Dr. Kenneth W. Ridings, 78, of Flat Rock passed away on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at Sunnybrook Assisted Living. Born in Fingerville, SC he was a son of the late Penola and Otis Ridings.
Kenneth was a graduate of North Greenville University, Furman University, and Southeastern Theological Seminary. He was the recipient of several honorary doctorates, awards, and recognitions throughout his distinguished ministry. He served churches in both the Carolinas as pastor over six decades of ministry, including the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Hendersonville, N.C. and the Grassy Branch Baptist Church of Asheville, N.C. Respectfully and affectionately called “Dr. Ridings” by many, he spoke in over 1200 churches, colleges, seminaries, and conferences throughout the Southeast as a revivalist, evangelist, and a popular Bible Conference speaker. He was best known as Professor of Homiletics at Fruitland Baptist College from 1968-2008, where he also served as the president for eleven years. His staff, faculty, students, alumni, and friends mourn his death but celebrate his entrance into heaven!
Dr. Ridings was a loyal and faithful Southern Baptist. He served on the Southern Baptist International Mission Board and as the Second Vice-President of the North Carolina Baptist Convention. He was a member of the Mud Creek Baptist Church. His pastor Dr. Greg Mathis noted, “Few could open up the Bible to excite, exhort, and encourage his listeners quite like Dr. Ridings. He was an extraordinary expositor of Scriptures!” His influential style of preaching continues by many of his former students who pastor churches throughout the southeast.
Survivors include his loving wife of 61 years, Ann Ridings of the home; daughter, Beverly Ridings of Mills River, NC; granddaughter, Dallie Lawrence of Weaverville, NC; brothers, Malcolm Ridings and wife Joan of Spartanburg, NC, Conrad Ridings and wife Teresa of Fingerville, SC and Eugene Ridings and wife Shannon of Gramling, SC; sister, Martha Calvert and husband Corvis of Fingerville, SC; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 5pm on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at Mud Creek Baptist Church with Dr. Greg Mathis and Dr. D.L. Lowrie officiating. Visitation will be held prior to the service beginning at 3pm.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Fruitland Baptist College Chapel Fund, 1455 Gilliam Rd. Hendersonville, NC 28792.
Forest Lawn Funeral Home, Hendersonville is assisting the family.