Reverend Dr. John P. Ragsdale Profile Photo

Reverend Dr. John P. Ragsdale

September 7, 1938 — May 22, 2024

Wernersville, PA

Reverend Dr. John P. Ragsdale

The Reverend Dr. John P. Ragsdale died Wednesday morning, May 22, 2024. He was 85. Born September 7, 1938, John grew up in South Africa with his missionary parents Paul and Frances Ragsdale. He is survived by siblings Rachel, Carol (Dave), Ruth, and Jim (Lisa). He returned to the United States in 1955 to attend Eastern Pilgrim College where he met his wife, Shirley Wensel who died in 2010. They married in 1959 and were blessed with daughters Wendy (Mike) and Crystal (Robert). He earned a Doctor of Education degree from Lehigh University in 1969. After serving from 1964 to 1972 as missionaries in Zambia, Africa, the family moved to Allentown, PA where John served first as a missions’ professor and Vice President for Academic Affairs and then as President of United Wesleyan College. He became Director of Development at Evangelical School of Theology in Myerstown, PA in 1990. The Evangelical Congregational Church elected him to serve as the Director of Global Ministries for the denomination in 1994. John retired in 2005 but wanting to continue actively serving God he accepted the call to pastor First Evangelical Congregational Church in downtown Reading, PA until it merged with several other congregations in 2012. Even after his “second” retirement John continued a ministry of occasional preaching and teaching as long as his health allowed.

 

The last 12 years of his life, Myrtle Wieand blessed John by sharing her life with him in marriage. 

 

Joana (Sway) and Josh (Rachel) are proud to call John grandpa and their children, Quinn and Elias call him great grandpa.

 

Dr. Ragsdale invested himself in serving countless numbers of people around the world. He equipped teachers, pastors, missionaries and congregations through education, preaching and administration, along with an occasional soap box lecture. His dynamic faith in Jesus Christ led to increasing knowledge and stature over a lifetime of selfless ministry.

 

Bean Funeral Home at 3825 Penn Ave, Sinking Spring will host a visitation Thursday, May 30, 2024 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Friends and family are invited to a visitation 10:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. followed with 11:00 a.m. worship and giving thanks for John’s life Friday, May 31, 2024  at Zion Evangelical Congregational Church, 57 N. Church St, Mohnton, PA.  Entombment Saturday, June 1st will be private.   In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Global Ministries Community of the EC Church, 100 W. Park Ave, Myerstown PA 17067 or to the Seeds and Water Collective founded by John’s nephew, Rev. Aaron Thomas. For information and to donate go to https://www.seedsandwaterco.org. Checks can also be mailed to 7657 Carriage House Way, Zionsville, IN 46077.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Reverend Dr. John P. Ragsdale, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Viewing

Thursday, May 30, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Bean Funeral Homes- Sinking Spring

3825 Penn Ave, Sinking Spring, PA 19608

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Viewing

Friday, May 31, 2024

10:00 - 10:45 am (Eastern time)

Zion Evangelical Congregational Church

57 North Church Street, Mohnton, PA 19540

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Funeral Service

Friday, May 31, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Zion Evangelical Congregational Church

57 North Church Street, Mohnton, PA 19540

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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