Fayette native Don Harp returns to preach at Inman Heritage Days

Tue, 09/15/2009 - 11:52am
By: The Citizen

Dr. Don Harp, who retired last year as minister of the giant Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta, will preach this Sunday morning, Sept.20, at the 13th annual Inman Farm Heritage Days worship service in the woods.

The unique service is held on the same spot were pioneer settlers worshiped in a log cabin almost 200 years ago. Harp is a descendant of those pioneers.

The services will begin at 9 a.m. across from the Inman cemetery on Hills Bridge Road located off Ga. Highway 92 South, about five miles south of Fayetteville.

In case of rain,the service wlll be moved to the sanctuary of Inman United Methodist Church, also on Hills Bridge Rd. The offering will be given to the Friday-Johnson Fayette Youth Protection Home.

The service in the woods has become a traditional part of Inman Farm Heritage Days, a celebration of farm life in Georgia and the rural south as it existed in earlier times. The festival features restored tractors and engines, an operating cotton gin, grist mill, sawmill, grain threshing, weaving, syrup making and many other attractions including blue grass music. The festival, on the grounds of Minter Farm, is produced entirely by volunteers. The dates are Sept. 18, 19, and 20. Admission is free.

Harp, one of the most sought-after speakers in North Georgia, grew up plowing cotton and gathering produce on his father’s farm in Inman. Although he pastored the mega church in the Buckhead area of Atlanta for 20 years, he never forgot his rural roots. His sermons often included tales of growing up on a farm in a small community. When the Atlanta church was planning a large retirement party for him last summer he requested that it be held in Inman rather than some swank place in Atlanta.

An outstanding athlete whose early ambition was to be a catcher for the New York Yankees, Harp is a member of the Fayette County High School Athletic Hall of Fame. When he was a student at Young Harris college he was coached by Zell Miller, who later became a Georgia governor and United States Senator. Miller says Don hit the longest home run in Young Harris baseball history.

An avid fisherman, Harp also has been voted the best writer on the Gainesville (Ga.) Times and has published a book, Prayers for Children. While serving a church in Carrollton he served as a city councilman, Mayor Pro-Tem and as head of the Carrollton police department. He has given prayers at inaugurations for governors Zell Miller and Joe Frank Harris. He has offered prayers in both the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate, and in the U.S. Senate. Georgia Trend named him one of the Georgia’ most influential citizens.

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