He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth forever; his horn shall be exalted with honor. Psalm 112:9

He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity… Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Romans 12:8, 13

I knew Gene Ratchford for 32 years before he passed away a few weeks ago. Gene was a hugely successful businessman who did not darken a church door for over 50 years. Yet he was one of the most kindhearted Christian men I have known.

In addition to the food delivered anonymously to many folks in need, or a new car delivered at night for a needy person, Gene sponsored dozens of young folks—enabling them to attend college. He never asked for anything in return. The fact is most recipients of his love never knew the source of their good fortune.  

If you saw him, you would not know he was extremely wealthy, and that is the way he liked it. I know Gene would scoff at the notion of being an “ordinary saint,” but he is one of the most “saintly” persons I have known.

Heavenly, gracious Father, thank you for allowing me the eyes to see your work shared through Gene here on earth. May we all follow more closely your spirit of sharing with one another. In your holy name we pray. Amen.

Barry Slider

About the Contributor

Barry Slider is a Ruling Elder at Tyger River, where he’s been a member since its inception.  He has lived in the Spartanburg area for 25 years and loves this great city, where he’s been blessed to raise two wonderful Wofford grads.