Posted on : Friday June 9, 2017

Dr. Robert Rich died peacefully on May 30 at his home in Laurel. He began his pastoral ministry in Maryland in 1970. In 1980, he became the executive director of Central Union Mission in Washington, D.C. and developed programs to provide shelter and rehabilitation services to homeless men. He returned to pastoral ministry in 1993. Rich was a member of South Columbia Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon and Bible teacher.

He was born and raised in Philadelphia. After receiving advanced degrees in Political Science, Speech and English at the University of Maryland, he earned his Master of Theology degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Luther Rice Theological Seminary.

He was also a decorated World War II veteran, serving under General George Patton’s 54th Infantry Battalion 10th Armored Division. He was wounded in battle and after a lengthy rehabilitation worked in military intelligence. He retired from the military in 1964 at the rank of Major. He received two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, the European Campaign Ribbon with three battle stars and the American Campaign Medal/Good Conduct Medal.

Rich is survived by his wife, Ruth, his sister, Mary Jane Fisher of Sarasota, Florida, three sons, Robert, of Belair, Md, Les, of Laurel, Jim and wife Paula, of Palm Beach, FL, and a daughter, Susan, and her husband Gary Robertson of Marriottsville. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 am on June 17 at South Columbia Church. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Dr. Rich’s name to South Columbia Baptist Church, 8814 Guilford Road, Attn: Youth Fund.