Harold Hasbrouck Hughes, Jr., was born in Richmond, Virginia, son of Harold H. Hughes, Sr., and Mildred Powers Hughes. His father was a Methodist minister. He was educated at Woodrow Wilson High School, Portsmouth, Virginia; Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Virginia; and the Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina. In 1982 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity by his alma mater, Randolph-Macon College. Subsequently he has been awarded this degree by Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL., and Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach, FL.
He was ordained deacon and elder by Bishop Paul Neff Garber. His appointments in the Virginia Conference were Lawrence Memorial, Bent Mountain; Walmsley Boulevard, Richmond; Mt. Olivet, Danville; Stanleytown; Cokesbury, Woodbridge; Front Royal; Asbury, Harrisonburg; District Superintendent, Lynchburg District and Reveille, Richmond. In 1988, he was elected to the episcopacy by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, and was assigned to the Florida Area where he served until retirement in 1996. In retirement he serves as Bishop-In-Residence, Virginia Wesleyan College, Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA.
Mera Gay and Hasbrouck Hughes were married June 17, 1950, at Elm Avenue Methodist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia. They have four children: Christine Layman (Mrs. Joseph M.) of Dayton, Virginia; H. Hasbrouck (Brouck) Hughes, III, of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina; Kathryn Wise (Mrs. Neal E.) of McLean, Virginia; and Laura Saltzer (Mrs. Michael A.) of Chesapeake, VA.