Longtime Chattanooga pastor Ben Haden dies at 88 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Funeral service announced for Rev. Ben Haden

Posted: Updated:
Rev. Ben Haden 1925-2013 Rev. Ben Haden 1925-2013
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A local pastor with a worldwide reach, Ben Haden rarely raised his voice.  But he managed to make a strong impact on millions with his "Changed Lives" ministry.  Haden passed away Thursday morning in Chattanooga at the age of 88.  He was born on October 18, 1925 in Fincastle, Virginia.

Although most Chattanoogans knew him from his 31-year stint as pastor of First Presbyterian Church (1968-1999), Haden's own life had changed many times before settling into the ministry.  He had been in the newspaper business in Kingsport, Tennessee, earned his law degree, and even served for a time in the Central Intelligence Agency. He earned degrees from Washington and Lee University and the University of Texas at Austin before being called to the ministry.  He graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary in 1963. 

Prior to coming to Chattanooga in 1968, Haden pastored the Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church in the Miami area. Richard Nixon, who would soon be elected president, attended the church, and would continue his relationship with Haden while in the White House.

Haden's program,"Changed Lives" was syndicated to radio and TV stations nationwide for more than 30 years, and was a Sunday morning fixture in Chattanooga on WFLI radio and WRCB-TV.  Rev. Billy Graham was known to be a regular viewer.  Haden was only the eleventh pastor in the church's rich history, having been established around 1840.  Haden's leadership at First Presbyterian resulted in unprecedented growth, requiring a closed-circuit television system in the chapel and fellowship hall to accommodate the overflow of new church members.  After his final sermon at First Presbyterian on March 28, 1999, Haden focused on his online ministry, expanding his reach even further.

In addition to his weekly sermons, he wrote several books, and hundreds of his videos are accessible online http://changedlives.org/.  For many years, his broadcasting headquarters were located in the Four Squares center on Mountain Creek Road in Chattanooga.

One of Haden's many friends, Chattanooga radio host Earl Freudenberg described the pastor as quiet man with a big laugh.  "Many people don't know this," Freudenberg said, "but Ben spent Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings visiting his church members in hospitals.  He'd visit with other folks too. It's hard to find anyone who loved people more than him."

He was preceded in death by his wife Charlyne, who died in 2009.  He is survived by his daughter, Dallas Haden Gibbons; his son-in-law, Arthur Gibbons; and his granddaughter, Haden Gibbons;

Funeral services will be held Tuesday October 29 at 11:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 544 McCallie Avenue in Chattanooga.  Visitation will be at the church after the funeral.  There will be no visitation prior to the funeral.  Heritage Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Channel 3 AM Forecast

    Channel 3 AM Forecast

    Sunny and warm.  Heavy pollen.More
    Clouds building late.  Light showers Tuesday.
    More
  • Warm today. Heavy pollen. Light showers Tuesday.

    Warm today. Heavy pollen. Light showers Tuesday.

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:31 AM EDT2014-04-21 09:31:26 GMT
    (WRCB) - Good Monday. As you head out this morning, temps will be in the upper 40s and low 50s. The only problem you might face this morning will be the extremely heavy levels of tree pollen in the air. The warm air will feel good, though. The high today should reach 78 degrees.Late today into tonight clouds will build, and we will see some light rain showers Tuesday morning.More
    (WRCB) - Good Monday. As you head out this morning, temps will be in the upper 40s and low 50s. The only problem you might face this morning will be the extremely heavy levels of tree pollen in the air. The warm air will feel good, though. The high today should reach 78 degrees.Late today into tonight clouds will build, and we will see some light rain showers Tuesday morning.More
  • UAW to appeal VW labor vote Monday

    UAW to appeal VW labor vote Monday

    Sunday, April 20 2014 6:23 PM EDT2014-04-20 22:23:34 GMT
    The UAW will present their case Monday morning at the Hamilton County Courthouse in front of a judge for the National Labor Relations Board.More
    The UAW will present their case Monday morning at the Hamilton County Courthouse in front of a judge for the National Labor Relations Board.
    More
Powered by WorldNow
Can't find what you're looking for?

WRCB-TV
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 267-5412

WRCB Jobs EEO | FCC Public Files

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WRCB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.