Biographical Sketch On The Life Of H.C. Hale
According to his birth
certificate, Henry Clyde Hale, was born in
When Clyde Hale was about thirteen, the family moved to McMinnville, Tennessee, where his father worked for the woolen mill at Faulkner Springs. They attended the Arlington Church of Christ, and it was known in the family as "Mother Hale's church." She loved her neighbors and friends, and according to those who remembered her, would often say after worship, "Come home with me for dinner."
As a child, he did not have much formal education. He remembered going for three or four years to a session of about five months in a "one room school house." His mother admonished him almost daily to read his Bible every day, pray daily, and to watch his company and seek out friends from "good" families.
About 1917, he went to Nashville
It was soon time for the first Hardeman Tabernacle meeting at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and Clyde Hale was there every service having been asked to serve as an usher. How the eloquence and the Scriptural reasoning of Bro. Hardeman must have stirred and inspired him!
By now, he had determined to preach the
gospel and he knew that he needed a better education and more training. In September, 1922, at the age of 21, he entered high school at Freed Hardeman
Again, his friend, Wendell Cook, was a blessing to him when he introduced him to his future wife, Christine Ward. She was the daughter of Dr. J. S. Ward, a medical doctor, having been a Science and Bible teacher at David Lipscomb College, and having served briefly on two occasions as its President. Dr. Ward preached on Sundays at various congregations in the middle Tennessee area. Clyde
He was preaching at the Donelson Church of Christ, when he was invited to move to the West End Church in Atlanta. S. H. Hall had worked at this church and was followed by B. C. Goodpasture. They moved to Atlanta October 1, 1927. At twenty-six he was in his prime and eagerly threw himself into doing all he could for the church in Atlanta
Clyde and Christine worked as a team and the church began to grow rapidly. Almost every evening cottage meetings were conducted in homes and hundreds were baptized as a result. According to Bro. Virgil Richie, "No sacrifice was ever too great, no time was ever too inconvenient, no distance was ever too far, for him to teach one about Christ and his church." It was also said by Bro. Richie that he was a "master at personal work and almost every week some would be baptized at the services" as a result of this personal work
A new brick building was erected on the
corner of Gordon and
Clyde Hale conducted one of the earliest live radio programs in Georgia. He spoke over WAGA at daily for ten years. Radio was a new medium and many were taught the truth and obeyed the gospel as a result of this work.
Not only was the church strengthened in Atlanta, but he helped establish churches in other places in Georgia. Tent meetings were conducted in the city and other parts of the state as far as Bogart, Bainbridge, Cordele, Valdosta, Winder, Athens, LaGrange, Macon, Pleasant Grove and elsewhere. In the late thirties, a tent meeting was held in the Northwest side of Atlanta and a congregation was established.
In 1930, he held a series of meetings
in Marietta at Pleasant Grove and twenty-five were baptized. Later
this became the Olive Street Church in Marietta, and is the Piedmont Road
Church of today. In l934, he conducted a three week
meeting in LaGrange and seventy-five people were baptized, and a new building
was soon erected.
He also planted the Lord's church in
the city of Athens during the l930's. His family
was present the first Sunday that he preached there, meeting in the Court House.
Tent meetings were held after that, and the church of our Lord came into
In 1931, one of his best efforts was to get Bro. Marshall Keeble to come to Atlanta and hold a tent meeting. At that time, there was not a single black member of the church in Atlanta. One hundred sixty-six were baptized during that three week meeting, and the Simpson Street Church of Christ came into being. Clyde Hale later wrote, "It was the most wonderful meeting I have ever witnessed. As many as 2,500 people came to hear Keeble and never was there less than one thousand."
Bro. Hale preached and strengthened
many of the weak and struggling churches in
Bro Henley claims that Bro. Hale
conducted about one hundred meetings in
He had a men's training class at
When the Hales moved to
Atlanta, the church at
In 1972, he returned to Atlanta to hold a meeting at the Riverdale church and there were twelve responses, eight of them baptisms. According to Bro.Virgil Richie it was one of the best meetings in the history of that church.
His time and efforts in Georgia
The Hales left Atlanta
for a short stay in Wichita Falls, Texas with the Tenth and Austin St. Church of Christ. His time was cut short there by a unique opportunity to come
home to Nashville to the West End
The West End
After fourteen years at
in Nashville, he went to the University Church of Christ and worked hard to assist them with
In 1965, H. Clyde Hale, J. Roy Vaughn, and E. Ray Jerkins met to discuss the possibility of starting a training school for men desiring to preach who had jobs, families to support, and could not afford to attend any of our Christian colleges. This was the beginning of the Nashville School of Preaching. They took their plans to B. C. Goodpasture, and along with Charles Chumley, Roy Hearn, and Charles R. Brewer, the Nashville School of Preaching began. The teaching and the work with this school became one of the greatest joys and a highlight of Hale's latter years. He often said that if the church was to be saved from the liberalism that was creeping in it would be from men trained at the Nashville School of Preaching and similar schools.
From this school many sound gospel preachers have filled the pulpits and Bible classes in the middle Tennessee area and elsewhere. He loved these men that he taught, and he was known among the students as one like John, the apostle of love. But also like John, he could be a "son of thunder."
He was a "man of God."
He loved the individual and had great patience with human frailties. He
never lost his touch for the common man. It
was not uncommon for the tears to flow down his cheeks as he preached, and as he
talked with men. Dr. John Cayce, an
He recalled to his family the events of
the last evening he spent as a student at
This was always his ambition in his own words, "to be useful, to be sound in the faith, and to carry forward the blood stained banner of Prince Immanuel, to be careful about the things of the Lord, and to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness."
He is remembered for his love of his family, his great love of preaching, a man of the Book, who loved all men and wanted all to know the salvation in Jesus Christ.
Webmaster's Note: I feel a special connection to Bro. Hale, having grown up in Atlanta, and now preaching for the Buford congregation. In many respects, the work of H.C. Hale has made it possible for the work in Buford, and many of the other churches now existing in Atlanta. Virgil Richie was a great mentor to me growing up, having preached at Riverdale when I was a young song leader, and an elder when I preached at Fayetteville. Also, I was honored to have preached his funeral when he passed.
A special thanks is extended to Rosalyn Hale Boyd, daughter of Clyde and Christine Ward Hale. Roselyn is also the wife of Jim Boyd, long-time gospel preacher. Roselyn provided much of the information above that she gleaned from writing by Ralph Henley, and tape recordings of Billy Brewer and Ralph Henley given at an appreciation dinner in honor of the Hales, the taped funeral address by Virgil Richie, and a private tape made by Clyde Hale for his family. Some dates were added that were gleaned from an article in the Gospel Advocate April 24, 1941, page 387, with the picture above. Additional information came from Preachers Of Today, Vol. I, II, and III. ed. Baxter and Young, Gospel Advocate Co.
Directions: Woodlawn Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee, is located behind the 100 Oaks Shopping Center that faces I-65 just south of the I-440 Interchange. From 100 Oaks travel east on Thompson Lane and turn right at the first entrance to Woodlawn's South Side Park (across from main part of cemetery). Take the first left and road bears around to the right. Look for the tree on the right had side. Between the drive and the tree is Goodpasture's grave. Just past Goodpasture, nearer the tree is the Ward plot where Hale and his wife are buried.