COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus church family celebrated the memory of a local pastor, elected official, and role model for many Tuesday night.
Dr. Ann Hardman passed away one year ago, March 19, 2018 due to cancer. The church she founded, Faith Worship Center International, honored her legacy.
“It’s always good to have people celebrate a life, but this is more than a life," said Syberik Johnson, Hardman’s stepson. “This is a legacy.”
In 1993, Ann Hardman founded the ministry in the living room of her North Columbus home on Leah Court. She took the ministry to great heights with thousands attending her services over the years. She also traveled the nation as a highly sought after minister and inspirational speaker. She didn’t let anything stop her from accomplishing her assignment to preach the gospel, not even a church fire.
After a blaze destroyed the place of worship on 5th Avenue, the congregants held church services in other locales, sometimes outside under tents until eventually relocating to another facility on the 280 bypass in an old movie theater in Phenix City.
The church moved again to Ladonia, Alabama in an old school renovated under the auspices of Ann Hardman’s eloquent taste and decorating style before settling in a warehouse where the church is located now on Blanchard Boulevard in Columbus.
"It’s just a great opportunity to celebrate her tonight, to see her life and her legacy continue to live on through all of us, added Alean London, a member of Faith Worship Center.
”She was a great mentor to me and a very influential woman of God, according to Marquis Fitzpatrick who also attends Faith Worship Center.
Years later after accepting her calling, Ann Hardman also started another church, River of Life, in her hometown of Asheville, North Carolina, impacting the lives of those who knew her as a young girl.
Ann Hardman not only preached the gospel with such passion and fervency, she was also an entrepreneur and an elected official, winning the Superior Court Clerk’s seat in Muscogee County by an overwhelming margin just 14 months before her death.
Nearly three months before she died, she passed the baton to her oldest son, Michael Grant, Jr., to pastor the church she affectionately called, “her heart”.
The celebration Tuesday night consisted of prayer, singing, and a previously-recorded video sermon that Ann Hardman gave during a visit to Pastor Rod Parsley’s World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio.
And on the church’s Facebook page, Bishop Michael Grant asked the audience to type one word to describe his mother followed by the words ‘I’ll never forget.’ The responses consisted of love, messenger, motivator, prophet and outreach, just to mention a few.
Ann Hardman is gone but never forgotten and her four children, Pastor Michael, Kristi Faison, Minister Chasity Hardman Smith, and Norman Hardman Jr. are all vowing to keep their mother’s legacy alive for generations to come.