Published September 4, 2014
Georgia Baptist pastor, professor, and historian Robert Gardner died Aug. 11 at his home in Macon. He was 90.
Ordained into the ministry in 1947, Gardner served churches as a pastor in Georgia and North Carolina before joining the faculty of Shorter College in 1957. He would remain there as associate professor or professor of religion until his retirement in 1994, at which point he was named professor emeritus of religion. During that time he was a member of First Baptist Rome and visiting professor for both Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (1967) as well as Southern Seminary (1976, 1983).
From 1995-2012 Gardner was senior researcher in Baptist history at Mercer University. For 40 years he was an integral part of the Georgia Baptist Historical Society and Baptist History and Heritage Society, serving as president of each. He authored six books and numerous pamphlets, articles, book chapters and reviews dealing with Baptist history and honored with awards for his work.
Gardner is survived by his wife of 66 years, Anne, of Macon; a daughter, Susan Broome, of Macon; a son, David Gardner, of Lorane, OR; three grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.
Inman Gerrald, pastor of Josey Baptist Church in south Georgia, died June 19 at Community Hospice of Vidalia. He as 86.
The Statesboro native pastored numerous churches for 61 years in the surrounding counties, including Harvell Baptist, Noon Day Baptist, Cool Springs, Baptist, Pulaski Baptist, and Scarborough Baptist in the 1950s alone.
He also served several congregations dually: Adrian Baptist (1960-80) and Josey Baptist (1964-76) and Hoboken Baptist (1980-81) and Bishop Chapel (1981-83). Gerrald was also pastor of Nunez Baptist, Shellman Bluff Baptist, and Adrian Baptist again as interim before returning to Josey Baptist Church in 2001.
He retired after 40 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Telmalee Alderman Gerrald, daughter Angela Whitfield, and a sister and brother. He is survived by daughters Lynn Grindler, of Swainsboro; Junan Hall, of Blackshear; Jenny Knight, of Wrightsville, and Marcia Hillsman, of Hazlehurst; four sisters; nine grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
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