Nathaniel Ruffin

Obituary
6 entries
  • "I have always treasured the time you took with us at VVHS -..."
    - Nicole Barnard
  • "My prayers are with his family (class of 84)"
    - Troy Woodbury
  • "My prayers are with family during this time of grief. ..."
    - Barbara Green
  • "I'm writing all the way from Afghanistan to send my..."
    - Eddie Coles
  • "Nate Ruffin was a thought-provoking counselor,(class of..."
    - Samela Smith-Parra
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For 75 years He watched the sun rise in the morning and set at the end of the day, only to rise again the next morning. He looked around at flowers blooming in the spring and sleeping in the fall, only to burst forth from the earth again after the cold harshness of winter's touch has gone. He has seen children awaken and observed elders fall asleep. He has marveled contemplatively at how we each have our appointed time to come and our appointed time to leave.
September 19, 1934 in Cincinnati, OH was His time to come and November 19, 2009 at St. Mary's Medical Center in Victorville, CA. was Bishop Nathaniel Ruffin's time to leave. He had a loving family who was always there, holding His hand and praying to God for his comfort. He lived a full and fruitful life, He was truly blessed.
He had a lot of experiences when He was "of the world" which better prepared Him for what God had in mind for His life. As He continued his assignment in the military service, God called Him into the ministry and He submitted and joined the U. S. Navy in 1952, during the Korean War. A few years later He transferred to the U. S. Air Force where He decided to make a career of serving His country. Serving as a Military Policeman He earned Staff Sergeant status. This provided the opportunity to travel to many countries such as Germany and Greenland. As an instrument of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He pledged to do the work of He who sent Him. He received His Certificate of Ordination October 3, 1971 from the St. Paul Baptist Church in San Antonio, TX.
In the early 1970's, while visiting His family in Cincinnati, His mother introduced Him to a beautiful woman by the name of Marie Parham Smith, who would later become His dedicated and faithful wife. In 1972, after His marriage to Marie, they moved from Cincinnati to Victorville, where together they continued the mission of public service. After a short stay at George AFB, they purchased a home in Victorville.
Bishop Nathaniel Ruffin has been referred to as an educator: scriptural educator, academic educator and cultural educator as well as being highly civically engaged. Spiritually, serving as Pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church in Victorville from 1974 until 1981 at which time God lead him to found and Pastor the Spirit of Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. Here, scripturally He ministered and taught every Sunday from the pulpit and throughout the week in accordance with God's Word as His obligation to God the Father, Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit dictates.
Outside of the religious realm, academically, He was a counselor at the high school level, an instructor at the college level and a trustee at the higher education governing level. He served as head counselor at Victor Valley Senior High School. In addition, to enhance student viability, He founded the Black Student Union at Victor Valley Senior High School. He was also president of the Victor Valley Teachers' Association. In the collegiate framework, at the University of LaVerne in CA, He was a part time lecturer on counseling; and taught Ethnic Studies at Victor Valley Community College where he was subsequently selected and served on the board of trustees.
Culturally, politically, and economically, through Christ who strengthened him, Bishop Ruffin made inroads in a variety of ways. Past president and lifetime member of Victor Valley NAACP, an associate member of the National Council of Negro Women, and a member of the High Desert Masonic Lodge #107. To better serve our community and expand our consciousness, He founded the High Desert Black Heritage Committee (HDBHC) through which they promoted positive contributions of African-Americans. Bishop Ruffin had the pleasure of founding what became annual city-wide programs to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. Moreover, He conceived what grew into annual community-wide Juneteenth celebrations in recognition of our ancestors and their flight to freedom.
Bishop Ruffin leaves a dedicated wife, Marie, devoted children: Rev. Obadiah Jr. (Lesa) Smith, of Anderson, IN; Darryl Smith, of Victorville, CA; Arlene Smith, of Va. Beach, VA; and his youngest, Zaneta Ruffin who resides in Xenia, OH.
Please remember, He is not gone, When the appointed time came, He reached out for another life and was transformed by it. He will be greatly missed by family, parishioners, colleagues, and friends.
Visitation will be on Friday 3pm to 7pm at Spirit of Christ Tabernacle Church, 17111 Stoddard Wells Rd in Victorville, with a Wake Service from 7pm to 8pm. Homegoing Services will be 10:30 on Saturday, at Emmanuel Temple CME Church, 17288 Stoddard Wells Road in Victorville. Burial will be at Desert View Memorial Park. Professional Services have been entrusted to Hall Memorial Chapel, 14444 seventh St in Victorville.
bullet Korean War bullet U.S. Air Force bullet U.S. Navy