David Hardage, executive director of Texas Baptists, has announced plans to retire following more than 10 years of service with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT).
Hardage was appointed as executive director in January of 2012 by the BGCT Executive Board. Prior to his service with Texas Baptists, Hardage had served as director of development for Baylor University's Truett Theological Seminary. He also served as the director of the Waco Baptist Association and pastored churches in Texas and Oklahoma.
Before his role as executive director, Hardage was deeply engaged in denominational life, serving as chairman of the BGCT State Missions Commission, chairman of the BGCT Missions Funding Committee and trustee at East Texas Baptist University and Latham Springs Camp and Retreat Center. He also served on the BGCT Committee on Committees.
Hardage received his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University. He also earned a master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctorate from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.
Hardage’s tenure as executive director was preceded by Randal Everett, who held the post from 2008 to 2011, and Charles Wade whose service spanned from 1999 to 2008, among others.
During Hardage’s tenure, the ministry of the Convention was reorganized into five ministry centers, and the Convention’s mission focused on the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, or “sharing Christ and showing love.” Hardage oversaw the sale of the “Baptist Building” on Washington Avenue in downtown Dallas and the relocation of the Convention’s offices to their current location off of Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas.
A hallmark of Hardage’s tenure was his weekly visits to Texas Baptists churches across the state and beyond. Within months of assuming his role, he began traveling by invitation to visit congregations, meet with pastors and church leaders and share the story of what God was doing through the collaborative ministry of the Convention.
“My favorite part of my role has always been visiting our churches and connecting with their pastors,” Hardage said.
At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, when his travels were slowed, Hardage recorded 55 video greetings from his home to connect with and share support for Texas Baptists church leaders.
“I really can’t overstate his positive influence upon Texas Baptists,” BGCT President Jason Burden shared. “It’s not possible to say words that are powerful enough or strong enough to express my admiration for him … His grace and demeanor and his vision for Texas Baptists over the past decade have put us in a much healthier place and a much more productive place, and I’m just thankful to God that David has given himself to serve us.”