Harbuck, George Welcome

4/10/2003

Dec. 25, 1916 - April 10, 2003
 
My friend, George Harbuck, was born on Christmas Day, December 25, 1916, in Timpson, Texas, and often said that everybody celebrated his birthday. There were several ministers in his family, and when he felt a call to the ministry he said:…“there was never any doubt. I hit the trail and stayed on it.” This led him to prepare by achieving degrees from the University of Houston, Duke University Divinity School and the Reformed Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi.
On Christmas Day in 1944 George married a lovely schoolteacher, Nancy Fulton, in Danville, Virginia. The family focus on special days was continued as their first daughter, Nancy Louise, was born on Christmas Day and the second daughter, Frances Lee, was born on Easter Sunday. Such events were typical of the family devotion to the gospel and ministry therein.
George Harbuck was ordained in Nacogdoches, Texas, in 1939, and served congregations in Jasper, Texas, Brasville, Virginia, Alexandria, Louisiana, Trinity, Mansfield First UMC, Shreveport Broadmoor UMC, Monroe District Superintendent, Monroe Frst UMC, Lake Charles Oak Park UMC, Gretna UMC and retired from the Louisiana Annual Conference in 1982. He and Nancy moved to Mansfield for retirement living among people of all denominations who loved and respected them without reservation or limitation. This fact is attested by his serving as Interim Pastor of the Hewitt Memorial Presbyterian Church in Mansfield during four of his retirement years. Asked about how he handled thorny church members, Methodist or otherwise, he said he “…just worked around them”, and those of us who knew him best know that many of those same members ultimately became his true friends. All of the above ministry was given within parameters of limited eyesight and a painful crippled leg, and made George the man of God that he was.
When asked about disappointments in his life he named the fact that he was not six feet tall and could not sing like the great tenor, Pavarotti. Actually many of us knew that he did have a beautiful singing voice, which he used in his ministry by singing solos and duets with the choirs of his congregations. He might not have been six feet tall physically, but those of us who knew him best saw a man ten feet tall as he served his God, loved his family and treasured his friends and was defeated by no physical defects. As to recognition of each other in Heaven he pointed to Nancy, the love of his life, and said, “I’ll know her!” Likewise I am confident that I will see and know my friend, George Harbuck, grinning and singing in the Heavenly choir.

Douglas McGuire

Source: Journal Louisiana Conference 2003 (Memoirs)