A Tribute to Our Pastor...

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"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:7, 8 KJV)

Archie W. Ratliff (November 29, 1949 - December 17, 2012)

Pastor Archie Wayne Ratliff, 63, Senior Pastor of Bethel Free Will Baptist Church and Bethel Christian Academy in Kinston, NC, passed away on Monday, December 17, 2012, at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

Pastor Ratliff was born November 29, 1949, in Anderson, Indiana. Pastor Ratliff dedicated his entire life to helping others and serving Christ. He became the Pastor of Bethel Free Will Baptist Church on February 1, 1991. Pastor Ratliff battled and defeated esophageal cancer in 2009; however, the radiation and chemotherapy treatments caused him to develop leukemia. Pastor Ratliff was one of the greatest leaders the Free Will Baptist Denomination has ever known. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Free Will Baptist Bible College for 8 years and was very involved with Free Will Baptist International Missions. Pastor Ratliff guided Bethel Church to be globally involved in spreading the Gospel.

A service to honor and celebrate Pastor Ratliff's was held Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 7 p.m. at Bethel Free Will Baptist Church. A committal service was held Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11 a.m. at Pinelawn Memorial Park, Kinston.

Pastor Ratliff is survived by his wife of forty three years, Portia; three daughters, Kim Truett and husband, Chris; Michelle Williams and husband, Rusty; Jenifer Carnes and husband, Adam; brother, Steve Ratliff and wife, Debbie, of Tuscaloosa, AL; and nine grandchildren.

The family received friends Wednesday, December 19, 2012 from 6-8 p.m. and Thursday, December 20, 2012 from 4-6 p.m. at Bethel Free Will Baptist Church. Online condolences may be expressed for a limited time at www.rousefh.com. Arrangements were facilitated by Rouse Funeral Home of LaGrange, NC.

Pastor Archie Ratliff