Posted on : Thursday December 7, 2017

Lawrence “Larry” Leroy Rickard

By Sharon Mager

HAGERSTOWN, Md.—Lawrence “Larry” Leroy Rickard passed away on Dec. 2. Rickard served as pastor of Paramount Baptist Church, Hagerstown, for over 25 years. Prior to that, he pastored at Valley Grace Brethren Church, Armagh, Pa.;  South Berkeley Baptist Church, Inwood, W.Va., and he served as associate pastor at Johnsontown Bible Church, Hedgesville, W.Va.

Rickard attended Frostburg State University and he married Kathy, his childhood sweetheart. They met in first grade.

He made a profession of faith on the job while working in the Mack Trucks plant in Hagerstown. Several Christian men had been faithfully witnessing to Larry and the Holy Spirit moved in his heart.

While the couple was attending Grace Brethren Church, Hagerstown, Larry went to a bus ministry conference at Thomas Road Baptist Church, in Lynchburg, and he surrendered his life to ministry.

He was still working at Mack Trucks while commuting daily to Washington Bible College for classes. “He’d have a stack of cards with Greek words, and verses, and he’d memorize them while he was working,” Kathy said.

After earning his undergraduate degrees at Washington Bible College, he received his Master’s and then his Doctorate degrees from Bethany Divinity College & Seminary,  Alabama.

He began ministering at Paramount Baptist Church at a time when the congregation had dwindled. In fact, Kathy said, they were ready to put out a “For Sale” sign. Larry was providing pulpit supply and seeking God’s help for the church, and God blessed them and revived them. Larry began serving permanently as a bi-vocational pastor, and after retiring from Mack Truck, he served full time. During that time, Kathy said the church paid off their mortgage, built a million-dollar sanctuary, and paid it off in seven years.

The church faithfully gave to the Cooperative Program, Kathy said, at the encouragement of her husband.

“When some would question, he would insist. He’d say, ‘We can’t afford not to!’” Kathy said God always blessed their giving. As the church gave, God gave back. “God just blessed,” she said.

“Larry was very compassionate and would do anything for his church,” Kathy said. She said her husband always gave all credit to Jesus.

“He always said, ‘It wasn’t me. I did nothing. It was God.’”

In his spare time, Larry enjoyed golfing, watching football, especially the Redskins, and working outside in the yard, but what he enjoyed the most was playing with his grandchildren. They called him “Pap.”

Kathy said her husband’s favorite song was “Victory in Jesus.” His favorite Bible verse was Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

He was predeceased by his brother, James E. Rickard. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Kathy (Benedict) Rickard; two sons, Brian Rickard of Hedgesville, W.Va., and Stephen Rickard of Romney, W.Va.; two daughters, Misty Mills of Martinsburg and Joi Hilton and husband, Michael, of Martinsburg; and four grandchildren, Kristen Elyard, Jason Mills, and Lily and Henry Hilton.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 pm on Dec. 9, 2017, at Osborne Funeral Home, 425 S. Conococheague St., Williamsport.

Funeral services will be at 3 pm on Dec. 10, 2017, at Paramount Baptist Church, 13234 Marsh Pike, Hagerstown, with the Rev. Bob Collins and the Rev. Chuck Schroer officiating. A Private interment will be held at a later date.

Online condolences may be made to the family at