Norman Gardner was a minister of the gospel for more than 63 years, but all who knew him would agree that he didn’t act like a typical Baptist pastor.
His uniqueness — as evidenced in his larger-than-life presence, in his choice of attire, in his plainspoken but heartfelt sharing of the gospel — endeared him to those who loved him and who saw Jesus in his life.
The Preacher Man: When the Robe Didn’t Fit (2022, Courier Publishing, $14.95) is a lighthearted book about a man who fought God’s call on his life because he didn’t feel he could fit the mold of what others expected of him as a minister.
For some time, Gardner wanted to write a book as a way to let others who might be dealing with a call of God know that God can use them just the way they are, but he passed away before he could get too far with the project.
June McManus Gardner, his wife of 66 years and a published author, completed it for him, with the help of comments contributed by members of the 10 churches he pastored (four of them in his home state of South Carolina).
The preface was written by Norman. For the rest of the book, June called on her memories of the man who loved motorcycles, flashy cars and red cowboy boots — but decidedly not neckties.
Norman Gardner’s life story shows that someone can be an effective minister of the gospel while at the same time enjoying himself as the person God created him to be.
The Preacher Man: When the Robe Didn’t Fit is available at junemgardner.com or by calling the author at 864-641-9984. To purchase by mail, send $19.95 (which covers the cost of the book plus shipping) to June M. Gardner, 350 N. Pacolet Road, Campobello, SC, 29322.