“A great and fruitful tree has fallen,” wrote Erskine Seminary Provost and Professor, Dr. Michael A. Milton. Dr. Milton was paying tribute to The Reverend Dr. Randall T. Ruble, President Emeritus of Erskine College and Seminary.
President Emeritus Dr. Randall T. Ruble died Monday, Feb. 22. The 14th president of Erskine College and Theological Seminary, he was a 1958 graduate of Erskine College and a 1961 graduate of Erskine Theological Seminary. He served as president from 2006 to 2010.
Before becoming president, he taught at his alma mater for 45 years as a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew. He served as seminary vice president and dean 1976 to 1997. In addition to his Erskine degrees, he received the Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
An ordained ARP minister, Ruble was pastor of the Abbeville and Mount Carmel ARP Churches from 1967 to 2010 (with a three-year break in which he served as chaplain at Erskine College). During his years of ministry, he served as moderator of the ARP Synod, chair of the Presbyterian Council on Chaplains and Military Personnel, and president of the Association of Seminary Presidents of the National Association of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches. He edited the Bicentennial History of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church: 1950-2003.
Ruble helped to establish Reach the Children of Rwanda, a ministry in Rwanda, Africa. The ministry is led by an Erskine Seminary graduate who is a survivor of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Martha “Molly” Grant Ruble; two sons, John (Holly) and Jeffrey (Cathy); one daughter, Ellen (Mike); one brother, Richard (Anne); six grandchildren; and three greatgrandchildren.
Dr. Milton added, “I served with Dr. Ruble in 1995 on a Commission of the Association of Theological Schools. We labored to support Knox Seminary in becoming fully accredited. Dr. Ruble’s guidance, and magnanimous Kingdom-vision in supporting a sister Presbyterian seminary was indicative of this great minister-educator’s heart for the Body of Christ. Dr. Ruble was a friend to me, and one of the great leaders in the Church. The man’s testimony became his biography; and his biography is now his legacy.”
Due to the pandemic, a graveside service will be held for the immediate family. A memorial service is planned for a later date. Please keep the Ruble family in your prayers. You may read the full obituary here.
Erskine Theological Seminary is an agency of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Erskine Seminary prepares men and women to fulfill the Great Commission through theological higher education that is confessional, missional, and ecclesial.