Family, church community remember beloved pastor who died from COVID-19
BATON ROUGE - A family and church community is grieving the loss of a beloved pastor who lost her battle with COVID-19.
Robin Hardy ran Faith, Hope and Love Worship Center in East Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes, along with her husband and children.
Her family says she has touched countless lives both inside the church and outside through the many ministries that she devoted her life to.
“I made the call. We told each other we loved each other. That was my last time having a chance to talk with her,” Ronald Hardy Sr. said.
Friday, March 27 was the last time Ronald Sr. was able to speak with his wife, Robbin. She was rushed to the hospital and put on a ventilator that same day after experiencing coronavirus like symptoms for the past week.
From there, the Hardy family endured a grueling 11 days of waiting and praying.
"We went on a journey for 11 days. No ability to see my mother, no ability to talk to her because she was on a ventilator, sedated, and paralyzed. And we had to rely on three reports a day,” Ronaldo Hardy said.
The family says that Robbin did suffer from pre-existing medical conditions. Doctors quickly discovered viral pneumonia caused by COVID-19 after reviewing her chest x-rays.
Robbin passed away on Monday, April 6 at the age of 56. She leaves behind her husband, four children, and seven grandchildren.
"To not be able to be there with her was so hard. It was the worst experience that I've ever been through in my life,” Rachele Hardy said.
Robin was vice president of Faith, Hope, and Love Worship Center. She and her husband worked side by side for over thirty years. They created multiple ministries through their church, including a marriage counseling ministry that later turned into an annual marriage retreat.
"We are people of faith. I'm a bishop, I pastor one church, two locations. My son is a pastor also. So we're all in ministry,” Ronald Sr. said.
Along with being a pastor at the church, Robbin also founded an organization to mentor young girls through faith called Girls Enrichment Mentorship Services, or, 'GEMS.'
"She had over one thousand girls in the gems program, and she was having such an impact,” Ronald Sr. said.
"When she saw struggles or anxiety or other things with young women, her goal was to lift them. Her legacy is life,” Ronaldo Hardy said.
Her family says the legacy of her leadership and love will be carried on through the work she started. They recall the last words she spoke in their church before it was forced to close down because of COVID-19 restrictions.
"One of the things that she preached when she preached her last sermon was to not be afraid. And I think those words still need to ring out,” Ronald Jr. said.
Robbin's words will continue to live on through her family because they know that her life is bigger than the way she was called home.
"Her legacy is my children, specifically my daughter, who wrote a beautiful tribute to her. And her word to me was how much she was going to miss her grandmama because of how well she understood her. That's my mom. My mom is so much more than another body in the counts of COVID. She is a legacy. She is a legend,” Ronaldo said.
The Hardy family says that this isn't a story of defeat, it's a story of victory. They find comfort in knowing she is finally healed and is no longer suffering.
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