The Orange Leader
ORANGE — Thomas Henry Harding, 86, of Orange, Texas, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on February 25, 2014, at The Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Home in Orange. His was a life dedicated to serving Jesus and loving his family. Many people locally have been influenced by him to accept Jesus’ gift of salvation and to live for Him. His passion to win others to the Lord took him to many places around the world as he shared the Gospel of Jesus and his own love for them.
He was born January 21, 1928, at Spring, Texas, to Lillie Mae Mitchell Harding and Harvey Green Harding. He graduated from high school in Corpus Christi. He surrendered to preach at the age of 18 and served in the ministry into his 80’s. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, and his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He served as pastor in Texas at Bluff Branch Baptist Church near Cisco, Hillcrest Baptist Church in San Angelo, Central Baptist Church in Luling, Trinity Baptist Church in Port Arthur, and First Baptist Church in Portland. He also served as pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee; Temple Baptist Church in Springfield, Ohio; South Campbellsville Baptist Church in Campbellsville, Kentucky; and First Baptist Church in Hazard, Kentucky. He also led revival services in South Korea, England, Egypt, Colombia, Mexico, and Haiti over several years. After retiring from the pastorate, he was an evangelist for 2 years. He served on the board of trustees at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for 10 years, as well as many other leadership positions in the state and local community. He served as interim pastor at Texas churches in Ballinger, London, Menard, Winters, Melvin, Orangefield, and Mauriceville. His current church membership is at First Baptist Church, Bridge City. Texas.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Chris and Raymond, and his son-in-law Sy Grayson. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Wanda Harding; daughters Ruth Grayson of Timpson, Grace Drake and husband Sandy of Fort Smith, and Carol Boyd and husband Alan of West Columbia; sons Tom Harding and wife Karen of Orange and David Harding and wife Christy of Woodstock, Georgia. Grandchildren include Tamara Grayson, James Grayson, Jerry Grayson, Brian Grayson, Amber Gossett, April McGee, Jonathan Harding, Donovan Drake, Gabby Hamblin, Zack Boyd, Tim Boyd, Ben Boyd, Nathan Boyd, Brandi Wilson, Brittany McTeer, Josh Harding, and Tucker Harding. In addition, he has 22 great-grandchildren.
Visitation for friends and family will be Friday, February 28th, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Bridge City. The celebration service will be at First Baptist Church, Bridge City, on Saturday at 10:00 with burial to follow about 3:00 p.m. at Wells Cemetery near Cleveland, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.