Dr. Ross Rhoads, former Senior Pastor of Calvary Church, passed into the presence of the Lord on May 24, 2017. The memorial service will be on Saturday, June 3 at 3PM at Calvary. Please pray for Carol and the Rhoads family.
Candidating in the huge Sanctuary of Calvary Church in December 2005 was a daunting experience for me! But I will never forget the warm welcome by Ross who served as Senior Pastor at Calvary from 1973-1995. He shook me warmly by the hand, and with his penetrating eyes looked directly into mine! He then thanked me for preaching the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A week later when I was voted to come as the new Senior Pastor, a note arrived from Ross welcoming me, saying he would be praying for me, and was looking forward to getting to know me. These simple gestures and actions flowed from a man who loved Christ, loved the Gospel, and was not afraid to show his love to others.
I grew to treasure his friendship, encouragement, prayers, and many conversations which always focused on our Savior. I was to discover that his love and encouragement for me, was multiplied many times to all who knew him. To me he was a pastors’ pastor, and an inspiration to keep pointing people to Jesus. In difficult times of ministry, Dr. Rhoads was there to offer wise counsel, prayer, and a spiritual perspective. I and thousands of others owe him a tremendous debt.
His impact on Calvary’s campus is immense: the vision of developing 100 acres, building a 5,000 seat worship center, having the Calvary Child Development Center, and laying the biblical foundation of a church focused on “the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Winning souls for Christ was his passion.
It is said of King David that “after he had served the purpose of God and his own generation, he fell asleep” (Acts 13:36). Like David, Dr. Ross Rhoads was a man after God’s own heart, and served his generation with skill, with loving devotion, and with the Spirit of Christ. We mourn his passing, but praise God for this man of God whose legacy at Calvary, at BGEA, and far beyond inspires us to serve and love our Savior with all of our hearts until we join Ross and all of the redeemed in that great eternal day.