Obituary of Rev. James Harold Ballard
James Harold Ballard was a true “hillbilly” having been born on May 3, 1934 to Helen Brady Kale and Ralph Harold Ballard in Asheville, North Carolina. Jim loved the mountains and vacations as an adult included some time spent “in the mountains/” Jim’s early years were spent with family and in church activities. As a teenager, Jim worked with his father who owned a trucking business. In his late teens, Jim worked weekends and during the summers at a local drug store.
Jim graduated from Lee Edwards High (now Asheville High) School in Asheville, NC. Jim played trumpet and sousaphone in the high school band and stated that was fun until the band marched against the wind and the wind pushed heavily against the bell of the horn.
During his sophomore year in high school, Jim preached his first sermon at the age of 16 at the Methodist Church that he attended with his parents in West Asheville, NC. Jim already knew that he was planning to become a minister. Before he graduated from high school, Jim joined the First Baptist Church of Asheville and became involved in their dynamic youth program.
After high school graduation, Jim attended Mars Hill Junior College and spent the summer between freshman and sophomore years in Vancouver, Washington where he worked with the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention as a tentmaker. The Tentmaker Program (named for the apostle Paul) allowed college students to work at vocational jobs during the week and serve in churches on weekends as Music Directors and Youth Pastors. Jim was Music Director for Minnehaha Baptist Church in Vancouver, Washington.
Jim returned to Mars Hill College, graduated and enrolled at Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee. During his senior year, Jim met Joanne Munn and they were married one week after he graduated from Carson Newman.
In 1956, Jim enrolled at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC where he spent the next three years working toward a Bachelor of Divinity degree and serving as Minister of Music at Guess Road Baptist Church in Durham, NC. While still in seminary, Jim was called as pastor to his first church, Cane Creek Baptist Church, Hillsborough, NC. Guess Road Church, at the request of Yates Baptist Association, agreed to ordain Jim to the gospel ministry.
Churches Pastored by Jim:
Cane Creek Baptist Church, Hillsborough, NC
Pisgah Forest Baptist Church, Pisgah Forest, NC
Morningside Baptist Church, Asheville, NC
Clinchfield Baptist Church, Marion, NC
Main Street Baptist Church, Hendersonville, NC
First Baptist Church, Hialeah, Florida
Holly Hill Baptist Church, Burlington, NC
Sharon Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC
From March 1965 until October 1967, Jim and his wife served as missionaries to South Brazil.
Jim returned to Southeastern Theological Seminary in 1972 where he earned the Master of Divinity Degree and the Doctor of Ministries Degree.
In 1986 he joined the staff of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte as Associate Pastor and Minister to Singles and later became Director of Counseling until he retired in 2007. Upon retirement, Jim founded Healing the Hurt Ministries and continued in private practice as a psychotherapist.
In addition to his wife of 63 years, Jim is survived by one brother, Frederick P. Ballard of Hiddenite, NC; three children, Carmen Maddrey (Ben) of Morehead City, NC, Hal N. Ballard (Angela) of Charlotte, NC, and David A. Ballard of Charlotte, NC; five grandchildren, Meagan Humphries (Craig) of Inman, SC, Nicole Sitler of Charlotte, NC, Benjamin Maddrey of Newport News, VA, Samantha Ballard of Charlotte, NC and Kristen Ballard of Charlotte, NC; 2 great grandchildren, Layla and Hudson Humphries of Inman, SC.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made in Jim’s memory to the Guardian Angel Fund of Aldersgate United Methodist Retirement Center, 3800 Shamrock Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215.
The family expresses much gratitude and appreciation to the staff of Asbury Health and Rehabilitative Center and to Hospice & Palliative Care of Charlotte, NC.
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