After working full time for more than 52 years in the employ of the Church, Vernon Hargrove retired on May 24, 2015. Len Martin presented the Hargroves with a commemorative globe before combined Pentecost services that day. The globe has Ephesians 4:11-12 Ephesians 4:11-12  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
American King James Version×engraved on it.
Mr. Hargrove started out working as an undergraduate assistant in Chicago, Illinois, prior to his ordination on Oct. 13, 1962. Together with his wife DeLee, they have faithfully pastored 18 churches in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois over the years. Those who have known them have benefited from their warm, friendly, genuine, dedicated and sincere service. Roy Holladay and Leeann Luker shared these thoughts:
Roy Holladay: “We have known the Hargrove’s from our days at Ambassador College. They have always been known for their teamwork and dedication. Vernon is a man who is very thoughtful and exhibits a lot of common sense and wisdom. They have been willing to serve wherever needed.”
Leeann Luker: “I have known the Hargroves since college days. From the beginning, Vernon and DeLee have been an example of an enduring, lasting, godly relationship and marriage. They have exemplified a team service for God’s people throughout the years. I feel blessed to have known them.”
In addition to pastoring congregations, Mr. Hargrove has also served as regional pastor for the central United States, written letters for the personal correspondence team, been chairman of the Divorce and Remarriage Committee, and served as the regional Y.O.U. coordinator for 10 years. One of the most memorable experiences was pastoring in Mississippi and Louisiana during the Civil Rights years. Teaching biblical principles to others over the years has been uplifting.
On Oct. 24, 1962, the Hargroves were married in an outdoor evening
ceremony in the lower gardens of the Worldwide Church of God campus in Pasadena, California, and will be celebrating their 53rd anniversary this year! They have two grown sons and five teenage grandchildren.
When asked what life lessons he would share, Mr. Hargrove said: “As to valuable lessons, I would make the most of the blessing of marriage and children and grandchildren. We call our home our place of refuge and enjoyment. Gratitude for having a way of life that is sane.”
Since their children and grandchildren do not live in Ohio, travel is part of their retirement agenda. Plans have already been made to visit Australia and Montana, and DeLee has compiled a list of day trips for them to enjoy. They will continue being active members in the Columbus, Ohio, congregation and enjoying spending time with longtime friends and Church members. They look forward to now having more time for extensive study of the Bible, exercise, keeping up with their house and property and enjoying life.