Grave of Leslie Gilbert Hardinge.

Photo courtesy of Bev Bailey. Source: Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/83065881/leslie-gilbert-hardinge

Hardinge, Leslie Gilbert (1912–2002)

By Dionisio Valdez Tuapin

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Dionisio Valdez Tuapin, Jr. is a registered librarian and a licensed professional teacher in the Philippines. He finished a degree in education, with specialization in library and information science at the Adventist University of the Philippines. He is currently working at Leslie Hardinge Library, AIIAS, Silang, Cavite. His previous work employment was at South Philippine Adventist College. He is married with two children. His passions are researching about Seventh-day Adventist history and trail running.

First Published: February 28, 2021

Aside from the churches he founded in the South England Conference and Scottish Mission, Leslie Gilbert Hardinge’s most important contribution was organizing the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary, Far East (now AIIAS).

Early Life (1912-1929)

Leslie Gilbert Hardinge was born in Calcutta, India, on April 20, 1912.1 He was the third of five children of British couple, Eustace Gilbert (1873-1960) and Constance Grace (Wilson) Hardinge (1873-1960; 1881-1969). His father was born in Burma and his mother in India. The couple were associated with the English Wesleyan Church, Mandalay, Upper Burma,2 and later settled in Calcutta, India. They were drawn to Adventism through literature evangelism. In 1908, coinciding with the birth year of Calcutta's first Seventh-day Adventist church,3 a lady colporteur visited Constance Gilbert. An initial sale was followed by health lessons and Bible studies which led to their conversion.4 Leslie Hardinge’s mother was pregnant with him,5 when his parents and siblings, Phyllis Constance (married R. S. Joyce) and Ivan Gilbert were baptized.6

In 1915, Eustace Hardinge, who was a civil engineer7 and worked for the Survey of India, was reassigned to the state of Assam.8 It was a blessing in disguise for Leslie Hardinge who spent his early days in Shillong, the capital of Assam (now Meghalaya), which, for its natural beauty and geographical resemblance, was called the Scotland of the East.9 There was no Seventh-day Adventist church there, so his family conducted church services in their home or outdoors, sometimes with invited guests, other times with intermittent visiting preachers such as F. O. Raymond, A. Wellman, Neal C. Wilson, and F. A. Wyman. In his youth, Hardinge witnessed how his father wrote and produced a tract in the Khasi language, the translator of which became the first Khasi convert. His elementary education in the Loreto Convent School and secondary education at St. Edmund’s College (1922-1929) was supplemented with Adventist literature.10 Under his parent’s guidance and influence,11 Leslie Hardinge and his brother Mervyn were baptized in 1928 by Elder C. C. Kellar.12

Education and Marriage (1930-1964)

Hardinge sailed to England to prepare for ministry at Missionary College (now Newbold College of Higher Education) from 1930 to 1933.13 He pursued a theology degree at La Sierra College (now La Sierra University), California, from 1946 to 1947.14 While teaching in the seminary, he also focused on his professional development, earning a Master of Arts in 1950, a Bachelor of Divinity in 1953, and a Master of Theology in 195915 at Seventh-day Adventists Theological Seminary. He also attended John Hopkins University from 1953 to 1955.16 During his appointment to Newbold College, England, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy in theology at the University of London in 1964.17 His dissertation on the Sabbath-keeping Celtic church in Britain was published by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge.18 Aside from his formal training in Greek and Hebrew, Hardinge also honed his knowledge of Urdu and French to complement his exegetical and missionary skills.19 He was a professional woodworker with a keen eye for church aesthetics.20

Hardinge married Ellen Miriam Petavel (1908-1993), a fellow student, and a piano and speech teacher at Newbold College, on September 3, 1935.21 Their union was blessed with the birth of Judy Leonora Elizabeth on October 8, 1947.22 His wife created a name for herself in the Seventh-day Adventist circles, working side-by-side with her husband as a musician, educator, women’s ministry leader, and author until her untimely death in 1993.23 In the late 1990s, Leslie Hardinge married a friend, Mary Zytkoskee. They spent their time together in ministry.24

Ministry (1933-1983)

Hardinge interned in 1933, received a ministerial license in 1935, and was ordained by Elder W. A. Spicer in 1938.25 He successfully conducted evangelistic campaigns and organized churches in the Southern England Conference and Scottish Mission territories until 1946.26 Aside from his pastor-evangelist duties, he assisted the administration as a member of the South England Conference executive committee (1940-1942) and the Scottish Mission advisory committee (1942-1946). One of Scotland’s heritage buildings,27the Seventh-day Adventist church in Bristo Place, Edinburgh, was acquired through his leadership.28

Hardinge began teaching at La Sierra College in his spare time as a student.29 His fulltime teaching career commenced in 1947 when he began teaching evangelism at Union College, Lincoln, Nebraska.30 While there, he taught health evangelism at Loma Linda University in the summer of 1948.31 His Union College days were cut short in 1950 when he was called to teach homiletics at Washington Missionary College (now Washington Adventist University) and to chair the religion department.32 During his leadership, the department established a Bible museum in 1956.33 Four years of his tenure at WMC, Hardinge was sent as a visiting professor in Newbold College, England (1960-1964)34 and as a PhD student of University of London. After earning his PhD, he was called back to the United States, to teach in the religion and Biblical languages department of Pacific Union College, California (1965-1974).35

Hardinge served the Glendale City Church, Southern California Conference from December 30, 1973 to 1978.36 Aside from his pastoral duties, he also ventured into the radio broadcasting and recording industry.37 His weekly church sermons were distributed by member Harry G. Willis under the series title, Sermons to Live By.38 In addition to his other responsibilities, Hardinge held a seat on the Glendale Adventist Medical Center board of trustees (1974-1976),39 the Southern California Conference executive committee (1976-1977),40 and the directorship of the Southern California Conference’s Spirit of Prophecy department (1977-1978).41

Twice, Hardinge declined calls to serve in the Far Eastern Division,42 but in 1978 he was listed among the faculty of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (Far East)43 at Philippine Union College (now Adventist University of the Philippines) near Manila.44 The seminary was reorganized into a separate entity and placed under the supervision of the Far Eastern Division (now Southern Asia-Pacific Division) in 1978.45 He served as president and dean from 1979 until he retired in September of 1983.46 A hands-on leader, Hardinge employed all of his skills in structural planning, fundraising, furniture-making, and organizing the workforce. He also donated his personal library to the new institution.47 Thus, in commemoration of his leadership and contributions to the growth of AIIAS, the library was named after him in August of 1983.48

Hardinge’s passion for service and leadership abilities led to appointments in the General Conference. Among them were the Sabbath School lesson topics committee (1953),49 the planning committee (1953, 1982),50 the biblical study and research committee (1954),51 the Ministerial Association advisory committee (1956-1960),52 the department of education Advisory committee (1965),53 the denominational trends committee (1972),54 the committee on guidelines for competitive activities and drama (1973),55 and the review committee for Desmond Ford’s position paper (1980).56 In addition, he was a resource speaker for the 1970 General Conference session.57

Hardinge also published many books. Among the titles were Stones of Fire (1940), These Watched Him Die (1966), Elisha, Man of God (1968), Dove of Gold (1972), The Celtic Church in Britain (1973), Outline Studies in the Sanctuary (1977), The Conquerors (1980), The Victors (1982), Christ Is All (1988), With Jesus in His Sanctuary (1991), By These Remember Me (1993), His Name Is Wonderful (1993), Jesus Is My Judge (1996), Shadows of His Sacrifice (1996), and Faces Around the Crib (1997).

Later Life (1983-2002)

Hardinge served the Seventh-day Adventist Church for fifty years as a church planter, pastor, evangelist, educator, and administrator in the territories of the North American, the Trans-European, and the Southern Asia-Pacific Divisions. In retirement, he extended his service to the Southern California Conference as the Spirit of Prophecy coordinator from 1985 to 1990,58 and fulfilled his calling as an ordained minister of Pacific Union Conference until 2001.59 He’s still into religious education through the Spoken Word ministry60 and his audio recordings expanded when American Cassette Ministries (now American Christian Ministries) employed him in 1989.61 Hardinge died on March 12, 2002, in Simi Valley Hospital, California, at the age of 89 and was laid to rest beside his wife, Ellen, in the Goleta Cemetery, California.62

Legacy

Aside from the churches he founded in the South England Conference and Scottish Mission, Hardinge’s most important contribution was organizing the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary, Far East (now AIIAS). As a scholar, his thoughts and teachings are preserved in “148 works, in 207 publications, in 2 languages and 833 library holdings,” according to WorldCat Identities.63 His study of the sanctuary doctrine, which he preached in his first evangelistic sermon in 1933,64 was shared in the pulpit, classrooms, adult Sabbath School lessons, camp meetings, General Conference sessions, and in print and sound media. It affirmed the doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lifted the name of Jesus Christ.

Sources

Appalachian Aristocracy. 2019. Accessed March 26, 2020. http://www.appalachianaristocracy.com.

Calkins, Harold L. “Dr. and Mrs. Leslie Hardinge Welcomed to Glendale City.” Pacific Union Recorder, January 15, 1973.

Church, Blossom. “Summer School Instructors.” Clocktower [Union College], June 20, 1947.

“Degrees Conferred.” The Seminarian [Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary], Catalog Number with Announcements for 1951-1952, March-April 195.

“Edinburgh, 2-3 Bristo Place, Seventh-day Adventist Church.” Canmore National Record of the Historic Environment. 2020. Accessed March 31, 2020. https://canmore.org.uk/site/150555/edinburgh-2-3-bristo-place-
seventh-day-adventist-church.

General Conference Committee. General Conference Archives. Accessed April 27, 2020. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC.

Ghosh, Joydeep. General Knowledge of Northeast India: for all PSC and Competitive Exams ([India]: Educreation, 2019).

Hardinge, Fred. “Eustace Gilbert Hardinge.” Geni. February 6, 2007. Accessed March 26, 2020. https://www.geni.com/people/Eustace-Hardinge/1262931.

Hardinge, Leslie. The Conquerors!: Studies in the Characters of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1982), back cover.

Hardinge, Miriam. “Beginnings of SDA Work in Assam.” Southern Asia Tidings, October 1983.

Kiez, Arthur. “Camp Activities.” Northern Union Outlook, August 11, 1972.

“Leslie Hardinge Dies.” Pacific Union Recorder, May 2002.

“Leslie Gilbert Hardinge.” Photograph Supplement. AIIAS President's Box. Vault. Leslie Hardinge Library Archives, Silang, Cavite.

Mahon, Jack. “Dr. Leslie Hardinge obituary.” Messenger, July 15, 2002.

McRorie, Pearl. “Adventist Doctoral Thesis Published.” Australasian Record, April 1973.

Pallasa, Nelson S. “Library in Philippines Named.” ARH, December 1983.

Personal Information Forms and Biographical Material, 1950 Har to Hei. December 31, 1952. General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists, Washington, DC: General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists, 1952. General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.

Roth, D. A. “Bible Museum to be Established at W.M.C.” Columbia Union Visitor, August 23, 1956.

Roth, D.A., “Dr. Hardinge Accepts Call to Pacific Union College.” Columbia Union Visitor, June 24, 1965.

Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Second rev. ed. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1990-2002.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1936-1981.

“Speakers.” American Christian Ministries. N. d. Accessed March 19, 2020. https://www.americanchristianministries.org/index.php/speakers.html.

Stanley, J. “Indian Financial Association Celebrates 75th Anniversary.” Southern Asia Tidings, October 1983.

“Three Groups Venture in Faith.” Pacific Union Recorder, October 27, 1975.

Notes

  1. “Personal Information Forms and Biographical Material, -- 1950 Har to Hei,” Washington, D.C.: General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists, December 31, 1950, 1. General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.

  2. “Eustace Gilbert Hardinge,” Appalachian Aristocracy, September 24, 2012, accessed March 26, 2020, http://www.appalachianaristocracy.com/getperson.php?personID=I2401&tree=01.

  3. J. Stanley, “Indian Financial Association Celebrates 75th Anniversary,” Southern Asia Tidings, October 1983, 1.

  4. Miriam Hardinge, “Beginnings of SDA Work in Assam,” Southern Asia Tidings, October 1983, 4.

  5. Jack Mahon, “Leslie Hardinge obituary,” Messenger, July 15, 2002.

  6. M. Hardinge, “Beginnings,” 4.

  7. Fred Hardinge, “Eustace Gilbert Hardinge,” Geni, February 6, 2007, accessed March 26, 2020 https://www.geni.com/people/Eustace-Hardinge/1262931.

  8. M. Hardinge, “Beginnings,” 4.

  9. Joydeep Ghosh, General knowledge of Northeast India: for all PSC and Competitive Exams ([India]: Educreation, 2019), 83.

  10. M. Hardinge, “Beginnings,” 4-5; The Hardinges were also one of the benefactors for the establishment of an Adventist school in Assam, which later became Northeast Adventist College.

  11. “Personal Information Forms and Biographical Material,” 2.

  12. Ibid, 2; M. Hardinge, “Beginnings,”5.

  13. Mahon, “Leslie Hardinge obituary;” “Personal Information Forms and Biographical Material,” 2.

  14. Blossom Church, “Summer School Instructors,” Clocktower [Union College], June 20, 1947, 2.

  15. “Personal Information Forms and Biographical Material,” 2; “Degrees Conferred,” The Seminarian [Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary], Catalog Number with Announcements for 1951-1952, March-April 1951, 62.

  16. “Personal Information Forms and Biographical Material,” 2.

  17. Leslie Hardinge, The Conquerors!: Studies in the Characters of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1982), back cover.

  18. Pearl McRorie, “Adventist Doctoral Thesis Published,” Australasian Record, April 1973, 5; Leslie Hardinge, The Celitc Church in Britain (London: S. P. C. K. for the Church Historical Society, 1972).

  19. “Personal Information Forms and Biographical Material,” 2.

  20. Ibid., 3.

  21. Ibid., 5.

  22. Ibid., 3.

  23. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (SDAE), rev. ed., (1996), s.v. “Hardinge, Molly Ellen Miriam Petavel.”

  24. Mahon, “Leslie Hardinge obituary.”

  25. “Personal Information Forms and Biographical Material,” 3; “South England Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1936), 160.

  26. Ibid, 3; “South England Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1939), 161.

  27. “Edinburgh, 2-3 Bristo Place, Seventh-day Adventist Church,” Canmore National Record of the Historic Environment, 2020, accessed March 31, 2020, https://canmore.org.uk/site/150555/edinburgh-2-3-bristo-place-
    seventh-day-adventist-church.

  28. Mahon, “Leslie Hardinge obituary.”

  29. Church, “Summer School Instructors,” 2.

  30. “Personal Information Forms and Biographical Material,” 3.

  31. General Conference Committee, May 27, 1948, 1060, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1948-05.pdf.

  32. General Conference Committee, “February 27, 1950, 1791, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1950-02.pdf; General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists, “Biographical Material,” 3.

  33. D. A. Roth, “Bible Museum to be Established at W.M.C.,” Columbia Union Visitor, August 23, 1956, 1, 9.

  34. “Newbold Missionary College,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1961), 259; D.A. Roth, “Dr. Hardinge Accepts Call to Pacific Union College,” Columbia Union Visitor, June 24, 1965, 11.

  35. D. A. Roth, “Dr. Hardinge,” 11; Arthur Kiez, “Camp Activities,” Northern Union Outlook, August 11, 1972, 1.

  36. Harold L. Calkins, “Dr. and Mrs. Leslie Hardinge Welcomed to Glendale City,” Pacific Union Recorder, January 15, 1973.

  37. Mahon, “Leslie Hardinge obituary.”

  38. “Three Groups Venture in Faith,” Pacific Union Recorder, October 27, 1975, 1.

  39. “Glendale Adventist Medical Center,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1975), 378.

  40. “Southern California Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1977), 87.

  41. “Southern California Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association,1978), 90.

  42. General Conference Committee, June 20, 1968, 1019, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1968-06.pdf; General Conference Committee, August 28, 1969, 1628, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1969-08.pdf.

  43. General Conference Committee, December 27, 1973, 1895, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1973-12.pdf.

  44. General Conference Committee, December 27, 1973, 1895, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1973-12.pdf.

  45. Gary Land, Historical Dictionary of the Seventh-day Adventists (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), 14; “Philippine Union College,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1979), 393; “Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary [Manila],” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1981), 407.

  46. “Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary [Manila],” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1980), 401; Nelson S. Pallasa, “Library in Philippines Named,” ARH, December 1983, 18.

  47. “Leslie Gilbert Hardinge,” Photograph Supplement, AIIAS President's Box, Vault, Leslie Hardinge Library Archives, Silang, Cavite.

  48. Nelson S. Pallasa, “Library in Philippines named,” ARH, December 1983, 18.

  49. General Conference Committee, September 2, 1953, 1272, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1953-09.pdf.

  50. General Conference Committee, October 5, 1982, 230, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1982-10.pdf.

  51. General Conference Committee, November 4, 1954,184, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1954-10-11.pdf.

  52. See the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbooks for 1957 to 1960.

  53. General Conference Committee, March 4, 1965, 969 General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1965-03.pdf.

  54. General Conference Committee, January 6, 1972, 801, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1972-01.pdf.

  55. General Conference Committee, February 22, 1973, 1397, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1973-02.pdf.

  56. General Conference Committee, April 3, 1980, 102, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1980-04.pdf.

  57. General Conference Committee, “March 12, 1970, 1903, General Conference Archives, accessed April 27, 2020, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1970-03.pdf.

  58. “Southern California Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1990), 231.

  59. “Pacific Union Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2002), 215.

  60. “Leslie Hardinge Dies,” Pacific Union Recorder, May 2002, 36.

  61. “Speakers” American Christian Ministries, n. d., accessed March 19, 2020, https://www.americanchristianministries.org/index.php/speakers.html.

  62. “Leslie Gilbert Hardinge,” People Legacy, 2020, accessed March 31, 2020, https://peoplelegacy.com/leslie_gilbert_hardinge-136T4D.

  63. “Hardinge, Leslie,” OCLC WorldCat Identities, 2020, accessed March 31, 2020, http://worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n50020603/.

  64. “Speakers,” American Christian Ministries, n. d. accessed March 19, 2020, https://www.americanchristianministries.org/index.php/speakers.html.

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Tuapin, Dionisio Valdez. "Hardinge, Leslie Gilbert (1912–2002)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. February 28, 2021. Accessed May 23, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CDYE.

Tuapin, Dionisio Valdez. "Hardinge, Leslie Gilbert (1912–2002)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. February 28, 2021. Date of access May 23, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CDYE.

Tuapin, Dionisio Valdez (2021, February 28). Hardinge, Leslie Gilbert (1912–2002). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 23, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CDYE.