History of the Restoration Movement

Dr. Ard Egbert Hoven


In Appreciation of Dr. Ard Hoven

God seems to raise up His special men and women to serve His kingdom. I suppose all of God's children are special. Very few are as gifted and as effective as Brother Ard Hoven.

I knew him first through his weekly lesson in the "Lookout." Then I met him in 1958 when he visited and ate lunch with the Univ. of Kentucky students of Christian Student Fellowship. (It was Bro. Hoven's leadership which initiated campus ministry among Christian Churches/Churches of Christ. Now more than 80 CSFs are scattered around the nation.) He regularly spent Sunday evenings after church with college students in fellowship at a local restaurant.

He was famous for his preaching. In content, in manner, in fervor, in Biblical truth, he stood out among other ministers. For 44 years, he preached each week to radio listeners of "The Christians' Hour" often reaching 2 million weekly. His was the radio voice of "New Testament Christianity, on the Air." (For those thousands of radio sermons, Bro. Hoven received not one penny of salary for his efforts. Only in recent years was he paid a small travel expense allowance.)

One of his long time friends said, "When Dr. Hoven enters the pulpit, there is dignity." Indeed, he served well three of the largest churches among us, Chase Ave. (now Clovernook) here, Broadway, Lexington, KY, and First Christian, Columbus, IN. More recently, he served at Kentucky Christian College. Yet he knew how to mix hard work and fun. One year when the church camp needed attention, a number of ministers went to camp for clean up day. Bro. Hoven was not too dignified. He individually cleaned up a large smelly pile of garbage which had accumulated under a tree. The he was "dignity in overalls." He took the task no one else wanted.

We shall miss him greatly from every Christian concern of our churches. Our sympathy is with Dorothy, his wife, his daughters, Dr. Ardis Hoven and Vicki Buck and grand daughter, Tanya Buck.

Memorial gifts are suggested for Kentucky Christian College, Grayson, KY or "Christians' Hour Radio Program," Box 1001, Cincinnati, OH 45201.

-Brad, News Of The Hour, News of the Christians' Hour Broadcasting Association, Second Quarter, 1988, Note: The information above is time sensitive material. Dr. Hoven's wife, Dorothy has now passed away.

In Memoriam

Memorial services were held on Monday, April 20 for Dr. Ard Hoven at Kentucky Christian College in Grayson. Dr. Hoven was the Senior Minister here at First Christian Church, and is survived by his wife Dorothy, daughters Ardis and Vicky and granddaughter Tonya. Memorials may be sent to the College, Grayson, Kentucky 41143. Mrs. Hoven may be written in care of Dr. Ardis Hoven, 2912 Sweet William Court, Lexington, Kentucky 40503.

Dr. Hoven was the radio minister of the Christians' Hour from its beginning in 1943. He was a lesson writer for the Lookout and served as president, as well as in other capacities, of the North American Christian Convention.

Memorial services were held on Wednesday, April 22 for Miss Georgiana Keaton, a long time member of our congregation and the Chancel Choir.

Services were also held on Wednesday, April 22 in memory of Mrs. T. Earl (Gertrude) Robinson, mother of Mrs. Norman (Joan) Edwards, 3437 Woodland Place.

Services were also held this past week for the brother of Mrs. Clora Lunsford, 2301 Fairington Court #228.

The sympathy of the entire congregation is extended to the Hoven, Keaton, Robinson and Lunsford families, as well as to all those who mourn the passing of loved ones this past week.

-The Carillian Vol. XXII Columbus, Indiana, April 24, 1987,  No. 17 Note: The information above is time sensitive material. Dr. Hoven's wife, Dorothy has now passed away.


It has been properly stated that the death of Ard Hoven on April 16, 1987, marked the end of a unique period of leadership among the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. Indeed, this highly talented and dedicated preacher, professor and broadcaster, bridged some six decades during which he provided recognized leadership in the Restoration Movement.

Born October 21, 1906 in Eugene. Oregon, Ard Hoven followed in the footsteps of his well-known and well-loved father, Dr. Victor E. Hoven. By 1930, he had earned a Bachelor of Arts and Oratory degree from the Eugene, Oregon University (now Northwest Christian College). Subsequent education led to a Bachelor of Divinity degree al Eugene, a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Oregon, and a Master of Arts degree at Cincinnati Bible Seminary. Milligan College and Kentucky Christian College honored him with doctorates in recognition of his service to the brotherhood and of the many years he served on the boards of these institutions. While minister of the young Chase Avenue Church of Christ (now, Clovernook Christian Church) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Hoven, with the help of several Christian friends, organized and started "The Christians' Hour," a weekly radio broadcast referred to as "New Testament Christianity on the air."  Blessed with a marvelous speaking voice and style, Ard Hoven's concise Biblical sermons were well received from the very first broadcast. Radio stations were added with the sponsorship of churches, groups, and individuals until the program was heard over more than 70 stations across the nation.

It can truly be said that millions have heard the voice of "our preacher" during the nearly 45 years he was on the air. On August 30, 1987, Dr. Hoven's final radio message was heard. During his years on the air, every broadcast was produced on time and the taping schedule maintained even though the speaker traveled 10 Cincinnati from Lexington. Kentucky, Columbus. Indiana. and Grayson. Kentucky. Such dedicated service, when added to Dr. Hoven's ministries of three large congregations, the writing of Sunday School lessons for the Lookout for 26 years, and the many other responsibilities he willingly assumed, speak highly of the unselfish spirit and personal industry of this good man.

In an effort to express gratitude to the memory of Ard Hoven, two special programs of appreciation were recently held. The first of these was on Thursday, April 21. A special Chapel service was held in the Chapel-Fine Arts Building on the campus of Kentucky Christian College to honor Dr. Hoven. Among the distinguished guests were Mrs. Dorothy Harris Hoven, wife of Ard Hoven: daughter Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D., of Lexington, Kentucky; and daughter Mrs. Vicki Lee Buck, and granddaughter Tanya Buck, both of Lexington, Kentucky. It was my privilege, as Vice President of The Christians' Hour Board, to present a beautiful color portrait of Dr. Hoven to the College. It bore this inscription: "Dr. Ard Hoven, the Preacher - The Christians' Hour. 1943 - 1987." The portrait has been placed in the Chapel-Fine Arts building on the campus where the culmination of his matchless contribution took place in the training of ministerial students to effectively preach the Gospel of Christ. Speaker for this program was Dr. L. Palmer Young, immediate past president of the college and a member of our Christians' Hour board. Having been requested to use one of the sermons Dr. Hoven delivered on radio, he selected. "Meeting The Great Requirements” and presented it in a stirring manner.

Then, on Friday, April 22, 1988, a benefit banquet was held at the Springdale Sheraton Inn in Cincinnati. On this occasion, I had the privilege of presenting a walnut and bronze impression plaque to Mrs. Dorothy Hoven. Her response was beautiful and moving, and truly "capped" the program of the evening with dedication and love. Our new program director, Bill McClure, conducted the meeting and expressed full confidence in the continuing future of The Christians' Hour radio broadcast and ministry in part, because of the very capable preaching of LeRoy Lawson, minister of Central Christian Church, Mesa, Arizona. An offering was received and a number of financial commitments were made that night to help underwrite the costs connected with broadcasting in Cincinnati. Dr. LeRoy Lawson delivered the brief closing message, bringing to the service a genuine spirit of optimism along with the confidence that The Christians' Hour started so many years ago by a few dedicated men and women, would grow and expand its unique and important outreach for Christ in the years ahead.

-Marvin H. Matthews, News Of The Hour, News of the Christians' Hour Broadcasting Association, Second Quarter, 1988 / Note: The information above is time sensitive material. Dr. Hoven's wife, Dorothy has now passed away.

Funeral Program

A Celebration of Life Honoring

Dr. Ard Egbert Hoven

October 21, 1906-April 16, 1987

Kentucky Christian College

Chapel-Fine Arts Building

Eleven o'clock in the morning

April 20, 1987

Interment at Lexington Cemetery three o'clock in the afternoon

The Service of Celebration

Organ selections ••••••••••••••••• Dr. Benic Hampton

“How Great Thou Art" •••••••• Kentucky Christian College

Kimberly Tingler, soloist Concert Choir

Scripture and Prayer. ••••••••••••• James C. McKenzie

Hymn of Praise ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 20

"All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name"

Sermon ••••••••••••••••••••••• Dr. L. Palmer Young

"God So Loved the World" ••••••••••••• KCC Concert Choir

Hymn of Faith •••••••••••••••••••••••• 223

"It is Well with My Soul"

Benediction •••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Dr. Hugh Sensibaugh

Pallbearers: Jeffrey Connar;  Fred Waggoner; Harold Hockley;  Norman Edwards; Jeffrey Hill Robert Waggoner;  Robert Craycraft;  James C. McKenzie;  Honorary Pallbearers: Kentucky Christian College Board of Trustees

Ard Hoven

A mighty leader has fallen! Ard Egbert Hoven, veteran preacher and leader among Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, died April 16, 1987, 11:45 A. M., at Lexington, Kentucky. He was born in Eugene, Oregon, to Dr. and Mrs. V. E. Hoven on October 14, 1906. His father, Victor E. Hoven, was the well-known and much beloved Bible leader at Eugene Bible University (later to become Northwest Christian College). After elementary and secondary education in the Eugene schools, he earned both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Oratory degrees at Eugene Bible University in 1930. Subsequent education led to the Bachelor of Divinity degree at Eugene and the Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oregon. While at the University of Oregon he represented the university in PAC8 oratorical competition.

After coming east he earned the Master of Arts degree from Cincinnati Bible Seminary, teaching part-time in speech and preaching at the undergraduate level while ministering to the Chase A venue Christian Church in Cincinnati. In more recent years, both Milligan College and Kentucky Christian College have honored him with doctorates for his faithful service both to the Movement at large and these institutions specifically upon whose boards he served for a number of years.

While ministering in Cincinnati, he became the preacher for the "Christian’s Hour,” an internationally known radio program that has carried the message of New Testament Christianity for almost forty-five years. Dr. Hoven has been the speaker on this program from its inception. Because of this exposure, his superb pulpit work in significant churches, and his frequent convention appearances, he has been referred to as the "Dean of American Preachers.

In 1951 Dr. Hoven was called to the ministry of the historic Broadway Christian Church, Lexington, Kentucky. After 15 years of successful and fruitful ministry here, he moved to the great First Christian Church, Columbus, Indiana, in 1966, ministering there until August, 1978, when he accepted a position at Kentucky Christian College as professor of Christian Ministries and Preaching. In 1982 when the Master of Ministry program was begun, Dr. Hoven was chosen to be Dean of this program.

Throughout the years, Dr. Hoven has been active in religious journalism. In addition to providing hundreds of scripts of his sermons on the "Christian's Hour," he has contributed numerous articles and essays to religious publications. For 26 years, without a break, he wrote the weekly Sunday School lessons for the national Christian education journal, The Lookout. Standard Publishing has also published a volume of sermons, Christ is All, and another volume, Meditations and Prayers for the Lord's Table.

In addition to his ministries in churches, through writing, and in radio broadcasting, Dr. Hoven has served the Movement at large. He was for many years a member of the Board of Trustees of Milligan College and Kentucky Christian College. He also served a number of years on the board of Midway College, Midway, Kentucky, and has been a Trustee Emeritus since 1981. He has served on the Convention Committee of the North American Christian Convention through the years and was President of the Convention in 1950. From its inception, he has been a member of the Publishing Committee of Standard Publishing.

Dr. Hoven has been listed in both Who's Who in the Midwest and Who's Who in the South and Southwest. He was also selected a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, the national Sociology honorary society.

Dr. Hoven's family includes his wife, the former Dorothy Harris of Boston, Massachusetts, two daughters, Mrs. Vicki Lee Buck, Lexington, KY, and Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, a specialist in communicable diseases of Lexington, KY, and one granddaughter, Tonya Buck, of Lexington, KY. A host of Christian friends join with his immediate family in mourning his death.

John Bunyan in that beautiful allegory, Pilgrim's Progress, tells of Mr. Valiant-For-Truth's passing through the river to enter the Celestial City. When he had passed through the river, Bunyan writes that "the trumpets sounded for him on the other side." Surely the trumpets are sounding for Ard Egbert Hoven, stalwart and faithful servant of Christ, as he enters that city of blissful reward.

-Funeral Program for Dr. Ard Hoven / Note: The information above is time sensitive material. Dr. Hoven's wife, Dorothy has now passed away.

Directions To The Grave of Dr. Hoven

From New Circle Road: (Rt. 4): Traveling on New Circle Road, exit at Leestown Road and head east. Travel eastbound across the overpass at which point The Lexington Cemetery will be located to your left. Drive about a quarter of a mile to arrive at the Main Gate to The Lexington Cemetery.

From Downtown Lexington (Main Street): From anywhere in Downtown Lexington, drive westbound on Main Street past the Lexington Center/Rupp Arena and Triangle Park, Mary Todd Lincoln Home and the Salvation Army on the left. Main Street becomes Leestown Road past the downtown area. Pass Georgetown Street, traveling in the right lane, and you will arrive at the Main Gate to The Lexington Cemetery.

From I-64/75: Traveling on I-64/75 exit at ramp 115 to Newtown Pike (Rt. 922). Travel southbound until you reach Main Street. Turn right (west) onto Main Street. Traveling in the right lane, you will arrive at the main gate to The Lexington Cemetery.

Lexington Cemetery
833 West Main Street
Lexington, KY 40508
(859) 255-5522
Section 46 Lot 201
See Cemetery Map Here

GPS Location
38°03'44.5"N 84°30'38.6"W
or D.d. 38.062359, -84.510709

The Family Of Ard Hoven
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord . . . Their works do follow them. Revelation 14:13

Dorothy L. Hoven
Wife Of
Ard E. Hoven
October 14, 1909
January 15, 2006

Ard E. Hoven
October 21, 1906
April 16, 1987

Photos Taken May, 2011
Courtesy of Scott Harp

Special Thanks to Bill McClure, Director of The Christians' Hour Broadcast for providing biographical information and photographs of Dr. Hoven. December, 2011

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