Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday's Obituary - Rev. C. W. Ruth

Christian Wismer Ruth, husband's grandfather
born September 01, 1865, Bucks, Pennsylvania
died May 27, 1941, Wilmore, Kentucky
Christian W. Ruth was born in the year 1865 in the state of Pennsylvania. At the age of seventeen he was born again in a clear experience of regeneration and was sanctified one year later. In the year 1884 he began fifty-six years of holiness ministry. He became identified with the Church of the Nazarene in the year 1900 and was associated with Dr. P. F. Bresee, as assistant pastor of the First Church Los Angeles, California, in the years 1901 and 1903. Brother Ruth was one of the few leaders mentioned in the Historical Statement of the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene and was the seconder of the motion that the Church of the Nazarene and the Holiness Church of Christ be united. This motion was made and carried at the Second General Assembly in Pilot Point, Texas, in October 1908. In that same year he was elected second vice-president of the National Holiness Association and from then until his passing was one of the foremost leaders of the association. He was elected president of the National Holiness Missionary Society in the year 1925, which office he still was filling most acceptably when the end came. In 1920 he organized two coast-to-coast evangelistic tours under the N.H.A. and preached with Rev. Will Huff and Rev. Bud Robinson in one of two parties. They covered 15,000 miles, saw 2,000 seekers, ministered to 60 denominations, covered the cost of the trip and put almost 10,000 dollars above the cost into the treasury of the N.H.A.

Brother Ruth was a continuous writer for holiness papers and magazines and was the author of a number of books which are still among the best sellers in campmeetings. His book titled "Entire Sanctification," is considered one of the clearest statements on the subject that can be found.

Brother Ruth was largely responsible for the organization of the First Church of the Nazarene at Indianapolis, Indiana. Here he made his home for many years and held his local church membership until early in 1941 when he transferred to the Bresee Avenue Church in Pasadena.

His early marriage was in 1885 to Miss Emma J. Springer at Indianapolis, Ind., who was the gracious mother of his family and his loyal companion for more than fifty years and until death separated them in February, 1937, and she passed triumphantly to be with God. After nearly four years of a sad and lonely life he married Miss Laura Whitaker of Nevada, Iowa, who was by his side when he passed away. Besides the widow there survive five children namely: George Ruth, of Pasadena, Rev. Roy Ruth, of Ontario, Calif., Dr. Elbert Ruth, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mrs. Naomi Shellabear, of Hartford, Conn., and Mrs. Grace Young of Richmond Hill, New York.

As he approached his passing he often repeated the statement that he had the three evidences of perfect love as based on the following scriptures: 1 John 2:5; 4:12; 4:17, 18. (He had kept God's word. He loved his fellow man. He was not fearful of the judgement.) The end came while he and Mrs. Ruth were guests at Asbury College at Wilmore, Ky. A funeral service was held in the auditorium of the college conducted by Dr. Z. T. Johnson, president, who was one of the speakers. Rev. Woodford Taylor, in behalf of the National Holiness Missionary Society, Rev. Warren McIntyre, as representing the holiness evangelists, Rev. T. M. Anderson, for the Church of the Nazarene and Rev. A. O. Collis, for the trustees of Asbury College, were also speakers at the service. Rev. W. W. Cary gave the obituary and Rev. G. Arnold Hodgin led in the prayer.
The body was entrained soon after and brought to southern California to its final resting place. Funeral services were held at Pasadena in the Bresse Avenue Church under the direction of the pastor at which time

Dr. John W. Goodwin gave the principal message. Assisting with words of appreciation were Dr. Orval J. Nease, Dr. J. B. Chapman, Dr. A. E. Sanner. Dr. H. B. Wallin offered the prayer and the singing was arranged by Rev. J. F. Ransom. Interment was made at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, where the sacred dust of the lovable and acceptable advocate of second blessing holiness awaits the first blast of the resurrection trumpet sound and the large crowd of sorrowing friends turned away to further tasks with the blessed assurance that God's people still die well. - R. J. Plumb, Pastor.


  1. This is an excellent tribute to one whose life and work is an inspiration.

  2. Thanks for the comment. It has been deeply satisfying to discover the history of my husband's grandfather. What an amazing man!