Rev. Ron Rye, BA BDiv
November 2011 – September 2014
Ron was born and brought up in a Christian home and has never really known a part of his life where he was not aware of God. With his mother’s Jewish heritage, Ron’s faith has always had a historical flavour. It gave him an interest in the history of ancient Israel and how that impacts upon what Christians today believe about Jesus and His Church. Ron made his own commitment at age 6 after reading the Gospel of Luke, and was baptised at 19. Whilst at school, he was active in Abbeyhill Baptist Church, Edinburgh, and the Gorgie Corps of the Salvation Army.
Entering University saw him seek more opportunities to lead worship and become involved in Church leadership. Ron met his wife-to-be, Stephanie, whilst studying at Edinburgh University, and they were married on the completion of their degrees. Stephanie, a secondary school teacher, supported Ron as he searched his sense of calling into the ministry, which had been with him in some form since the age of 16. As a result, in 2008, with Stephanie’s blessing Ron left his job as a lettings administrator to seek to train for the ministry. He applied for and was accepted by the Scottish Baptist College.
During his period of study he worked at two churches: initially as Youth Co-ordinator at Dedridge Baptist Church in Livingston, and then as Student/Associate Pastor at Viewfield Baptist Church in Dunfermline. During this time he also took the opportunity to preach at several other churches. He completed his degree in 2011 and gained Pre-Accreditation from the Board of Ministry at the Baptist Union of Scotland. Not long afterwards, Ron was unanimously called to Ardbeg Baptist Church, and he was inducted and ordained on 5th November 2011.
Sadly, however, Ron was only with us for just under three years. During the early part of 2014 Ron was ill for several weeks, and decided on his return that he could not stay. Speaking to members at the church meeting on 20th March 2014, he thanked the church for all the support he had received during his absence. He explained that the major factor in his recent illness was that he and Stephanie were unable to be together for much of their time. He realised that he could not function effectively without the presence and support of the person whose life he shared. He concluded that, “with a good deal of prayer, Stephanie and I have come to the decision that we need to seek a ministry where we can be together.” His statement, which he read with Steph at his side, was received with dismay but also with understanding and sympathy.
Farewell to Rev. Ron Rye
21st September was Ron’s last day as our Pastor. His morning sermon, passionate throughout, and sometimes emotional, completed Paul’s letter to the Philippians on a note of thanksgiving. In the evening, the church was packed for a praise service wishing him farewell. Favourite hymns were sung with gusto, Bill Lavender delivered an appreciation, and presentations were made to Ron and Steph. After the service, refreshments were enjoyed by all.
PICTURES: ALLAN MARTIN, RON RYE
For some appreciations of Ron Rye, look at the Ardbeg Record, No. 3 here