NEWBERRY - The Rev. Laurin H. Gardner, 93, died Wednesday, January 2, 2013, in Newberry.
The Rev. Gardner was born on July 3, 1919, in Fletcher, N.C., to the Rev. Laurin H. Gardner Sr. and Mattie Sales Gardner. His parents and sisters, Jessie Gardner Zepp and Grace Gardner Whisnant, predeceased him, as did his stepmother, Kate Gardner.
He was a graduate of Furman University and Southern Baptist Theological University in Louisville, Kentucky. The Rev. Gardner served in the U.S. Army Air Corps 1941-1945. He married Pearle Bishop on July 16, 1942, and they celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary prior to her death in 2010.
The Rev. Gardner served as pastor of First Baptist Church, Austin, Indiana; New Liberty Baptist Church, East Enterprise, Indiana; First Baptist Church Simpsonville, South Carolina; First Southern Baptist Church, Portsmouth, Ohio; Calvary Baptist Church, Lancaster, South Carolina; and North Linden Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio. In 1965 he was appointed by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to serve as a home missionary. Rev. Gardner served as Director of Missions for the Southwestern-Miami Valley Association of Ohio and for the Keystone Association of Pennsylvania. Following his retirement from the North American Mission Board, he served as a consultant to the Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania/South Jersey, Director of Missions of the Clinton Baptist Association, Clinton, Tennessee, and pastor of Chappells Baptist Church, Chappells, South Carolina, 1990-2000.
Surviving are the Rev. Gardner's daughter, Annie Laurie (Sam) Hamilton, Midland, Mich.; and sons, Spencer H. (Linda) Gardner of Houston, Texas; Laurin V. "Rocky" (Nancy) Gardner of Altamonte Springs, Florida; Edgar B. "Eddie" (Rhonda) Gardner of Waynesville, Ohio, and J. Jonathan (Shelly) Gardner of Conway, South Carolina; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service for the Rev. Gardner will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at First Baptist Church, Newberry, with a committal service following at Chappells Baptist Church Cemetery.
Visitation with the family will be prior to the memorial service in the fellowship hall, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
In lieu of usual remembrances, memorial contributions in the Rev. L.H. Gardner's name may be made to the Annie Armstrong Offering for North American Missions by checks payable to First Baptist Church Newberry, 1020 Boundary St., Newberry, SC 29108.
McSwain-Evans Funeral Home, Newberry, is entrusted. www.mcswainevans.com.