Hal was born and grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. He attended Furman and the University of South Carolina and received his M.Div. from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. He was an RUF campus minister both at Mississippi State and Vanderbilt University until he came to Athens to plant Redeemer in 1996. He and his wife MaryBeth have 4 children (Liz, Ben, Robert, and Jack), 1 son-in-law (Bryan), 1 daughter-in-law (Karen), 3 granddaughters (Catie, Lily, and Mary Thames), and twin grandsons (Charlie and William).