Pastors' Memoirs

Richard Evans Hamblin, 1910-1987

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Richard Evans Hamblin was born October 7, 1910 to Harve and Mollie Hamblin in Giles County, Virginia. His first call to the ministry was when he was just a baby. A circuit-riding preacher told his parents that if they named the baby Evans after him, that he would become a preacher.

Richard had other ideas, but the Lord had his mind set on Richard being a minister.

It took 24 years of hard times, a wife and four children, and World War II in a foxhole in France to convince Richard to be a minister. There he promised the Lord that if He would get him out of that foxhole, he would become a minister.

He came back home and went back to high school at Eggleston where his children were going to school. He completed high school and took courses at Emory and Henry College in Tennessee and at Duke Divinity School in North Carolina.

His first charge was in the Holston conference in Grayson County, known as the Blue Ridge Charge. He had seven churches for five years and one year at Mont Vale which became a station church.

His second charge was at Rocky Gap where he had nine churches for four years. His third charge was at Staffordsville. He served five churches for seven years. His fourth charge was in the Virginia conference on the South Franklin Charge where he served for seven years. His fifth charge was at Patrick Springs. He had two churches for five years and one year at Salem United Methodist Church which became a station.

In 1976, he thought he was retiring to a life of gardening and leisure, but the Lord had more work for him. He became interim pastor at Piedmont Presbyterian Church in Callaway, Virginia. He was hospital chaplain at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Rocky Mount, Virginia. He was interim pastor at Doe Run Christian Church until a stroke slowed him down but didn't stop him.

Some of his other accomplishments were:

He wrote a book titled Things That Work But Don't Try Them.
He founded the Lord's Acre Movement in Galax, Bland County, Franklin County, and Patrick County and was instrumental in the formation of others in other places.
He was the chaplain of the Bland Correctional Farm.
He was selected Rural Minister of the Year three times: once in the Holston conference, one in the Virginia conference, and once in the Southeastern Jurisdiction.
He was a member of the American Legion, Rocky Mount Masonic Lodge, and the Oddfellows Camp 189 where he was Grand Chaplain of Virginia for 10 years.
Richard's life on earth ended December 4, 1987 from heart failure. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Ruth Parker Hamblin. Five children, eight grandchildren and one-great grandchild survive, also.

-John R. Hamblin



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