Ronald Arthur Ricley, 71, of Lecompton, Kansas, passed away on September 17, 2020. He was a man of God who embodied what it means to be a servant leader. It would be impossible to count how many lives were touched by Jesus Christ through the ministry of Brother Ron. He left a lasting legacy spilling over with good fruit.
As an evangelist, pastor and teacher for 53 years, he traveled throughout the United States, Central America and West Africa carrying the good news of salvation in Christ, praying for the sick and caring for the needy. He encouraged the church at large to love the truth, do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
Born July 3, 1949, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado, Ron was the son of Arthur & Pauline Ricley. He grew up in an active household with three brothers and one sister. Many summers growing up, he was invited to stay with his grandmother, Emelia Williamson, who lived in Trenton, Nebraska. At age 12, Ron’s life changed forever when he was born again and took hold of his Savior’s hand, never to let it go. He entered the ministry in 1967, when he was appointed pastor at Cornell Church in Hitchcock County, Nebraska.
Ron served in the U.S. Army as an air traffic controller and was stationed at Camp Evans in Vietnam during the war. After his military service ended in 1971, he returned to Colorado and began a prison ministry. He served inmates in Adams County, Brighton and Cañon City.
Ron relocated to Nebraska and joined the police force in McCook in 1974. Several years later he moved to Arkansas, where he served as the Chief of Police in Diamond City and later as a Deputy Sheriff for Boone County.
In 1977, Ron began a series of evangelistic meetings under a Gospel tent. He traveled throughout Nebraska and Kansas for several summers and had many testimonies about the lives God impacted and the lessons he learned under the tent.
For 31 years, Ron served as the pastor of the Chapel of Lecompton, where he established a teaching ministry that focused on the Holy Spirit as the Teacher sent by God. In 1997, he founded the West African Center for Ministerial Studies in Ghana, where he held Bible revelation seminars for all Christian ministries in four West African countries. He also conducted seminars in Central America. Ron’s book, The Absolutes of God, was written to answer some of the most common questions pastors asked him at the seminars.
Ron enjoyed playing the guitar and had a talent for singing and songwriting. His CD, When He Speaks It’s Like Thunder, is available on his website ronricleyministries.com. The website also contains his book, The Absolutes of God and almost 300 sermons
He also enjoyed aviation and was an IFR-certified pilot. For many years, he owned a Cessna 182 Skylane, which he often flew between Lecompton and another church he oversaw in LaSalle, Colorado.
In September of 2000, Ron married his beloved Rachel (Newby). She accompanied him to both Africa and Central America and was a true partner in his ministry. They have four children: Katie, Ethan, Jonette and Benjamin.
Other survivors include a son: Gary Patrick Ricley; grandchildren: Joshua Ricley and Isaiah Ricley; a great grandchild: Foster Ricley; his brothers: Gerald Ricley of Chugwater, WY, Fred Ricley of Perry, KS, and Paul Ricley of McCook, NE; and his sister: Annette Campbell, Trenton, NE; and many nieces & nephews.
Visitation will be held at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home in Lawrence, Kansas, on Thursday, September 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. Masks are required and the gathering is limited to 45 persons at any one time. The family asks that attendees be aware of social distancing requirements and refrain from lingering in the building.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the funeral will be a private service on Friday, September 25, at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow immediately with a graveside service at Maple Grove Cemetery in Lecompton. All are welcome at the graveside. Masks are required and social distancing measures will be observed.
Memorials may be sent to the Ronald A. Ricley Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 204, Lecompton, KS 66050. This fund is set up to benefit Ron and Rachel’s children.