Dr. Richard Rupp, former director of ministerial training and extension at Bob Jones University, went to be with the Lord on Monday evening, June 18, 2012, from Barge Hospital on the BJU campus. He was 86 years old. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Betty Anne, his two daughters Sandy Rupp and Victoria Delello, her husband Todd, and two grandsons Luke and Jake Delello. Dr. David Yearick, Dr. Edward Panosian, Miss Sandy Rupp, Mrs. Dwight Gustafson, and Dr. Bruce McAllister participated in the funeral service. A brief portion of a recorded message by Dr. Rupp was played as well as a recording of the ministerial students singing ”Souls for Jesus.“
Dr. Bruce McAllister paid the following opening tribute at the funeral held in War Memorial Chapel on the afternoon of June 21: "Dr. Rupp’s life speaks well for itself as he exemplified the verse 'not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.' He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. As part of the greatest generation, He served his country in the U.S. Army, rising quickly to become a master sergeant. He was a powerful preacher, a caring pastor, a passionate teacher of preaching, a wise counselor to pastors, a committed separatist, an accomplished actor in films and on stage, a man with business acumen, a loyal lifetime BJU employee, a respected college administrator serving as the director of ministerial training and extension, and my highly esteemed mentor. He was a man of God, a humble servant of the Lord. We are all thankful to God for the life of Dr. Richard Rupp—grateful to God, the singular Source of all of grace and gifts."
Dr. Rupp specialized in teaching preaching, the pulpit speech class for undergraduate students, and eventually in the seminary. For many years he taught these classes alone, teaching as many as 175 men a year how to preach. He taught several thousand men how to preach. This is amazing, not only to teach that many young men, but to have the patience to listen to them preach to him! On Tuesdays and Thursdays he was in the pulpit speech class seven hours a day teaching or listening to young preachers try to climb their way out of passages in the Bible. (Taken from a VOICE article (Vol. 80, Issue 3, Fall 2006) by Dr. Bruce McAllister.)
Dr. Rupp pastored Calvary Memorial Church in Chicago, Ill., Hurst Baptist Church in Hilltonia, Ga., and Calvary Baptist Church in Hiawassee, Ga. He was a member of the Bob Jones University Classic Players, appearing in such leading roles as Mark Antony in ”Julius Caesar“ and Bottom in ”A Midsummer Night’s Dream.“ He also had major roles in several Christian films produced by the University, including ”The Printing.“
Published June 22, 2012