Bishop Ruth Mae Ravenell, affectionately known as “Sister Bishop”, was born on October 10,1948 in Kings County, New York to the late Dabney Nixon and Mary Ruth Bates-Nixon. She departed this earthly life on March 20, 2020.
Ruth was educated in the public schools of New York and graduated from John Adams High School, Class of 1966. Ruth was a scholar and excelled at everything she did. She attended Queen College in Jamaica, NY and later attended The Manhattan Bible Institute where she completed Evangelistic Courses and General Bible Study in 1979. In 1995 she completed her Paralegal Basic Concepts program. In 1997, she attended Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College and at the age of 50 she completed early childhood education coursework and was on the Presidents List. In 2006 she completed a real estate course with American Real Estate Institute.
Ruth married the late Bishop Preston Lee Ravenell in 1967 and to their union six children were born. They also adopted two children and helped to raise several others.
Ruth accepted Christ and was saved at a young age. Her relationship with the Lord grew stronger when she was called into the Gospel Ministry by the late Bishop Lucy H. Young at The Tabernacle Holiness Church in Buffalo, NY. In 1984, Ruth was ordained as minister and served many years under Bishop Young’s leadership. While serving the church she was taken under the wings of the late Mother Maggie Ravenell.
Ruth was ordained to the office of Bishop in 1992 by the late Bishop John Holmes and Evangelist Queen E. Holmes. She served as Co-Bishop and First Lady of Faith Tabernacle Church of God in Power, founded in 1991 by her husband, Bishop Preston Ravenell. She served her church family as if it were her own. She was dedicated to the ministry and served in any role she could, including being an awesome praise and worship leader, prayer warrior, teacher, preacher, and choir director. Ruth could often be found conducting shut-in’s, fasting, praying, working in the hospital and prison outreach ministry, visiting the sick and shut-in, feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked. She was a true Woman of God.
Ruth became Overseer of Greater Faith Ministries in Orlando, FL in 2006. In 2015, she began Persuaded Outreach Ministries for incarcerated women where she would send letters to encourage and instill good morals. She also had a daycare ministry which was affectionately referred to as “Bishops Place”.
Throughout the course of her life, Ruth received numerous awards including: the Outstanding Achievement in Parenting Skills Award (1998), the Award of Outstanding Service and Completion of Online Support Representative Training (2001), the Children Safety Awareness Program (2010), and several Certificates of Appreciation and Excellence.
Ruth wass preceded in death by her parents, Dabney Nixon and Mary Ruth Bates-Nixon; her husband, Bishop Preston L. Ravenell; and her daughter Dawndela Ravenell.
Ruth leaves to cherish her memory her seven children, Troy Williams-Ravenell of Long Island City, NY, Preston Ravenell, Jr. of Manhattan, NY, Alicia (Shiloh) Brown of Augusta, GA, Kerrin (Brandon) Butler of Columbia, SC, Jordan Ravenell of Orlando, FL, Lavell Ravenell of Sumter, SC, and Joshua (Christina) Ravenell of Roosevelt Long Island, NY; eighteen grandchildren Christopher, Qwesean, and Khyrell Ravenell of Atlanta, GA, Isaiah and Ashonti Brown of TN, Faith and Hope Brown of Augusta, GA, Dai’Aysha and Keyshiah Ravenell, Elicia Randolph, Ka’Mya Butler, Kaylin and Braylon Butler all of Columbia, SC, Ian Ravenell of Sumter, SC, and Joshua Jr., Christian and Jayce Ravenell of Roosevelt Long Island, NY; two special daughters, Gronice (Jason) Barber and Tamyra Davis; a special aunt, Eva Foggie of Manhattan NY, a special niece, Janet Smith; seven god-children, LaQuisha Ravenell, Glory Edmonds, ShaKeida Edmonds, Jerry Edmonds, Paul Arthur, and Rawle and Rawlonda Arthur; two spiritual daughters Michelle Holmes and Erica Chandler; two best friends, Elder Leila Thomas and Diane Payne; eight great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews, relatives, and friends that loved her dearly.
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