The sanctuary at First Presbyterian in Chattanooga will be full of heavy hearts on Sunday.
Its longtime pastor passed away at age 88.
Ben Haden served as the pastor there for 31 years. Those who knew Haden say he will be missed, but his legacy will live on.
"Ben was probably the best communicator, bar none. That I've ever had any experience with," said Former Chattanooga Mayor, Ron Littlefield.
Littlefield attended First Presbyterian church for over 25 years while Haden was the pastor.
"Primarily he was a man of God. He had such a peace about him," said Littlefield. "I learned a great deal on how to get your message across, just by listening to Ben."
Littlefield says he plans to continue to listen through recordings he's collected.
"I used to record his messages for years, I have tons of tapes. I used to listen to them while I was driving somewhere," said Littlefield. "I'm looking forward to listening to some of those again, to pick up those messages that he relayed to me so long ago."
However, Littlefield isn't the only one remembering Haden through audio.
Earl Freudenberg introduced Haden's sermons every Sunday, over the radio.
"One day we were at an event and he said, this man has heard more of my sermons than perhaps any or most of my church members have," said Freudenberg.
Freudenberg says Haden had a selfless love for those around him.
"He liked people. I don't know of anyone that had a love of people more than Ben Haden. People don't know it but a lot of times he would spend his Christmas' and Thanksgivings in the hospitals. I know this because my dad was one of them," said Freudenberg. "And while his first objective was to share Christ with people; he was always willing to listen, if you had a problem, Ben Haden would listen."
Those who knew him best say the beloved pastor will be greatly missed.
"When a person of this caliber dies, it really does leave emptiness in the city," said Littlefield. "I hate the fact that I won't get to see him in this life again, but I look forward to seeing him in the next,."
Funeral Services will be Tuesday morning at 11 at First Presbyterian Church on McCallie Avenue, with visitation after the services, at the church. There will be no visitation prior to the funeral.
If you would like to see videos of Haden's past services,click here.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:40 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:40:13 GMT
In November 1978, the world watched in horror members of a cult called "The People's Temple", committed mass suicide at Jonestown, Guyana. A woman who escaped death, only because she was away from Jonestown on that fateful day, spoke at UTC and the Chattanooga Public Library, Wednesday night.More
In November 1978, the world watched in horror members of a cult called "The People's Temple", committed mass suicide at Jonestown, Guyana. A woman who escaped death, only because she was away from Jonestown on that fateful day, spoke at UTC and the Chattanooga Public Library, Wednesday night. More