VACAVILLE, Calif.—Gerald Lee Harder, 67, longtime pastor of Elmira Baptist Church, died on Dec. 15, 2018. He was known in his congregation for his uncompromising preaching of God’s Word, love for souls, and communication of God’s grace.

When Pastor Harder and his wife, Connie, moved from Caldwell, Idaho, to Vacaville, they came to minister to a small congregation whose building had a bad roof and no indoor plumbing. Thirty-two years later, the church website reports, “when the Lord called him to his eternal home, Elmira Baptist Church was a thriving family of believers with a newly poured foundation on which to build the chapel of the future. He left us with a vision of reaching Solano County with the love of Jesus Christ.”

The website also describes Pastor Harder as “our pastor, our friend, our confidante, our mentor, our guide, and a great example of faith. We are so grateful that he set a path for us to follow in Spirit-filled, grace-enabled living. As a church, we miss his sweet spirit, his sincere love for all men, his great desire to please the Lord, and his faithful preaching.”

Pastor Harder is survived by Connie and their children and grandchildren.