Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hyde Park United Methodist bids farewell to senior pastor

Sarah Whitman is the new editorial assistant for the Brandon bureau.

Sarah Whitman is the new editorial assistant for the Brandon bureau.

After 22 years of service as senior pastor at Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa, the Rev. James Harnish will preach his final sermon June 8, retiring from full-time ministry to spend more time with his family.

Harnish, a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky, began his career at Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand in 1972. He then led churches in Crescent City and Orlando before coming to Hyde Park, transforming it into one of the most influential churches in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Hyde Park will honor Harnish at an event beginning at 4 p.m. June 8, with a reception to follow. The pastor will also speak at 8:30, 9:30 and 11 a.m. services. For the coming months, donations are requested to help establish a new scholarship in Harnish's honor at the Divinity School at Duke University, where he facilitates a continuing education program. Donation forms are available at hydeparkumc.org/giving/ harnish-scholarship-at-duke.

The Rev. Roger Scholtz, an ordained elder in the Methodist Church of South Africa, will serve as interim pastor at Hyde Park beginning Sept. 1. A new senior pastor will be named in June 2015. For more information, visit hydeparkumc.org.

Here's what Harnish, 67, said about his plans for the future.

What made you decide to take the leap into retirement?

Well, it's required by the church that we retire at 70 but I never planned on going that long. I felt a sense of leading from God these last couple years that it was time. After speaking with the Florida Conference and the church, we all agreed it seemed like the right decision.

What comes next?

I'm going to spend a lot of time being a husband, father and grandfather. I'll also be doing some writing. I currently help facilitate a continuity education program through Duke Divinity School. I'm going to continue doing that as my way of helping people in ministry.

What will you miss most about full-time ministry?

The people. I love the relationships that we share. I will miss the friendships that we built here. Of course the friendships will continue in a different way and there will be new friendships on the horizon. I will miss the amazing staff at Hyde Park. I have really enjoyed working with each of them.

Will the day of your retirement celebration be an emotional day?

Of course. Hyde Park is a place where people are free to express how they feel. I'm sure we will laugh together and have a cry together. I know I will experience emotions of joy and thanks.

Sarah Whitman can be reached at sarahrothwhitman@gmail.com.

Calendar

Chonda Pierce Girl Talk: Christian comedian Chonda Pierce will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 31, at Countryside Christian Center, 1850 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Doors open at 6. To purchase tickets, visit florida.thejoyfm.com/event/chonda.

Musical kids: The children's choir at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, 2102 Bell Shoals Road, will present a musical at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 1. For more information, call (813) 689-4229.

Hyde Park United Methodist bids farewell to senior pastor 05/28/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 7:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018

    Blogs

    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen

    Bucs

    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

  3. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum

    Hurricanes

    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  5. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar

    Blogs

    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.