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.
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Wow, so sad to hear of the passing of our dear Pastor Hardin. He was small in stature but large in life and in the Kingdom of God. Pastor Hardin had a way of seeing the potential in people and calling it out of them. I praise God for the time I was able to spend learning under him. He took a young girl who had been in church all her life and helped her see her need for salvation in Christ Jesus. And then he helped her grow quickly in The Kingdom - seeing the gift of teaching and leadership in her. God used Pastor Hardin to help me become the woman He created me to be. And if that wasn't enough, He and Naomi blessed Reggie and I by traveling to Washington, DC to marry us! I have thought of your husband and dad often over the years, wishing for a way to reach out. I regret that I did not do so to express my thanks sooner. I love you! May God hold you all close during this time and always.
Our condolences to you all. Heavenly Father is with you all & he will give you strength and comfort.Please know that Heavenly Father’s Plan is: “Families Together Forever “. He will always be with you all in heart, mind and thoughts. His smile lit up his face.😊
Nathanael, Valerie & Skye-Daniel
(Mildred Bailey-Weeks’s daughter & family)
Dear Naomi, Alicia, Andrea and family. I just learned of Willie's passing. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. God bless.
Sorry for ur loss. Praying . Sending y'all lots of hugs. RIP REV. Hardin.
Naomi, Alicia and Andrea.....
Thinking of you. We have so many memories, the Christmas Cantata that Willie directed, bible study at his house, church services. Your loss is our loss. Willie made an impact on all of our lives. He will surely be missed.
Floretta and James Kelly
Sorry for Loss of a Godly Man, husband, Father, Grandpa. He will be missed.
Our prayers are with you and your family. Love the Manning family.
R.I.P. Rev. Harfin, you have left memories with many. Thank you for your teachings and preaching. Gone but never forgotten.
Love Always Maria Velez and New Central Baptist Family. You will be missed dearly.
BISHOP words cannot describe the feelings that sit upon my heart!!
I can’t understand a lot, but sometimes maybe that’s the best!
I know that you have encouraged me time after time,, to push thru any obstacle in my way!
I will truly miss you & NOTHING WILL SEPARATE US FROM THE LUV OF GOD!!
An The LUV OF GOD YOU Were AN ALWAYS WILL BE when I think of you!!
Rest up BISHOP
“Thinking of you, wishing you hope in the midst of sorrow, comfort in the midst of pain.”
Our thoughts and Prayers are with you in this difficult time. We know to be absent from the body is to be Present with the Lord. May God continue to bless and strengthen you all. We love you. The Pettus and Smith family..!
I remember staying up late with him when I spent the night with him and Aunt Nae watching The Odd Couple
Naomi Alicia and Andrea our prayers and condolences to you all for your loss! May God continue to cover you as you grieve. The Timbrouck family.
You already know the vibes my guy! I got it covered and you can rest peacefully. Love you forever and a day. Daddy's girl from here to heaven🙏😇
All my prayers for the family I will miss our talks and your guidance A great spiritual leader Inez M VanDyke Kingston NY
May God bring you divine comfort at this time. I have always admired this man of God his preaching & words of wisdom will remain dear to me. Belinda Davis Ellenville NY
I am so sorry to hear of your lost. My prayers are with you and your family. I have fond memories of my friendship with Willie; these memories I will cherish forever.
I'm so sorry to here of the last of Willie Lester he was a great man 40 years I node him my son Bennie Lawson Jr.uncle i send love to the family😇🙏💖
So sorry for your loss. Sending prayers and tons of love your way!
Dorian & Sade Knox
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