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Paying it Forward

Community fundraiser set for beloved pastor

7/21/2015, 3:35 p.m.
Despite a dire cancer diagnosis for their beloved spiritual leader, members of the Highland Christian Center and their ailing church ...
Ken Berry (from left), Avel Gordly and John R. Lampkin make plans for the Aug. 1 ‘Praying for a Miracle’ telethon to help raise donations to pay for cancer treatment for their beloved church pastor Dr. W.G. Hardy Jr (pictured right).

Despite a dire cancer diagnosis for their beloved spiritual leader, members of the Highland Christian Center and their ailing church pastor, Rev. Dr. W.G. Hardy Jr., are not ready to give up.

On Saturday, Aug. 1, Highland, a United Church of Christ congregation that is both historically African American and diverse, will host the “Praying for a Miracle” Telethon Extravaganza in support of Hardy’s medical expenses. The event will take place at the Highland church home at 7600 N.E. Glisan St. from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Phone pledges will also be accepted.

Hardy, one of the state’s most influential and inspired leaders, announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Doctors predicted his life would be drastically shortened.

But Hardy and his church are keeping positive by fighting back with prayers and medical treatment. Hardy has enrolled at Cancer Center of America and travels once a month to Arizona for treatment. To help fund his medical needs, The “Paying It Forward” community group has established the Pastor Hardy Medical Fund at U.S. Bank.

The telethon will support the fundraising effort with an entertainment extravaganza. The guest list includes national gospel artists DaNell Daymon and Greater Works, Minister Derrick McDuffey, Wendy Jackson, Pastor Kim Black, April Murchinson and Sam Townsend.

KOIN 6 News Anchor Ken Boddie will emcee the telethon, with help from Pastor Kim Black and Michael “Chappie” Grice. The day will also include dance interpretations, medical and educational speakers. A Miracle Village Fair will include vendors and home cooked food. There will be a silent auction and more.

With 19 years experience as senior pastor at Highland, Hardy has established his church as a leading force of good in the Pacific Northwest. Under his leadership, the church has initiated homeless feeding programs, shelters and prison programs. The church established partnerships to support young African Americans and their families and teamed up with Oregon Health Sciences University to establish the Avel Gordly Center for Healing, which provides cultural specific mental health counseling.

“His ministry is about building lives,” says Gordly, a former state senator and Highland member. “Pastor Hardy is a true servant leader and he has a gift – a way of being authentic and transparent about his own life and experiences and using language in a way that everyone can hear it.”

For more information, call John Lampkin at 503-577-8227 or email him at sookie2000@gmail.com.