Hundreds pack RiverCenter celebrating late Bishop Ann Hardman

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) - Friends and family of the late Bishop Ann Hardman say she will be remembered for many things -- her passion, her kindness, and her willingness to help others.

"Ann believed every person mattered," says Bishop Alan Porter. "Because she believed that, she treated everyone like they were the best."

"She loved the people of Columbus and they loved her too. I think that really showed today," says Ann's husband Pastor Norman Hardman.

Most of all, they say Ann Hardman will be remembered for her unwavering dedication to her faith in God. Saturday's ceremony was not without tears, but joyful songs of worship quickly drowned out the sadness.

"Ann wanted a funeral, a home going, a celebration of life, but more importantly, she wanted it to be all about Christ. She wanted the celebration to be about Christ and that's exactly what it was," Bishop Porter tells News 3's Mikhaela Singleton.

"It was something that she would want, and something that she is clapping her hands in Heaven now and saying, 'Go Columbus, Go! You did it just the way I wanted it to be done," Pastor Norman says.

The impact Ann Hardman left on the community and around the world was evident in the massive crowd lined up out the door to remember her.

"At last check, we had about 1,535 people in attendance today. What a wonderful number to celebrate this wonderful woman," Bishop Porter says.

Among the attendees were Georgia House Representative Calvin Smyre, Minority Whip Carolyn Hugley, and several other elected officials who presented the Hardman family with their own tribute to the late bishop. Ann Hardman was honored with House Resolution 1682, which passed the House floor Friday afternoon.

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