By Howard Romaine
On Saturday, May 26 the long-serving musical innovator, choir director, and retired operations Manager at The Tennessee Tribune, Edward L. Hardiman, was celebrated by choral music, solo and eulogy at the Cumberland Primitive Baptist Tabernacle on 232 Whitsett Road, Nashville.
As former president of choir for Cumberland Primitive Baptist Association, and choir president of the National Primitive Baptist Convention, the ceremony, officiated by Elder Richard Lloyd spun through musical memories of his many creative efforts in choir innovation from the Chicago origins of his original commitment, to the later move in 1981 to Nashville, and its many area Primitive Baptist Congregations.
Soloist Loraine Brown, backed by the choir, started the musical portion of the service with a solo so powerful the congregation came to its feet numerous times. The soloist herself had moments of such sadness and yet exuberance, that she had to be helped to her seat.
As the eulogies followed, the story evolved that Hardiman had recruited her, at the request of a Pastor, to lead and revive the choir. Such was the substance of many other testimonies to Mr. Hardiman’s long ministry of music in various churches.
Hardiman’s membership with the Ephesian Primitive Baptist Church was recalled by Elder Dr. J. L. Fitzgerald where he continued to serve faithfully, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, as long as his health permitted.
Before leaving Chicago in 1981 he was a member of the Traveling Zion Primitive Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Elder D. L. Cunningham. His favorite song to sing was ‘I Found Out He’s All You Need.”
Among the several Eulogists were Moderator Elder James Duke of Saint Paul Primitive Baptist Church, Vice Moderator Elder Maurice Johnson, Mount Sinai Primitive Baptist Church, Elder Hewitt Sawyer, West Harper Primitive Baptist Church, Elder Jasper Hatcher, Sr., Locust Ridge Primitive Baptist Church, with closing Eulogy by Elder Cornelius Hill, Pastor Ephesian Primitive Baptist Church.
Among the soloists were Brother Harvey Yarbourgh, Sister LaTonga Coates. A series of resolutions was offered by various congregations, read by Sister Deborah Fleming. A repast followed the service. Interment is to be at Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery.
Mr. Edward Hardiman lived the life he sang about as he dedicated his life to the Lord and in doing so, he preached his own funeral all to the glory of God!