Having fought the good fight, Hall Calhoun Crowder, at the age of 102, finished his race on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, at his daughter’s home in Knoxville, TN. His general health had been failing for a few months, and a case of COVID eased him quickly and peacefully into the arms of Jesus.
Hall was born on November 23, 1919, in Mobile, AL, to Orvel Wendell Crowder and his wife Mary Ettah. He graduated from high school in Hiram, Ohio, having won a full tuition college scholarship in the statewide oratory contest. Though he began his college studies at Hiram College, Hall soon felt God’s call into the ministry, leading him to pursue his bachelor’s degree at Cincinnati Bible Seminary. He began preaching at age 17 while he was completing his studies. He met his sweetheart Alice at his first full-time church in Lexington, KY, and they were married a couple of weeks after Pearl Harbor brought the US into WW II. Hall continued his studies as he preached, earning a Master of Theology degree, also from the seminary.
In the following years, Hall ministered at churches in Evanston, IL; Cordell, OK; Louisville, KY; Sellersburg, IN; Waynesboro, GA; and Johnson City, TN; but the bulk of his ministry was 25 years spent in Gallatin, TN, at the Gallatin Church of Christ and the Community Church of Christ. In addition to preaching, every summer for many years Hall organized Christian camps for young people. A week away from home with sports activities, campfires, singing, and solid Bible teaching was life changing, and many of those who spent time at camp count the experience as pivotal in influencing them to follow Christ for the rest of their lives.
Hall and Alice retired in 1981 and shifted their focus from pastoral ministry to helping reach the lost around the world through their work as volunteers with Operation Mobilization, an interdenominational mission which focuses on training young people through discipleship and work in evangelism. Hall and Alice did office and maintenance work, traveled around the US recruiting young people for OM, participated in missions conferences on college campuses, and distributed Christian books at home school conventions and Christian music festivals. Although their hair was white, they were effective in challenging the younger generation to a deeper walk with Christ and in presenting opportunities to serve on OM teams working around the world.
When Alice was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 1999, he became her loving caregiver. Shortly before she passed away in 2012 an accident left Hall in a wheelchair, having lost the use of his dominant arm. Despite these limitations, he continued to function independently, cooking his own meals, teaching Sunday School, and preaching one or two Sundays a month until age 96. His life in Christian ministry spanned nearly 80 years, and even now there are a dozen or so of his messages available on YouTube.
In addition to serving the Lord, Hall also served his family with his skills in maintenance and carpentry. He enjoyed fixing his own cars, and he kept major appliances functional far beyond normal expectations. He built bookcases, upholstered furniture, laid carpet, and designed his own multi-section cabinet to organize his large collection of neckties. He and Alice carried on a decades-long competition at the chessboard, and he continued to defeat other family members at chess well into his final year of life.
In Glory, Hall joins his wife Alice and their son Hall Wendell Crowder, who passed away in late 2020. He is survived by his three daughters, Crystal Hardin, Cindy Brady, and Karen Ashley, as well as twelve grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter.
Friends are invited to greet the family on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at the Alexander Funeral Home in Gallatin beginning at 10:00 AM. The funeral service will be at 1:00 PM, followed by a short graveside service at Crestview. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to Operation Mobilization, PO Box 444, Tyrone, GA 30290, or online at omusa.org.
Alexander Funeral Home & Cremation Center in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be submitted at alexandergallatin.com. (615) 502-0011 Obit Line (615) 502-0555.