Church of God Memorial:
Linda Hardy White

Linda Hardy White

BIG SANDY, Texas--Linda Hardy White, a writer, researcher and speaker in the Church of God movement and an organizer since 2000 of women's conferences in Texas, died May 9, 2003 after a two-year struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Mrs. White, born in Albion, Okla., had been a member of Sabbath-keeping Churches of God since 1970. She graduated from the Pasadena, Calif., campus of Ambassador College in 1973, and in 1978 she married Wesley White, who was working for Ambassador College at that time.

Mrs. White, who was employed in the 1970s and early 1980s as an editor in the Spanish department of the Worldwide Church of God and as an instructor of Spanish at Ambassador, lived in Carrollton, Texas, near Dallas, at the time of her death.

Dave Havir, pastor of the Church of God Big Sandy, noted some of Mrs. White's contributions among Church of God congregations.

"Linda will be remembered as an intellectual and capable researcher, writer and editor," he said. "However, she will also be remembered as a capable woman who displayed those skills."

Positive influence

Mr. Havir said that from his perspective Mrs. White was a positive influence for women in the Church of God Seventh Day (CG7) and its offshoots, including the WCG.

"During her years in the CG7, the Worldwide Church of God and the Church of God International, Linda set an example that ladies can contribute spiritually in a male-dominated church culture," Mr. Havir said.

"After 1995 she participated in more-visible ways. She was an avid religious writer, an editor of church publications and an organizer of women's conferences."

Mrs. White had recently written a book on Church of God history and culture that she and her husband had planned to publish.

Mr. White says he still wants to go forward with the book project.

Reg Killingley of Big Sandy, a former colleague of Mrs. White's in the Spanish department in Pasadena, told of her participation in answering letters of people who had sent questions to the department in the 1970s.

"She had to sign them 'L. Hardy,' just the initial L.," he said. "She couldn't put her full name there because the assumption was that some people would not take biblical advice or counsel from a woman."

Mr. Killingley said hundreds of people were helped by Mrs. White's biblical knowledge and counsel without realizing they were getting advice from a woman.

After moving from California to Texas in 1981, Mrs. White worked as a computer analyst for companies that included McGraw-Hill and CompUSA.

She continued to put her editing and organizational experience to use in her work with the Churches of God. For four years she served as editor of two magazines produced by United Christian Ministries (UCM) of Birmingham, Ala.: Christian Beacon and Olive Branch.

She served for many years on the board of directors of the International Bible Learning Center (IBLC).

She organized conferences for Church of God women in the Dallas area for two years beginning in 2000. Similar conferences, sponsored by Church of God women in the Big Sandy area, have continued in Big Sandy each spring since 2002.

Two services

Before she died Mr. and Mrs. White had asked Mr. Havir to officiate at her funeral, which took place in Talihina, Okla., on May 13.

During the funeral Mr. Havir read messages of remembrance that included statements from about a dozen people on the LikeMinds Internet forum, from longtime friend Pam Havir of Big Sandy and from niece Sandy Stephens of Fort Worth, Texas.

Mr. White also asked Mr. Havir to officiate at a memorial service in Big Sandy on May 17.

"Since many of Linda's friends were not able to attend the funeral on a Tuesday in rural Oklahoma, we had a memorial service at a more convenient time and in a convenient location," said Mr. White.

Mr. White told why the memorial service was in Big Sandy instead of the Dallas area.

"We regularly listened to the telephone hookup of the church service of the Church of God Big Sandy," he said. "It was our home church and Linda had many dear friends there."

(The memorial service was broadcast using the church's telephone hookup.)

Near the beginning of the service, Mr. Havir read statements from three people on the LikeMinds Internet forum; a message from Ray Wooten of Birmingham, UCM founder; and a message from George Crow of Katy, Texas, an IBLC board member.

Next came a series of people giving personal recollections about Mrs. White.

The speakers were Don Walls of Gladewater; Mr. Killingley; Melodee Overton of Hawkins, Texas; Renetta and Marvin Wilson of Celina, Texas; Kim Skelton of White Oak, Texas; and Jim Bald of Gladewater.

Mr. Havir concluded by reading comments from Mrs. Havir and Mrs. Stephens and by playing a recording of "The Holy City."

Can be heard

The audio of the memorial service is available on the Church of God Big Sandy's Web site ( or on cassette tape from P.O. Box 690, Big Sandy, Texas 75755, U.S.A.

Besides her husband, Mrs. White is survived by her father, Clayton; stepmother, Jean; two brothers, Larry and Randy; two sisters, Judy and Karen; and nieces and nephews.

Article originally entitled Friends in Oklahoma and Texas honor Linda White written by John Warren.
It appeared in Issue 76 (May 2003) of The Journal.

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