David Ruth

An Autobiography

Pastor Ruth speaking in fellowship hall
            In Hebrew the name “David” means “Beloved” or “Chosen” and for most of my “born days” that is exactly how I have felt. I am the youngest of three children born to Jack and Betty Kate Ruth, Godly people who set examples as spouses, parents, friends, teachers, mentors and most of all, role models of how to truly live a life in Christ. We moved to Lumberton when I was in the fifth grade and though my family moved away when I was in college, I continue to say I grew up in Lumberton. Although it was only nine years, those precious nine years molded me.

            As a nineteen-year-old entrepreneur selling books door to door in Indiana, I was in an automobile accident and my chance of surviving was slim. That is when I learned what the church and the Christian community is all about. First Presbyterian Church Lumberton loved me and my family beyond description. Even now, when the state of the church becomes a burden to me, I think of the first day I made it back to church and though in a wheelchair with casts and bandages all over my body, I sang through a wired jaw, “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.”

            While in college I spent two summers working at Camp Monroe where I met my future wife, Eva Monroe. Thirty-three years later I am thankful our loving God sent me to a camp in the swamps that began a life-long loving relationship. We have three wonderful children: Andrew is a PC(USA) Pastor in Clayton, NC. He and his wife, Claire, have a newborn son, Jack. Mary Kate lives in Raleigh with her husband Jayson and their two sons, JD and Jennings. Maggie, our youngest, is a third year medical school student doing her rotations in Orangeburg, SC.

            After graduating from UNC-Wilmington and getting married, I began my career as a businessman, eventually becoming an automobile dealer and I operated a Hyundai and Nissan dealership with a partner. (I no longer have any interest in these companies.)

            One afternoon over a cold sandwich, an elder from the church we attended asked me to participate in one of the church’s ministries. I declined, saying I did not feel called to do that. Boldly, he asked me what I felt God was calling me to do. Taken aback, the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, “Tell him you might be able to speak at a small church.” Several weeks later the gentleman called to tell me he found a church in need of a preacher one Sunday. Thus began my love of preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. I became a commissioned lay pastor and stood in forty plus pulpits before I became a supply pastor serving St. Pauls Presbyterian Church. During my year long ministry there I had no grand epiphany but felt a nudge to begin the process of becoming an ordained pastor. After much prayer, with my family and friends, I enrolled at Duke Divinity School. After graduating, I was called as the pastor of Williamsburg Presbyterian Church.

           We left Kingstree not because we wanted to but because we felt a strong sense that God was calling me to serve a church I love and a church where we truly need one another:  First Presbyterian Church of Lumberton.

 


Subpages (1): The Pastor's Study