by Ruth Carver
Walking into Allen Hardrick’s room at Alexian Village, you know you’re in the presence of a man who loves the Lord and is glad to be “at the table.” On the bed by his right hand is a Bible. By his feet is a huge Commentary on the Whole Bible by Matthew Henry. On a table by his right hand is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and on his face is a welcoming smile.
“You’re right on time!” he beams.
Allen grew up in Milwaukee on 5th and Locust, and spent much of his childhood at St. Matthew CME Church, where he attended with his mother, father and older brother, Chuck. Allen remembers setting up a pulpit on the family’s front porch on Sunday afternoons and preaching the same message he had heard from the pastor that morning. Passersby often threw him coins, and his mother told him he was going to be a preacher someday.
Allen accepted Christ as his Savior at age 12, because he thought, “If Jesus decided at age 12 to follow his father, why shouldn’t I?”
After graduating from North Division High School, Allen worked a variety of jobs, primarily in the recreation department for Milwaukee Public Schools. His passion was coaching and forming teams. He coached Little League baseball for 30 years. He formed his own basketball and football teams for elementary and middle school-aged kids, and set up competitive play by contacting local schools and asking if his teams could play them during their bye weeks. Two of his more memorable teams were named the Hornets and the Monsters.
In the early 2000s, Allen went back to school through Moody Bible Institute, earning a diploma from a program called Evangelical Training Association. At this time, he preached to young people, stressing to them how important it was to live holy lives for the Lord.
Allen began attending Eastbrook years ago at the invitation of Tom and Glennda Meyer, whom he got to know while serving as secretary for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Milwaukee. Although he is not able to come to church anymore, he watches Eastbrook Online when his technology is working.
Allen is no stranger to su ering. He has had 10 surgeries starting when he was eight years old. He suffers from Crohn’s Disease and deterioration of his bones. His doctors say he won’t walk again, but Allen would love to prove them wrong. He has dialysis three times a week and gets rehab at Alexian Village, but spends most of his days in his bed, reading and studying the Bible, writing sermons, reading the paper, and praying for people. When asked what word he’d like to leave with Eastbrook Church people, he said, “If you go there, stay there. The preaching is good and the Holy Spirit is there.” ■
Allen is one of many Eastbrookers who is unable to attend church in person for health reasons. In addition to supporting these friends spiritually, our church serves them through fellowship. Want to learn more or get involved? Contact Pastor Ruth at firstname.lastname@example.org.