|By PR Newswire||
|March 5, 2014 07:18 PM EST||
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale is pleased to announce and welcome Interim Pastor, Rev. Dr. Russell H. Ritchel, Jr. On Sunday, March 2, 2014 after Rev. Dr. Ritchel, Jr. delivered his first sermon, the congregation had the opportunity to meet Rev. Dr. Ritchel, Jr. and his wife Merideth during a special meet and greet held in Fellowship Hall.
"Rev. Dr. Ritchel brings more than 40 years of faith-based experience to the interim position and will be of immense help during our transition," stated Senior Associate Pastor Rev. Dr. Connie Ast Caldwell. "From a life of distinguished services, he brings an array of skills that are well-suited to both our community and our church."
Filled with a desire to study theology, Rev. Dr. Ritchel began his education at Princeton Theological Seminary, graduating in 1979 with a Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in Bible. His first staff position began at First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he served as Minister of Students. While with the church, Rev. Dr. Ritchel, along with the five other ordained ministers, helped to grow the congregation from 3,200 members to more than 4,000 members.
In 1985, Rev. Dr. Ritchel accepted a call as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. During his six years with the church, he led an extensive building campaign that included the expansion of land holdings, construction of a new Christian Education wing, renovation of the Sanctuary and rebuilding of the church organ. While with the church, Rev. Dr. Ritchel enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program at Fuller Theological Seminary, with a concentration on church growth.
Then, in August 1991, Rev. Dr. Ritchel was called to First Presbyterian Church of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Throughout his 18-year ministry, worship attendance increased and a new worship center was built to house contemporary worship services and the sanctuary was renovated. Programs of discipleship, evangelism and mission outreach—including outreach to the homeless and Hispanic communities—were expanded under his leadership.
"I am excited and honored to serve as the Interim Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale," stated Rev. Dr. Ritchel, Jr. "For more than 100 years this church has graced its community with faith-based programs, impactful life-changing missions and created a far reaching group of evangelists who take pride in living a Christ-centered life. I look forward to working with the staff, volunteers and congregation to continue to strengthen the mission of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale."
Rev. Dr. Ritchel Jr's appointment to Interim Pastor comes after Rev. Dr. Douglas Brouwer, who served as First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale's Senior Pastor for four and a half years, was called to ministry in Switzerland in November 2013.
For additional information about First Presbyterian Church, its worship schedule or its diverse array of faith-based and social programming please visit www.firstpres.cc or call (954) 462-6200. Like what First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale is doing? Show it by clicking here.
About First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale
Founded in 1912, First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale is located on the banks of the New River in the historic Colee Hammock neighborhood in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. With more than 1,800 members, and a strong core of volunteers, First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale prides itself in offering something for everyone, regardless of age. Since 1947, First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale has operated Happyland Day School, a pre-school for ages two to Kindergarten that provides a quality Christian environment for the children of the community. Adult, youth and children choirs as well as youth groups offer ample opportunity for fellowship at any age. An Adult Activity Center is open to senior citizens and features weekly lunches, entertainment and monthly bus trips. First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale offers two regular Sunday services as well as special worship services held throughout the year to commemorate significant days. For more information, please visit the website at www.firstpres.cc.
Laurie Menekou, (954) 271-4666 (or)
SOURCE First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale