Larry is the preaching minister for the Hardin Valley church. He attended the University of Florida where he played football for the Gators and received his bachelor’s degree. He began working in ministry in June of 1976 when he was hired while still in school to work as youth minister and develop a campus ministry at the University City congregation where he worshiped. That sparked an undying love for ministry in him and He later earned his Master’s degree in ministry from Southern Christian University.
Larry met his best friend Linda while attending UF and they married June 10, 1977. They have five children, four wonderful daughter-in-laws and eleven precious grandchildren… so far…
Larry loves people and is passionate about ministering to people of all ages and life situations. Some other loves are outdoor sports, hunting, fishing, gardening, and grilling just about anything! His passions include preaching, discipleship, missions, and being involved with ministries of reconciliation.
Britni and I met while at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. I graduated with a degree in Youth and Family Ministry with a Minor in Electronic Media Production. Britni received her degree in Marketing. We were married after we graduated and began our married life in Tennessee.
We have three children we love dearly! They teach us to slow down and enjoy the little things. We are reminded every day that God entrusted us with their precious souls and our choices have eternal ramifications!
What hobbies/activities do you enjoy?
Photography, Disc Golf, audio books, woodworking, board games, and drinking a cold cream soda while reading in a hammock.
What excites you most about Hardin Valley?
The people! You will not find a more welcoming and joyful group of people. Reading God’s word is vital to developing into who He want’s you to be. Connection with a spiritual community is vital for running the race. I love that Hardin Valley has a love for God’s word and community.
What’s a good book/movie that has touched your life or influenced your faith?
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery.
I cannot describe how much this book has helped me understand and love the way God made me. The enneagram is something I can talk about for hours!
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.
Spiritual Disciplines keep me grounded and help me feel closer to God!
Please share a favorite scripture with us.
“By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:17-19
History with HVCOC: I’ve been a part of Hardin Valley since we first opened our doors as Parkway COC back in 2006. I’ve been involved with children’s programs here since the very beginning.
Experience: I graduated from Milligan College with a B.A. in Child and Youth Development, K-6 teaching licensure, and a minor in Bible. I worked at an orphanage and taught English in Paraguay for a year following graduation and then taught ESL at Cedar Bluff Elementary for four years.
My Family: My wonderful husband is Derek Dunbar, and we just adopted our first child, Kai, in December, 2020. My parents, Todd and Janie Chambers, and my sister, her husband and son (Katie, Justin and Chandler Gagel) are HV members. My brother, Michael, and his wife, Abi, live in Chattanooga where he is the high school minister at Clear Creek Church of Christ.
My HVCOC Favorites: VBS, Fall Family Retreat, meeting with my small group (the Young Pros), and any time I get to spend in the children’s wing.
Shepherds and Elders
The Head of each local body is Jesus Christ. He is also the Great Shepherd; serving under Him as spiritual shepherds of each church are elders, chosen by the church from among its male members who meet all scriptural qualifications. 1 Timothy 3:2-7 ; Titus 1:6-9 ; Titus 1:5 suggests that a plurality of elders is warranted for church oversight. Each elder is then to function as one of that plurality in each church.
New Testament scriptures expressly assign the below functions to elders:
serve as overseers Acts 20:28 ; 1 Timothy 3:1-2 ; Titus 1:7 ,
serve as shepherds Acts 20:28 ; 1 Peter 5:2 ,
serve as teachers 1 Timothy 3:2 ,
serve as examples 1 Timothy 3:4 and,
serve as God’s stewards Titus 1:7 through their leadership. 1 Timothy 5:17
Serving under the oversight of the shepherd elders are leaders of the many ministries at Hardin Valley. These ministries have been grouped together in order to facilitate oversight and coordination between related ministries.
A group of ministry leaders called “Coordinating Deacons” help coordinate work across multiple ministries and ministry groups. This helps the work of the congregation be more organized. They also help take the burden of church administration off of the shepherd elders so that they can spend more time in prayer and spiritual leadership.