Longtime PDBC Pastor Jack Ridlehoover Dies at 91

By LORETTA FULTON

Jack Ridlehoover, pastor of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church for 29 years, died Sunday, June 19, at age 91.

Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Thursday at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road. A service of celebration will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, 701 S. Pioneer Drive. A livestream of the memorial service can be found at www.pioneerdrive.tv

After retiring from the pulpit in 1992, Ridlehoover filled 22 interim posts and started a ministry called Minister’s Mentoring and Consulting Service. Pastors came to his office for individual mentoring, getting practical advice on the details of being a pastor, as well as words of wisdom. For many years, he also led regular sessions with pastors at the Abilene-Callahan Baptist Association office. The sessions at the ABA office alternated between a version of his mentoring service and a book review. 

Jack Ridlehoover in 2019 photo by Loretta Fulton

Click here to read an article by Loretta Fulton following Ridlehoover’s final mentoring session at the ABA office on May 6, 2019. To read the obituary click here.

Ridlehoover was born Oct. 2, 1930, on a farm in Grayson County. He started his preaching career at his home church while he was 17 and a student at a Dallas high school. He was the preacher at his own church by age 19.

Cake presented to Jack Ridlehoover on May 6, 2019, his last day to offer mentoring sessionst at Abilene-Callahan Baptist Association office. (Photo by Loretta Fulton)

The following email was distributed Monday, June 20, by John Whitten, senior pastor at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church. Pioneer Drive Baptist Church.

Dear Pioneer Drive Baptist Church,
With heavy hearts we want to let you know that our Pastor Emeritus, Bro. Jack Ridlehoover, entered the gates of heaven at the age of 91 Sunday evening. 
Bro. Jack served Pioneer Drive for 29 years as Senior Pastor from 1963-1992. During that time, Pioneer Drive’s membership and ministry flourished significantly. Many people came to faith in Jesus, new ministry initiatives were launched, and facilities were significantly expanded. 
After his tenure at Pioneer Drive, he served in 22 churches as Interim Pastor and was a mentor to hundreds of ministers through his ministry, Minister’s Mentoring and Consulting Services. 
God called Bro. Jack to preach at the age of 17. At 19, he began his own preaching ministry. He would total over 70 years of gospel ministry. Serving in numerous community and denominational capacities, Bro. Jack’s ministry was well-known. 
Funeral arrangements are currently pending with Hamil Family Funeral home. When we receive more detailed information, we will share that with you. 
Would you join me in praying for Betty (Bro. Jack’s spouse of 74 years), daughter Cindy, son Roger, their families, and the numerous people who were impacted by Bro. Jack’s life and ministry?
Bro. Jack would often share the words of Jesus from John 11:25 with grieving families: 
I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” 
We know that is what Bro. Jack believed. May the God of all peace and hope comfort with the promise of everlasting life!
Sincerely, 
Dr. John Whitten 
Senior Pastor

Loretta Fulton is editor of Spirit of Abilene

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