Garnett Hugh Reid loved his Savior and God’s Word. He was a student of Scripture and loved to teach its truths to others. He was a gifted preacher and teacher who loved his students and church family. He made the Scripture come alive and connect with those who learned from him. He loved his family well. He loved history, baseball, golf, music, The Three Stooges, ties, and a good meat & three.
He was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on December 15, 1955, the only child of Robert Hugh Reid (1914–1984) and Willie Grace Haun Reid (1928–2001). He grew up at Cofer’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, where he was saved in a youth revival led by Ken Riggs. John L Welch was his first pastor. Later, Gene Waddell was his pastor in 1974 when he answered the call to preach. He attended East Junior High and graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy. He was on the forensics team in both schools, usually competing in original orations. He played first base for MBA’s state championship baseball team (1972) and went to the Senior Babe Ruth World Series with the Shoetiques (1973) where he was a member of the all-star team and hit 4/4 in one game, a record tied but still unbroken.
Garnett graduated from Free Will Baptist Bible College (now Welch College) in 1977. There he was student body president, a member of the Evangels Drama team, and named by the faculty as the Most Outstanding Student. He had a 4.0 grade point average in his college and graduate work. He continued his studies at Bob Jones University (Greenville, South Carolina), earning his Master of Arts of Biblical Studies and Religion in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Old Testament in 1991.
Garnett was ordained to the ministry in 1978, after accepting the pastorate of Cross Timbers Free Will Baptist Church in Bellevue (1978–1982). He taught in the Northern Quarterly’s Bible Institute (1982–1984). He served Cross Timbers again as interim pastor and also served several other churches in that capacity as they sought a full-time pastor, including Calvary FWB Church, Swannanoa, North Carolina; Zephyr Hills FWB in Asheville, North Carolina; First FWB Church, Dickson, Tennessee; Trinity FWB Church, Bowling Green, Kentucky; Pardue Memorial Church, Clarksville, Tennessee; and Cofer’s Chapel FWB Church, Nashville.
In 1982, he joined the faculty of Free Will Baptist Bible College, now Welch College, serving as Director of Christian Service and teaching undergraduate, online, and graduate studies there until 2014. Students especially remember his classes on Old Testament Survey, Homiletics, Greek, the book of Psalms, Job and Ecclesiastes, and Old Testament Themes. He taught Old Testament Survey at the Chelyabinsk Bible Institute in Russia in 1999, a fond highlight of his career.
For more than a decade, he wrote the Green Tree Bible study column in Contact and then the Intersect column in One Magazine. He contributed scholarly articles to The Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Bibliotheca Sacra, Journal for the Evangelical Theological Society, Dimension, and The Complete Biblical Library. He authored Intentional Integrity: A Study of Job 31, and other books with Randall House Publications. Evangelical Training Association commissioned him to write two short volumes on Old Testament survey.
In 2014, he joined the church staff at the Donelson Fellowship as pastor of older adults. He was much loved in his ministry there until his retirement in September, 2020. He taught the Victorious Faith LifeGroup for the past year.
Garnett was married to Carol (Ketteman) on May 21, 1976, and they have two sons, Garnett Hugh Reid, Jr., (1979) and Seth Robert Ketteman Reid (1981). Hugh married Crystal (Morgan) in 2001; their children are Allison Grace Reid Rowland (age 20, married to Colin in 2022); Katherine Leigh Reid (age 18); and Wilson Hugh Reid (age 13). Seth married Eleni (Karounos) in 2012, and their two sons are Michael Garnett Reid (age 6) and Samuel Robert Reid (age 1).
Garnett battled malignant melanoma, an aggressive skin cancer, the past 16 months of his life. Even through multiple surgeries, radiation treatments, other therapies, and complications, he gave testimony of God’s good hand at work and was gracious to everyone he encountered along the way.
Pall bearers are: Wilson Reid, Paul Corn, Benjamin Corn, Billy Fields, Brian Haun, and Marvin Mouser. Honorary pall bearers are the Victorious Faith LifeGroup at the Donelson Fellowship, and current and former members of the faculty and administration of Welch College (or Free Will Baptist Bible College) along with their families.
Visitation will be Friday, September 22, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Donelson Fellowship chapel (3210 McGavock Pike) and also on Saturday, September 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Cross Timbers Free Will Baptist Church, 201 Cross Timbers Drive, Nashville, TN 37221, with service beginning at 11:30 a.m. The service will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/live/Xct_YBsPMxc?si=nFQPxWSPv3TkfLZb
Presiding at the service are the Reverend Tommy Swindoll, the Reverend Daryl Ellis, and Dr. Robert E. Picirilli. Musicians include Emilee Hart, Greg and Jill Ketteman, Joy Corn, Deborah Mouser, Betsy Karounos, and DeMetri Moon Nance.
Interment will be at Harpeth Hills Cemetery in a family service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Garnett’s memory to the Forlines Lectures Endowment, Welch College, Gallatin; the Paul J. Ketteman Memorial Scholarship at Welch College; the Hope Alive church in Tokyo, Japan (IMinc.com) https://iminc.org/give/ or the account of Jack and Ashley Ketteman (IMinc.com) https://iminc.org/give/ or the Gideons International.