaves to cherish his memory a son in law Jonathan, nine grandchildren, Raven Hardin, D'mariah Hardin, Daquan Royal, Jalicia Fowler, Jalyn Fowler, Jonathan Fowler JR, James Mosley, Jonnelle Fowler and J'yonah Mosley. One Great Granddaughter Naylani Royal, three brothers, Joe Allen Hardin, Frank Otis Hardin and James Michael Hardin. One sister Hattie Mae Burris. Godsons Najee Pride and TreVon VanDemark. Goddaughter Ashley Knox. A "special son" James and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
His was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers Al Steve Hardin and Bennie Lawson Hardin, and his paternal uncle and aunt O.C. and Margaret Hardin.
Dr Hardin's memory will remain in the minds and hearts of all that knew and loved him. He will be forever missed.
May the works I've done speak for me
When I'm resting in my grave
There's nothing more to be said;
May the works I've done speak for me
The family will receive their friends at the Riverview Missionary Baptist Church, Kingston on Monday from 7 - 9pm and on Tuesday from 12 - 1 pm. The Going Home Service will be on Tuesday at 1:00 pm. Burial to follow in Wiltwyck Cemetery.
Arrangements entrusted to Keyser Funeral & Cremation Service, 326 Albany Avenue, Kingston, a tribute for Dr. Hardin may be found at www.KeyserFuneralService.com , where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for his family.