Sunday, October 23, 2016

This Week in  Texas Methodist History, October 23

Missionary Couple Arrives in Europe, Missionary Voice Flubs Story  October 1926

Ninety years ago this month, Charles T. and Ruby Dunn Hardt arrived in Europe to begin their work with the Polish Mission of the MECS.  Unfortunately, the Missionary Voice, identified the couple as the Henry G. Hardts.   Henry G. Hardt was actually the father of Charles and three other sons who became preachers and a daughter who also became a missionary.  

The 4 preachers and one missionary all grew up in the church at Yancey in Medina County.  Dan,, the oldest, joined the German Mission Conference.  Louis and Charles joined the West Texas Conference.  Wesley joined the Texas Conference.  Alice worked in several Mexican mission schools, both in Mexico and at Lydia Patterson Institute in El Paso.

Ruby Dunn grew up in McKinney and met Charles at Southwestern University where she had attended with help from a scholarship from the McKinney chapter of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Service.  

Both Charles and Ruby educated themselves for mission service at SMU and Vanderbilt. Charles was fluent in German, English, and Spanish he later learned Polish and Czech.  Ruby wrote her master’s thesis on Women in the New Testament. 
Funding for missions was devastated by the Great Depression so Charles and Ruby Hardt returned to Texas where Charles served a series of appointments in the West Texas and Southwest Texas Conference (after the name change).  

They both lived long lives and never lost the idealism that inspired them to volunteer for the mission field.  It was that idealism that made me love them all the more.  I admired their life-long work for peace and justice which was 
institutionalized with the Charles and Ruby Hardt Peace Fund administered by the Rio Texas Conference. 


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