Honoring the Legacy of Hank Huckaby

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The Georgia United Methodist Foundation was saddened to learn former Board of Trustee Hank Huckaby passed away on April 14, at 79.

To know Huckaby was to respect him. He was a man of impeccable character who faithfully and tirelessly served God, The United Methodist Church, related agencies, his family, and his community as a public servant.

By any measure, Huckaby’s career is legendary. Since the 1960s, he held several key administrative roles within Georgia’s University System, including chancellor. Hank served in admissions at Georgia State University and Gordon College, as director of the Fiscal Research Program at Georgia State University and as director of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, senior vice president of Finance and Administration, and special assistant to the president at the University of Georgia.

Huckaby served first as senior policy coordinator in the state finance arena and then later as director in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. He also served as the interim chief financial officer for then Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.

On the political front, Hank was commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, executive director of the Georgia Residential Finance Authority, and the Georgia State Senate Research Office director. In January 2011, he represented the Georgia House District 113 as a Republican. This role was cut short by his appointment as chancellor.

Huckaby joined the GUMF board in 2007 when Rev. Robert R. Fletcher (current United Methodist Higher Education Foundation president) served as president/CEO.

“I first met Hank in 1991, and in the ensuing years, we became good friends. He was an outstanding individual, a well-respected leader in the Conference, a person of substance and conviction, and a true servant. While many people remember him as serving the state, he had a heart for Christ and was committed to serving The United Methodist Church as well,” Fletcher said. “Whether it regarded budgets, finance, or any other area in the Foundation, I was always impressed with the wisdom and tremendous leadership he brought to the table.”

Russell H. Jones, GUMF senior vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer, agrees. “Hank worked closely with our staff while chairing our finance/audit committee,” he said. “He was committed to ensuring the Foundation’s long-term financial health and provided wise counsel concerning policies and procedures that are still in effect today.”

Huckaby chaired GUMF’s presidential search committee responsible for electing the Rev. Charles (Chuck) W. Savage II as president/CEO in 2011.

“When I left IBM, I left because God called me to preach. It was conversations with Hank and lots of prayer that helped me understand that the Foundation is where God needed me to be at that time in my life,” Savage said. “Hank was a person of remarkable intelligence and immense power. He created changes for the good in our state and the church, and he did it with so much humility. What drove him was that he was a Christian.”

The Rev. Keith E. Lawder, GUMF president/CEO since July 2016, first met Huckaby in 2008 while they were serving on the GUMF board.

“Hank was a friend, a mentor, a leader, and a visionary. He served the people of Georgia with integrity and passion. He served GUMF as a trustee and supporter,” Lawder said. “I will miss his friendship, his guidance, and his wit. Yet I also know he was greeted in heaven with the words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

The Georgia United Methodist Foundation family is grateful for Huckaby’s impact and the opportunity to serve in ministry together. We ask that you please keep his wife, Amy, their children, and grandchildren in your prayers.

Read Hank Huckaby’s obituary.