Hardage was approved by the convention's Executive Board Jan. 12 in a special meeting and will begin as BGCT executive director Feb. 1.
"I want you to know how excited I am about the future of this state convention. There is much work to be done. I know that," Hardage said in a video message after his election. "But we -- you and me -- we're up to the task. I look forward to walking alongside you and meeting the needs of this state and beyond."
Hardage earned a doctor of ministry from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1993, a master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1983 and a bachelor of arts in religion from Baylor University in 1979.
He has served four churches as pastor: First Baptist Church in Sulphur Springs, Texas, 1990-2004; First Baptist Church in Weatherford, Okla., 1988-90; First Baptist Church in Holliday, Texas, 1984-88; and First Baptist Church in Blum, Texas, 1981-84.
Hardage has been interim pastor of five churches, including most recently at First Baptist Church in Waxahachie, Texas.
In addition to his time at Truett Seminary in Waco, Hardage has directed the Waco Regional Baptist Network and has served as chairman of the BGCT State Missions Commission and chairman of the BGCT Missions Funding Committee. He also has been a trustee at East Texas Baptist University.
"I am a Texas Baptist. I was raised in a Texas Baptist home by a Texas Baptist pastor," Hardage said. "My wife is a Texas Baptist," he added, noting that she is a retired schoolteacher.
The Hardages have two children: John, an attorney in Dallas, and Rebecca, a marketing manager in Austin.
Ron Lyles, chairman of the executive director search committee, said Hardage is a "man who has a strong love for Jesus and for the body of Christ, the church," according to a BGCT news release.
"David's desire is to build upon the strengths of what we as Texas Baptists are doing well and to guide us in making the necessary changes to make our cooperative work even more effective and efficient," Lyles said. "He wants to move us 'from viability to vitality.'"
To view a video of Hardage's comments after his election, visit http://texasbaptists.org/2012/01/bgct-executive-board-elects-david-hardage/.
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Erin Roach.
Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net