Cover photo for Harold Allen's Obituary
Harold Allen Profile Photo
1933 Harold 2018

Harold Allen

November 4, 1933 — July 15, 2018

Born in Humbolt, TN on November 4, 1933 Departed on July 15, 2018 and resided in Nashville, TN Visitation: Alexander Funeral Home and Cremation CenterFriday July 20, 2018 4:00pm to 8:00pmVisitation: First Baptist ChurchSaturday July 21, 2018 11:30am to 1:30pmFuneral Service: First Baptist ChurchSaturday July 21, 2018 1:30pm
Harold W. Allen

Born in Humbolt, TN on November 4, 1933

Departed on July 15, 2018 and resided in Nashville, TN

Visitation: Alexander Funeral Home and Cremation Center Friday July 20, 2018 4:00pm to 8:00pmVisitation: First Baptist Church Saturday July 21, 2018 11:30am to 1:30pmFuneral Service: First Baptist Church Saturday July 21, 2018 1:30pm

The Angels and Saints rejoiced on July 15th, 2018 as Dr. Harold W. Allen was welcomed into Heaven. Just as Lazarus was called from his tomb, Jesus called dad out of a body riddled with Parkinson's disease. Dad was sitting in his blue recliner, dressed in an old man white t-shirt and soft green pajama pants. A blanket pulled up around him. He quietly went to sleep at 10:30 am, right during Sunday morning services. Then it began to rain. Not a heavy rain that feels like weeping, but a light rain - the way happy tears might drip down your cheeks and onto the ground. Scripture says that after Lazarus was called out of the tomb, he went and had a meal with Jesus. I think dad was welcomed in the same manner - dad so enjoyed having a meal with anyone anywhere. His ministry was one of personal relationships - one door, one meal, one prayer, one hospital bed, one person at a time.
Dad was born the son of sharecroppers in Humboldt TN. His family eventually moved to Cairo, Illinois where his dad worked nights on the barges that floated nearby. His mom ran a grocery store out of the front of their home in order to have enough food for four growing boys. Dad was never the strongest student but he worked hard and was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He went on to graduate from Southern Illinois University where he and mom were debate team champions and surrogate parents for three of their brothers who followed them to college at SIU. Dad completed his Bachelor of Divinity, Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry from Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. He met his wife of 61 years, Nancy Ann Clark, during a tour of duty in Germany. She worked beside him and together they raised two boys, David Wayne and Stephen Clark. Nancy recently died on January 3rd, 2018.
Dad was called into the ministry at the tender age of 15 years and began pastoring his first church at 16 years. His parents, John Philmore and Jessie Mae Allen supported him in his new ministry, driving him to services and putting a few extra coins in the offering plate to help the church get started. Dad, with tears in his eyes, would tell how his brother John Henry Allen bought him his first set of commentaries. Dad was preceded in death by his oldest brother, Ralph Allen, who drowned during military training at the age of 19. And also by his youngest brother, James Murray Allen, with whom dad loved to play cards.
Dad was not a perfect man, but he was a great man. He used his gift of storytelling to explain scripture in a relevant and receivable way. But even more he used his kindness, laughter, interest and servant heart to personally demonstrate God. Dad used to say, "people will remember what you say for 30 minutes, but they will remember how you loved them for a lifetime". He left God's love scattered throughout a ministry that spanned over 65 years, serving churches in Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia.
Dad loved his grandchildren so very much. They called him Papaw or Grandpa. With even the mention of a need - he was the first to volunteer. He was an eager chauffeur, messy chef (loved to grill ribs and steaks), adequate spades partner, proud tomato gardener, and gentle listener.
These last few years have been tough on dad - yet he always met you with a smile, a readiness to go for a drive or out to eat, and an interest in how you were doing. On the Friday before his death he ate fried green tomatoes and a half pimento cheese sandwich. Then he said let's drive somewhere. As we drove down the Natchez Trace we came to the large expansion bridge. He looked out of the window and across the countryside and said, "this is just amazing". I believe he said the same thing on Sunday morning at 10:30 am.
Visitation will begin at Alexander Funeral Home in Gallatin (584 Nashville Pike) on Friday, July 20th from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. Visitation will continue on Saturday, July 21st at First Baptist Church, Gallatin from 11:30 to 1:30. A Celebration of Life will follow at 1:30 pm at First Baptist Church, Gallatin, TN.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Tennessee Baptist Children's Homes PO Box 2206, Nashville, TN 37024-2206 .

24 Comments Cass Holly July 17, 2018 at 1:43 am - Reply

Dearest David, thinking of you and your brother tonight. Your parents were always so kind and gracious to me. Some of my best memories are of your family and your home…just wanted you to know how much I thought of both of them. God Bless you guys………all the love in the world to both of you and your family.

Mary Ann Mimms July 17, 2018 at 2:06 am - Reply

David and family, I am so sorry to hear the news. Your father was the example of what God meant a man to be. I was honored to have been a part of your lives. I have truly been blessed. You will be in my prayers while you celebrate the life of this precious soul. God bless. With love and hugs.

Gene Skaggs July 17, 2018 at 2:06 am - Reply

David, Stephen, there really are no words to give you that would begin to describe what Harold and your family means to Pam and I. I have served with many pastors over the years and specifically the last 23 on staff at several churches. The thing is, no matter the good fellowship I would enjoy with those men, Harold Allen was, is and will always be MY Pastor. The council he gave, the laughs we shared and the wisdom I gained from him has helped keep me focused on the simple message he shared with everyone, “Do you know my Jesus?” The fact he officiated our wedding on he and Nancy’s anniversary typifies his overwhelming spirit of Servanthood. We love you guys and are praying for you and family. And, we will always love Our Pastor, Bro. Allen.

Paul July 17, 2018 at 3:23 am - Reply

Sorry to hear the loss prayers are being sent very good person

Crystal Sandoval Burke July 17, 2018 at 12:10 pm - Reply

Steve and David I am so sorry for your loss of your father. He was a wonderful man who touched many lives. I am praying for peace for both of you and your family.

Bob Vassar July 17, 2018 at 7:55 pm - Reply

Looking forward to getting to know your dad better in eternity but am grateful for what I have learned about him through my time at Harpeth Heights and how much the people there love and respect him. You guys are in my prayers as you celebrate a life well lived and grieve the passing of a great dad etc. Bob Vassar.

Tom Neal, Jr. July 17, 2018 at 10:20 pm - Reply

David, I am sorry to hear of the transition of your dad to his eternal home. We Christians are all just passing through and some reach home before others. My mother, Lorene Neal, was a great admirer of your dad and was known to provide him with some rare Southern cooking, like pigtails . He conducted her funeral in Gallatin some years ago.You were my Wife’s Dr. until I became too old to drive to Nashville. She went home June 26 this year and we were married 65 years.Thanks for taking care of her for several years, and again my prayers are with you and the family during this temporary separation.

Paul Thompson July 18, 2018 at 3:38 am - Reply

David and Steve sorry for your loss your dad was very good and serving man to a lot of people he is in a better place still can’t believe he is gone I just asked David last Thursday how he was doing . Prayers are with both you from me and Angie

Tom Walden July 18, 2018 at 8:57 pm - Reply

David and Stephen, Nellie Sue and I loved your dad as our pastor at Twelfth Street Baptist Church in Paducah and as our friend through the years. He and Nancy were special to us. He will be sorely missed. I have talked to several of your dad's friends in Paducah and all had great memories of his ministry here. We look forward to seeing him again in heaven. He certainly cared about people. He was known for his 18 minute sermons. One person said that he could say more in 18 minutes than others could say in an hour and half!

Tom Walden July 18, 2018 at 8:59 pm - Reply

David and Stephen, Nellie Sue and I loved your dad as our pastor at Twelfth Street Baptist Church in Paducah and as our friend through the years. He and Nancy were special to us. He will be sorely missed. I have talked to several of your dad's friends in Paducah and all had great memories of his ministry here. We look forward to seeing him again in heaven. He certainly cared about people. He was known for his 18 minute sermons. One person said that he could say more in 18 minutes than others could say in an hour and half! God bless, Tom Walden

Marie Akin July 18, 2018 at 10:55 pm - Reply

David, I didn't know your parents personally, but while reading this obituary I was truly blessed. I am so very sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to you and family!

Ann Hurt July 19, 2018 at 1:55 am - Reply

My deepest sympathy for David and Stephen! My childhood pastor. Brother Allen baptized me and was a wonderful man.

Ruth Wright July 19, 2018 at 4:26 am - Reply

Many good memories while Bro. Allen and his Family were at First Baptist Church Gallatin, Tn. He baptized Jeffrey and Doc the same day, Then in a year of two, he baptized Jay. We will never forget all the kindness for our Family especially when Jeffrey died in and accident. I would not have made it thru that tragedy without him.
Our deepest sympathy to all the Family. David and Stephen, may the Lord give you much strength and courage at this time.God Bless!
Ruth, Jay and Tracy Wright

Norman and Ruth Gardner July 19, 2018 at 1:23 pm - Reply

In June 1969 Brother Allen met a mutual friend of ours at the Southern Baptist Convention. They had coffee and Brother Allen shared that his church was seeking a Minister of Youth and asked for a recommendation. As a result of that meeting, I was called as Minister of Music and Youth and my wife, Mary Ruth, served as Educational Administrative Assistant. That was the beginning of a strong and precious relationship for us with Brother Allen and Gallatin. Brother Allen was a wonderful pastor to serve beside and Nancy was the perfect pastor’s wife. We enjoyed watching both David and Stephen grow and mature in youth choir, hand bell choir, and youth activities. Both Ruth and I treasure the memories and experiences shared with Brother Allen. Our prayers are with the entire family during this time.

May God bless you,
Rev Norman L. and Mary Ruth Gardner

Charlotte Hunter September 19, 2018 at 2:23 pm - Reply

I just Googled Harold Allen & saddened at my loss of not staying in touch. I have wonderful memories of our days at FBC Gallatin with Harold, Nancy, you, and the Church Family – and Gallatin!
Harry died 05-05/05 at age 59!
My love to you! Thanks for the wonderful 2 years we shared with all of you! (1971-73)! Would love to visit & hear what has happened at FBC & Gallatin!

peaches murray July 19, 2018 at 2:23 pm - Reply

Dr. Allen, Praying for you and your family during this time, may God give you Peace and Comfort.

Peaches( Frist Clinic)

William Brandl July 20, 2018 at 1:02 pm - Reply

David and Steve – wish we could be with y’all today and tomorrow but babies 1st birthday and then a visit to Wilmington on Sunday and Monday to see our Grandson Ben prevent us from traveling to Gallatin. You and your families are in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you all! Love you, Bill and Donna!!

Clyde Milton Francis III July 20, 2018 at 4:33 pm - Reply

David, My thoughts and prayers have been with you this week. You were blessed to have a father as your Dad was to you and I am sure many others.I know he was mighty proud of you. I know I Love you Buddy! Milton

John Fielden July 20, 2018 at 6:03 pm - Reply

David, Connie and I will be praying for you and your family during this difficult time.

Barb McBride July 20, 2018 at 9:27 pm - Reply

David & Stephen and all of the Allen family. I could write a pamphlet -not quite a book- but a lot of words about how great your folks were in our lives. Nancy & I were like sisters in a way & I nicknamed her cousin Nancy as I referred to her. Always a big hug and smiles all around when we would come to visit in Nashville. They opened their home many times to us to spend the night and Dr Allen would always be up bright & early with Bill and make biscuits and eggs. I love that they always had those staples on hand. We would talk about our families and love for the Lord & always how our churches were going. Harold tried to retire but always got hired by ONE MORE CHURCH . He loved the Lord & the gospel as did Nancy. What a legacy. They were so proud of their kids & grandkids. We almost always sang a little from the Oklahoma play as Bill was Curly & Nancy I thought was one of the ladies & either played in the play or just really knew the musical. How they will be missed. I could always get a kind & encouraging word from them. I look forward to seeing them again in heaven rejoicing. Much love & prayers. Barb McBride

Karen Surber July 20, 2018 at 10:10 pm - Reply

Dear David and Stephen and Family, It hurts to know that Dr. Harold Allen isn’t here with us anymore. He is so loved by so many people, because he genuinely loved everyone who knew him. Scriptures tell us to love others not only in word but deed. Jesus is our example. Dr. Harold Allen lived his life to be more and more like Jesus every day. He allowed our Lord’s love to flow through him as he was always so welcoming with his sweet warm smile. He listened with genuine interest and offered wise council. He made people feel valued. Dr. Harold also brought his two sons up well and mentored them by the way he lived his life. I am so very blessed to have his son, Dr. David Allen as my physician. Dr. David Allen is so much like his Dad. – – – “A chip off the block” as some say. He has his Dad’s heart. To me it kind of feels like he left part of him with us in his son David. We will miss Dr. Harold Allen so much! Psalm 116;15 Precious to the Lord is the death of His saints. Dr. Harold Allen is now experiencing that fullness of joy that is only in the presence of the Lord, Psalm 16;11.

Carl and Denise White July 23, 2018 at 1:16 am - Reply

Dear David and Stephen and all the Allen family, What a blessing it was to know Harold and Nancy during the time we were both in Peachtree City. We have many fond memories of those days. They both touched our lives and the lives of our children in ways we can never repay. We hope you are comforted by all the wonderful memories you must have. We are sorry we could not be with you to mark their passing.

Charlotte Hunter September 19, 2018 at 2:37 pm - Reply

David & Stephen,
My husband, Harry Hunter & I were members at FBC in the early 70’s when you were in elementary school! Your dad was an inspiration & mentor for us. I saw a book on the shelf this morning & remembered your dad giving to us – To Rule the Night by James Irwin. He taught us so much in the short time we were there. He led revivals for churches Harry pastored in Bonnieville, Ky and Henderson, Ky. You may remember the pig you raised, that was his pay- jokingly!
We saw them during their Peachtree, GA days & led a prayer seminar with the church group at Calloway Gardens! So many memories!
God’s Blessings of peace to each of you & your families! My heart is saddened I didn’t Google sooner! A great loss for us, but you are so blessed to have been raised by two of the most Godly parents, a blessed heritage!

Joyce Vandegrift November 15, 2018 at 1:20 am - Reply

I was so sad when I Googled your parents and found they had both passed away. We always exchanged cards each year and looked forward to hearing their news and always your mother had such interesting things to say about their boys.

David, I have not figured out how to reach you. My son, Stephen, and you were babies and toddlers in Zeigler, IL. We visited your family in Paducah and also in Tenn. My husband, Boyd Preston, was in Seminary in Louisville at the time and helped your dad to get admitted to the DM Program. IF you happen to see this, please accept my sympathy. I loved reading what your wrote about your dad so much. You truly described the man that we knew. Your mother was always a role model for me as she was such a good pastor;s wife and friend to me.
Joyce (Preston) Vandegrift

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