Rev. Arthur J. Hadley: “Let’s Go!”


imgfbc-archives-3_0439My very good friend, Art Hadley, died on Christmas Day, 2016. He had a special connection with Vancouver, although he and his wife, Edna, spent relatively little time in the Greater Vancouver area, recently. In their retirement, they settled in Mississauga and later in Gravenhurst, ON.

Art was a Baptist pastor who seemed to me born for that career with a preacher’s voice that boomed out of his relatively small body¹. He became a member of First Baptist Church (Vancouver) with his parents (Frank and Nellie) in 1946, after serving in the Canadian Navy in World War II. He spent time at divinity school in the U.S. and then became a full-time minister. He served pastorates in Regina, Fredericton, and West Virginia. He also served long and significant terms in New Westminster (Olivet Baptist) and Vancouver (West Point Grey Baptist). 


Rev. Art Hadley and Rev. Dr. Bruce Milne while ministering together at First Baptist Church (Vancouver). Archives, First Baptist Church (Vancouver). n.d.

Later in life, following his retirement from full-time ministry, he served as an interim pastor in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and served two terms at First Baptist Church (Vancouver) as Interim Director of Ministries in 1994-95 and also in 1999-2000. Even in the ’90s, there were still longtime FBC members who remembered Art and his parents with great warmth and he was welcomed at FBC in his largely administrative role, with Rev. Dr. Bruce Milne as the Senior Minister.

It was when Art was at FBC that I first got to know him. I was working in the office at First during his stints there as interim DOM. A memory I have is of knocking on Art’s office door around lunch time. I recall seeing him sitting at his desk with a can of Classic Coca-Cola within easy reach. I can hear his reply to my question as to whether he was free for lunch, as though it were yesterday: “Let’s go!” he’d most often say, and he’d be on his feet in a flash and ready to accompany me.

That will be my enduring memory of Art Hadley.

For a more complete obituary, see below:

A J Hadley Obit

If you are interested in hearing an example of Art’s preaching, there is a sample on Regent College’s audio site (as part of First Baptist Church’s audio archive there). It is his sermon delivered on February 28, 1999 at FBC and is entitled Begrudging Generosity. It’s a free download.

November 2020 Update

Here is an excerpt from a 1951 First Baptist Vancouver minute which I recently unearthed from a number of images I made at the FBC Archives a couple of years ago. It is a copy of a letter written by FBC’s Clerk to the Ordination Council at Cameron Memorial Baptist (Regina) – Art’s first post-seminary charge. The original letter was to have been hand-delivered to Regina by his dad, Frank Hadley.

1951 FBC Minutes. First Baptist Church (Vancouver) Archives.
1951 FBC Minutes. First Baptist Church (Vancouver) Archives.

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5 Responses to Rev. Arthur J. Hadley: “Let’s Go!”

  1. lhhouben says:

    I’m sorry your good friend has gone, but you have the hope of seeing him again one day! I and my sister attended FBC for a short time in the early 2000’s (can’t remember the year) and we loved sitting in the balcony. It’s a beautiful building inside and out.

  2. Regent Audio says:

    This is a lovely tribute to Rev. Hadley, and he will truly be missed. Thank you for referring readers to his sermon on our site; though he is gone, we hope that many will continue to be stirred and challenged by his preaching.

  3. Karen Wigal says:

    Art was our neighbor and Pastor at Vienna Baptist Church in West Virginia. I don’t believe he pastored a church in Parkersburg. He and Edna were lovely people.

    • mdm says:

      You may be correct regarding Parkersburg. I don’t know. That detail was in the obituary (which wasn’t written by me). Thanks for your comment.

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