Long-time pastor dies in pool in Greenville

Photo provided by Matt King, Senior Pastor at Augusta Rd. Baptist Church

GREENVILLE Co., S.C. (WSPA) – An 87-year-old man was found dead Monday in a swimming pool at a home in the Swansgate Community retirement community.

The Greenville County Coroner’s Office says Marion Hare died from a cardiac event.

Hare was Pastor Emeritus of Augusta Road Baptist Church.

The coroner’s office says Hare told his family he was going to the pool to exercise.

A passerby later saw him in the water, face down and unresponsive.

The passerby jumped into the pool and got Hare out with the help of another person.

Attempts to revive Hare with CPR were unsuccessful.

Matt King, senior pastor of Augusta Road Baptist Church, said Hare had served as senior pastor of the church for 33 years. Hare retired from the church in 1994 and went on to serve as interim pastor at several churches.

Hare was pastor of Welcome Baptist Church in Anderson and a professor of Bible at Anderson University prior to his service at Augusta Road Baptist Church.

King released the following statement:

Our congregation was heartbroken to learn of Dr. Hare’s passing. His legacy of love and service to the people of Augusta Road Baptist Church and to the wider community cannot be overstated. He lived out his pastoral calling each day in both word and deed, and our church continues to engage with a vibrant ministry because of his leadership. He will be truly missed.

During his thirty-three year tenure as Senior Pastor, Dr. Hare led our congregation to continued growth with wisdom and compassion. His desire was that Augusta Road Baptist Church would be known as a loving faith community where all are welcome to experience the presence of Christ among us. He understood that the church should never simply serve its members, but that our congregation and our campus must always serve our entire community in all the ways that we are able.

Dr. Hare’s unwavering commitment to our community of faith was evident as he continued to teach and serve among us long after his retirement. As Pastor Emeritus, he constantly gave of his time, energy, and talents to ensure that we were always looking to the road ahead, following the bold vision that God has for us.

I have been honored to be able to serve with Dr. Hare for the last three and a half years. His support has been instrumental in my ministry. He touched the life of each person he served as Pastor, and each person with whom he worked throughout his ministry. Our lives are better for having known and worked with him, and it is a privilege to be part of continuing to carry forth the legacy he built for our church.

His loving presence, his smile, and his wise guidance will be missed by us all. We will continue to work each day to live out the calling to love God and our neighbors with all that we have and all that we are in the example set for us by Marion Hare.

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