Meet Dr. Craig Ward! Craig and his wife Ann moved to Habersham 6 years ago with their 4 children; Hannah who is married to Aaron Brooks, Julianna, Micah, and Noah. They also have a handsome grandson; Thomas. Craig has been the lead pastor at Bethlehem Baptist for 5 years and has been involved in ministry since he gradated high school. Craig continues to pastor at Bethlehem and serve for the Lord while residing in Clarkesville, the place they call home.
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: “I was raised by Godly parents and accepted Christ when I was 15 years old. God called me to serve the local church a year later. When people were talking about being doctors, ball payers, or working in factories, all I wanted was to work in the local church. I shared with my pastor that calling to ministry when I was 18. After graduating high school, my pastor let me serve as the assistant to the youth pastor for 2 years. I’ve served within the local church since that time. This is all I have done and plan to do with the rest of my life.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Habersham County, and what do you love there?
A: “El Jinete, My favorite food is a grilled chicken quesadilla with a side of beans. I eat there so much the waiters call me, “Mr Beans.” The El Jinete Dip is a close second.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Habersham County?
A: “About 6 years. My family moved here in August of 2013.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Habersham County? Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Habersham County?
A: “Many wonderful people at Bethlehem. Hard to mention just one. Folks like Bobby and LaRue Gastly, Charles Peterson, Cindy Hogsed, Billy Boyd and Britt and Gerald Cody and Rob and Wanda Moffitt are very special and such encouragers to my family.
Barbara Copeland was really the first person I got to know. She was a member of the Pastor Search Committee and is always an encourager and support to her pastor. She is a servant and is respected by many. God has blessed me with a great church in. Bethlehem Baptist.” This was not easy. I know so many great people within the Bethlehem Family.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “Hawaii because it’s Hawaii.”
Q: What is your favorite movie or what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Be yourself, there are too many people trying to figure out who they are. Your identity will never be what other people think of you but through Jesus Christ. You can fool others, but He knows you.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “Sky Diving”
Q: What is your favorite music/3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: “I’m not a music guy, I’m a talk radio guy. But if it is music, I grew up on ‘80’s Rock. Def Leppard, ZZ Top, and, of course AC/DC.
Q: What current/former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Habersham County?
A: “The Attic in Clarkesville has such a laid back atmosphere and the small town feeling.
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Habersham County would you have lunch?
A: “Dr. James Merritt. He is a pastor in Gwinnett County and one of my favorite preachers. Chicago’s would be a good place for lunch. “
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Habersham county?
A: “What is very unique is the clear distinction between North and South Habersham. My favorite part of our county is how friendly the people are.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: “Serving as Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church and seeing God continue to do great things within and through this church.”
Q: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: I was a music guy in high school. Involved in a chamber choir (ranked the 12th second tenor in the state of Tennessee my senior year), and also sang in a show choir complete with choreography (even ‘jazz fingers’). I was also a sports guy. Played baseball, ran cross country and even wrestled one season.
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word “home”?
A: “Family, Security, and Oasis”
Q: Who would you like to see nominated for this project, The Faces of Habersham County?
A: “Barbara Copeland, again a lot of great people, but she was on the search committee when I came and is just such a sweet friend who is consistent in her walk with the Lord. I have never met anyone who had a negative thing to say about her She is simply woman of God respected by many.”
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: “Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson – Why not”
Q: If you had a full time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: “Definitely a Physical Fitness Trainer.”