Harlan & Mary Hall
Celebrating 60 years of Marriage
(The above photo includes the Halls grandson, Justin, on his graduation)
Harlan and Mary Hall have lived in Longview for 47 years. 28 of those years were spent on staff at First Baptist Church of Longview, where Harlan served as Minister of Music and Mary as Church Organist-Music Assistant.
Marys hometown is Tyler, Harlan grew up in Lindale, and both attended Tyler Junior College to major in music. Mary finished her bachelors degree at SMU, and was recognized as the most outstanding organ student. Harlan graduated from East Texas Baptist University, and followed with graduate studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth.
Following six years of dating and finishing school, the Halls were united in marriage on June 3, 1956 in Tyler, Texas. Harlans classic line is I married way over my head.
Having dedicated their lives to the ministry of church music, the Halls worked part-time while in school, then served three churches full-time including Odessa First Baptist Church, Longview First Baptist Church, and Central Baptist Church of Carthage. During this time Mr. and Mrs. Hall were recipients of the Distinguished Service Award given annually by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth for outstanding service in the field of church music. That same year, East Texas Baptist University conferred on Mr. Hall the Doctor of Humanities Degree.
The Halls have two children, Diane (Mrs. Mark Rice) of Dallas, and Dale. Diane has her own sales company and is the mother of Justin, their only grandchild. Dale lives in Longview and works in the field of Information Technology and is very talented in other endeavors as well.
The Halls ministry at First Baptist Church in Longview was characterized by vibrant congregational singing, a graded choir program numbering more than 500 singers, instrumentalists, and handbell choirs which Mary Hall introduced to East Texas in 1969. Mrs. Bill (Nell) Collins was music secretary most of that time. Their perennial scripture admonition was (and is) And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:17
Upon retirement from First Baptist Church, the church declared Harlan as Minister of Music Emeritus and Mary as Church Organist Emerita. The Halls still are active singing and playing for worship services, funerals, weddings and other opportunities.
The last verse of their favorite hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, expresses their heartfelt calling so well. Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small, love so amazing, so divine demands my soul, my life, my all.
To God be the glory.
Great things he has done, is doing, and will do.