Elvis Henry Huffard
Biographical Sketch On The Life Of Elvis H. Huffard
Elvis Huffard was born on April 24, 1918 in Bernie Missouri. He was baptized by Albert S. Hall, Sr. in 1933. He married Emily Ann King in 1938. To they union was born four children: Joyce King; Carolyn Sue; Elvis Henry, Jr.(Hy); and Kathryn Claire.
He began preaching in Bernie, Missouri in 1935. He attended: David Lipscomb College; Southeast Missouri State Teachers College; Austin Peay State College where he received the B.S. degree. He did graduate work at Johns Hopkins and Trinity University where he received the M.S. degree.
He served a number of churches through the years: Rosiclare, Ill., from 1941 to 1944; Hopkinsville, Kentucky from 1944 to 1949; Baltimore, Maryland from 1949 to 1951; the Red Bank Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee from 1951 to 1953. From Chattanooga he entered the mission field of Nigeria in Uyo in 1953 evangelizing and teaching among the population there. While there he inaugurated the work in six different Christian Schools. Emily was also deeply committed as his co-worker to help in the training of women and children.
He returned to the U.S. in 1955 to work with the Sunset Ridge congregation in San Antonio, Texas. In 1958 he moved to Mayfield, Kentucky and worked there. While in Kentucky he participated in a county radio program on WNGO.
In 1961 the family moved to Henderson, Tennessee where they began a long relationship with the church at Henderson as well as the students at Freed-Hardeman College. He shared the pulpit at Henderson with H.A. Dixon briefly in the fall of 1966, but during the year of 1967 he was the sole pulpit minister. He continued after this period as a full-time faculty member at FHC while preaching for different churches in the area for many years. He served some years on the Board of Trustees of the college, for a time as vice-secretary.
In the early 1980s the Huffards moved to Florence, Alabama where Elvis worked with the Chisholm Hills church as well as teaching at International Bible College (Heritage Christian University).
Elvis wrote for various publications and for a while was Contributing editor of the The Christian Bible Teacher publication.
After his years in Nigeria his love was for mission work. He made trips to the various regions around the world. He served as chairman of the Nigerian Christian Schools Foundation, Inc. that had the responsibility of furthering the work of eleven Christian Schools in Nigeria.
In their declining years Elvis and Emily lived in Henderson, Tennessee in the home of their daughter, Joyce. They continued to be active in the church, mission work and education until health prevented them from doing so. Emily died July 3, 2000 and within a few months Elvis followed on October 13th. They were life-long companions and co-workers. All that knew them, worked with them, were their students, or their friends, loved them and appreciated their commitment. They stood as an example of how to be married for life, and to be lovers of God and His will. They are buried in the cemetery at Woodlawn on the south lawn among many great gospel preacher's and their wives of yesteryear such as H. Leo Boles, Hall L. Calhoun, B.C. Goodpasture and A.G. Freed.
-From Preachers Of Today, Vol. II, c.1959, GA, p.212; Freed-Hardeman Lectures CD ROM; Other Various Sources
The Huffard Circles
The circles of service continued to get larger for Elvis and Emily Huffard even as they moved into the eighties. These octogenarians lived together for 62 glorious years and died only a few months apart. She died July 3 and he on October 13, 2000. Funeral services were conducted in Henderson, TN with large crowds in attendance to bestow honor on this stellar couple. Their bodies were reposed in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Nashville, TN where dear friends came to pay their respects and to show love to their children, grandchildren and other dear ones.
Elvis was born on April 24, 1918 at Bernie, MO to Mr. and Mrs. Roy Huffard. In July 1933 he was baptized by Albert S. Hall. Emily was born on February 20, 1920 to Mr. and Mrs. V. C. King in Nashville, TN.
Reflecting on their ever widening circles the first one was in pursuit of Christian education which culminated in the beginning of a Christian home. Next they were engaged in public school teaching at Brosely, MO and beginning a full time preaching work. Then they launched into Christian education both at home and abroad. Another circle was in missionary work in numerous countries. They served as teachers and lecturers throughout many regions of the world. At the apex of their career they were pillars in the work of Freed-Hardeman University as teachers, counselors and administration. They never quit serving and were energetic until they were cut down by disease. They lived past the psalmist's "four score years" but their last days of infirmity illustrate his words: "if by reason of strength labor and sorrow." (Psalm 90:10.) Few Christians are privileged to live as long as they to accomplish so much for the Lord and their family. They left a legacy of godliness, zeal and faithfulness. Their legacy will be the impact of their Christian home, of missionary efforts and evangelism, and leadership in Christian education.
In multiplied thousands of instances two young people meet in a Christian university and then marry and for the majority they "live happily ever after." It happened to Elvis and Emily who met at David Lipscomb College and this strong spiritual background empowered them to serve as a team for over six decades.
Forty one years after graduation from David Lipscomb College (then a junior college) Emily earned a degree in psychology at Freed-Hardeman University. Also, David Lipscomb honored her as "Woman of the Decade - 1930-39." Elvis served a term as alumni president of David Lipscomb College.
Elvis continued his education at Austin Peay University for the B.S., graduate work at Johns Hopkins University; Trinity (San Antonio) University for the M.S. Also, Freed-Hardeman University awarded him an honorary doctorate.
The Huffards served congregations in Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Texas, Alabama and Tennessee. His last preaching was with the Mountain View Church of Christ near Savannah, TN. His first full time preaching was at Rosiclare, Illinois from 1941-43. As part of his work he conducted radio programs on numerous stations. Also, he directed the West Kentucky Youth Camp in 1959.
In all of the congregations Emily was a dedicated preacher's wife and full time mother. She was acknowledged as a master Bible teacher of all levels of children's classes from nursery to the high school girls, and of ladies' classes. She engaged in hundreds of ladies days, teacher training classes, college lectureships, mission workshops, mission campaigns and Vacation Bible Schools. Her methods of teaching were unique and her students excelled in Bible knowledge. She was creative with visual aids and in using pneumonic devices to make the Bible come alive.
Elvis was from a preacher family. His late brother Elza was a renowned preacher and Christian college president. Evertt L. has preached for over 50 years and he was on the Bible faculty at Freed-Hardeman University and he continues to recruit Bible majors. Elvis has two sisters who were married to preachers. Elvis was a sound and faithful gospel preacher and he was firm in his opposition to efforts to bring unscriptural changes into the church.
Not only did Elvis preach in the U.S. he had a world vision. He was a pioneer missionary in Nigeria. He also engaged in mission efforts in Sierra Leone, W. Africa; Scotland; Canada; Panama; Malaysia; and South Africa. He and Emily taught the gospel in Europe; Asia; South America; and islands in the Pacific and Caribbean. Emily was always a supportive wife willing to go to any part of the world. She had the personality to adapt to any situation or environment in any part of the globe.
Emily lived a fulfilled life that enabled her to enjoy much happiness. Hers was a joyful Christianity. She was jovial with a good sense of humor. She laughed a lot and was the "life of the party." Her self-confidence was manifest in her favorite New Testament verse: 2 Timothy 1:7. It was said of her, "She certainly spent her life for others."
The calm and pleasant disposition enabled Elvis to be an effective counselor. Through his service and wisdom he saved broken homes, depressed lives and stabilized fractured congregations. He was a counselor at Quinco, a mental health center, in Henderson, TN. At Florence, AL he was director of a Christian marriage and family counseling center.
Elvis will be remembered for his involvement in Christian education. In the fall of 1952 he was the first president of Chattanooga Bible School, now Boyd-Buchanan in Chattanooga. While he was a pioneer missionary in Nigeria he managed eleven schools with an enrollment of 2500. He is called the father of Christian education in Nigeria. He taught Bible, missions and family studies in Freed-Hardeman. He was Director of Student Counseling. As Dean of Students he was popular with the students who honored him with a special plaque. For several years he was a member of the Board of Trustees of Freed-Hardeman University. The Huffards saw all of their children receiving a Christian education, and they are active and supportive of Christian education. Furthermore, all of their children have engaged in mission work in several nations. Elvis was a charter member of the African Christian Schools Foundation.
Emily was a tireless member of the local and national Freed-Hardeman Associates and past president of the Chester County chapter. She was also a past president and an active member of the Jacks Creek F.C.E. Club.
Elvis and Emily had three daughters: Joyce Harrison and Sue Hayes of Henderson, TN and Kathy Cox of Chattanooga, TN and a son E. Henry Huffard, Jr. of Nashville. They had fourteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Emily is survived by two sisters, Carolyn Forrester Maddux and Barbara Joan Brooks. Elvis is survived by a sister, Evelyn Perry of Beamsville, Ontario, Canada and a brother, Evertt L. Huffard of Henderson, TN.
"Before honor is humility." (Proverbs 18:12.) Elvis and Emily qualified eminently to be honored both in life and death.
The Huffards and the Gardner family have had a close relationship for about 60 years. The late Elza Huffard encouraged three Gardner brothers, Don, Albert and me to preach the gospel. Evertt and I were fellow students in college and then when I was President of Freed-Hardeman University we employed him to teach Bible. I first knew Elvis and Emily in the early forties. It was my privilege to ask him to teach, serve in the administration, and then to recommend him to be a member of the Board of Trustees. Because of his good life and talents he made many great contributions to the work of young people. He had my utmost respect and confidence. We cherish the memory of Elvis and Emily.
(Editor's comment: I am glad I asked Dr. Gardner to write about Elvis and Emily. He did a superb job. My Margie and I counted Elvis and Emily among our most beloved friends. We rejoice in hope for these two servants of God. -Basil Overton)
-Gardner, E. Claude, World Evangelist, December, 2000, page 4
Buried At Woodlawn Memorial
Park, South Lawn, In Nashville, Tennessee
Webmaster's Personal Note: As far back as I can remember, I knew and loved the Huffards. As a boy growing up in Atlanta, the Huffards would come to the World Mission Forum at Forest Park speaking on their greatest love, mission work. When I attended Freed-Hardeman in 1976 they were there working among the students. They were dear friends then, a mainstay among the students on campus. In later years it was always a pleasure to return to the campus from time to time and see the Huffards at the Lectureship or other events. They made an impact in my life, as well as the lives of so many who knew them.