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POSTED: March 1, 2010 3:29 p.m.
Pastor Marion Hardeman said he loves to teach the word of God and see people make positive changes in their lives.
A retired veteran, Hardeman served his country before becoming a faithful servant of God. He is originally from Marietta, but now calls Liberty County home. “I have been here so long that I consider Hinesville to be my home,” the pastor said.
Hardeman went into the military in 1968 and retired in 1988. He spent most of his career at Fort Stewart. He also completed tours in Germany, Korea, Fort Monmouth, N.J., and Fort Hood, Texas.
He has been in the ministry since 1995 and has been a pastor for nearly 10 years. He now leads Oak Grove Baptist Church in Garden City. Before that, Hardeman was the pastor of St. Peter’s Methodist Church in Cobbtown.
He describes the people of Oak Grove as very loving and kind. “They are dedicated and very motivated to do God’s will. They are very loyal to the ministry,” he said. The church is more than 100 years old and has youth, deacons, deaconesses, music and pastor’s aid ministries.
Services are every second and fourth Sunday at 11:30 a.m. “We have Sunday school at 10 a.m. and Bible study on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.,” Hardeman said.
“We are in the process of starting our prison and nursing home ministries. Those ministries are our goals for the year 2010. We are a growing church” he said. “My desire is to do God’s will and to see souls saved. I love the Lord and enjoy doing His work.”
Hardeman said his wife Barbara often helps him in his ministry. “She is very innovative and has a lot of good ideas. Another person who is a big help is Deacon Bruce Campbell. He is a very good deacon. Dr. Ralph Taylor, pastor of St. Thomas African Methodist Episcopal Church in Walthourville, also inspires me a lot. He is always there for me,” the pastor said.
Hardeman advises pastors to be willing to listen to their congregants. “Find out their needs. It should not just be your way or no way at all. Be receptive to new ideas. Sometimes other people may have better ideas. Keep a good line of communication with members. Don’t always expect to receive, but be willing to give,” he said.
Hardeman and his wife have been married 39 years and have three children and 10 grandchildren. “In April, we will celebrate 40 years of marriage,” he said.  Barbara Hardeman is a retired Fort Stewart AAFES employee.
When he has spare time, Hardeman said he enjoys fishing and reading. He completed his ministerial training by taking Biblical courses at Crossroads Ministries in Mississippi. “I love to teach and see people get a better understanding of the word,” he said.

Anderson is the author of “Lack of Knowledge” and “Dare to Soar.”
 

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