Dr. David A. Redding, 89, of Delaware, Ohio, went to be with his Lord, Oct. 12, 2013, at Kobacker House surrounded by his loving family, and with his English mastiff, Molly, beneath his bed. Born Nov. 24, 1923, to the late Rev. Charles and Marion (Maxwell) Redding of Wooster, David was a graduate of the College of Wooster and studied also at Columbia and Ohio State University
. He earned advanced degrees from Oberlin and Vanderbilt University
before going on to a career in the Presbyterian ministry. He was also a recipient of the Doctor of Humane Letters from Flagler College in St. Augustine just down the street from Flagler Memorial Church where he served as pastor, playing an important role in the formative years of the college.
David was a member of the "greatest generation" and proudly served as a naval officer in the Pacific theater in World War II
. He was a deck officer on the battleship USS Idaho, the carrier USS Saratoga and later on an L.S.T. on the Yangtze River as the Communists overran mainland China. He was blessed to be on an Honor Flight very near the end of his earthly journey.
David was a prolific author who began writing articles in the early 1960s for Life Magazine and Reader's Digest, the most widely read periodicals of the day.
During that time, Life named him as one of the top 10 U.S. clergymen and one of the most eloquent younger voices in the U.S. pulpit. Over the next 35 years, his articles appeared in nearly all leading Christian publications, including Guideposts, Christian Herald and Christian Century. He went on to write 27 books and was published by such leading publishing houses as Harper and Row, Revell, J.B. Lippencott and Zondervan. Along with Keith Miller and Bruce Larson, David was among the first contract authors with Word Inc. of Waco, Texas. His inimitable stories and biblical characterizations were quoted by many Christian leaders, including Norman Vincent Peale, Billy Graham, Elizabeth Elliot, Robert Schuler, Max Lucado and Chuck Swindoll.
Texas became especially dear to David as he spent 40 summers speaking and leading writing workshops along the Frio River at Laity Lodge near San Antonio. He always called it his home away from home. Upon David's retirement as pastor of Liberty Presbyterian Church at 80 years young, Dispatch columnist Mike Hardin chronicled David's career in ministry in an article entitled "Amen," but God was not done with David as he continued to write, preach and teach for Sky Farm Chapel on his Delaware farm. His most important accomplishments were what God so surely wrought through his ministry in the many thousands of lives that were touched and changed forever by the Gospel of David's savior, Jesus Christ. His beautiful wife Dorothy and beloved son John preceded David in death. He is survived by his beloved sister, Mary Elizabeth Redding Nicholls; his children, Marion Redding and David (Bobbie) Redding; Mark (Sarah) Redding; and Shari Redding (John's widow); grandchildren, Alexei (Crystal) lizanich, Katrina (Ryan) Hayes, Alicia (David) Bazzel, Danielle (Zach) Housler, Hannah, Kate, lan, Cameron and David W.; great-grandchildren, Avalyn, Anastasia, Noah and Bentley and Emma; and cherished cousins, nieces and nephews. The children taken in from other families who Papa and Mimi call their own: Sandy Mcintosh (Fred), Rob Greene (Pam), and Chris Way (Pam), and Jennie Tran and their families.
A memorial service will be at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at Liberty Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Dr. John Hart officiating. The Prelude will begin at 2 p.m. Thank you to Rutherford-Corbin Funeral Home, Worthington, for providing the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Community Health Access Program (C.H.A.P.) or Community Health Access Project, Richland Community Service Center, Attn: Dan Wertenberger, 35 North Park Street, Suite 132, Mansfield, Ohio 44902. Or donations may be made to Liberty Presbyterian Church, Attn: Financial Secretary, 7080 Olentangy River Road, Delaware, Ohio 43015. Write "Future Expansion Fund" in the memo line.