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Richard Rice - Year Entered 1954

Richard Rice

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02/01/15 08:47 AM #1    

Robert Macdonald III (1958)

Remembering Richard Rice (1935-2003)
By Robert Macdonald

    I remember Richard as friendly, helpful, non-judgmental and willing to listen.  During the 70’s and 80’s he was a standout among the WGC ministry in terms of his attitude and views.  He felt that Jesus Christ had been relegated to a minor role, being pushed off in to the periphery of the thoughts of all too many, not occupying the central role in our lives.  He noted that we seldom brought up His name in our daily conversations and when we do, it is often done in a casual, off-hand, arm’s-length manner as if He had little to do with our every day lives and thought processes.  By contrast another WGC minister expressed something to this effect:  “It goes without saying that our sins forgiven through Christ.  We all understand that so we don’t need to keep talking about Jesus in sermons and writing about Him. We just need to emphasize more useful and productive matters.”  A number of other ministers had voiced similar sentiments, but not all.  One minister once rightly observed that “to outward appearance you would never know we are Christians!”   It wasn’t Richard but he probably had such thoughts.  

    He was especially helpful to me during the times we talked in the late 70’s and early 80’s.  The waters of biblical truth had been thoroughly muddied, and I was just emerging from a decade of spiritual stagnation. It had been a difficult time for me in terms of coming to grips with these and other issues involving the proper understanding of the role of good works in our lives (determining our reward, not our salvation), and the knowledge that Jesus lives His life in Christians.  He concurred with my observation that even though these concepts were found in WGC expression and literature, they were seldom understood or correctly applied.  For instance I had spoken to another WGC minister of the concept that Jesus in us is a vital key to overcoming.  He actually said that any such notion could expose a person to demon possession!

He presented many helpful sermons, but I will always remember his stand-out sermon of Jan. 22, 1983 to the Imperial PM congregation in Pasadena.   Richard outlined many of these points including the “missing dimension” in the lives of many, Jesus Christ living his life in us! What a radical idea!

Though Richard was somewhat tied to the notion that the WGC was the one organization through which God was working, he was a minister ahead of his time.  He was not afraid to express his views even though they sometimes put him at odds with his fellow ministers!

03/22/15 08:04 AM #2    

Steve Frandsen (1975)

I worked for Richard - far down on the the food chain, in MPC for about 2 years. He seemed approachable, smart and very nice. I only remember a few of his sermons, I think because I went to AA not Imperial. I did like Richard. Sorry to hear that he is gone and my sympathies to his loved ones.  

08/01/15 07:22 PM #3    

Mike Feazell (1969)

Always had a word of encouragment.

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