Mr. Grady Frank Rittenberry
VALLEY — Grady Frank Rittenberry, 68, left this life to meet our Lord Jesus Christ on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Known as Brother Frank to most people, he was a minister of the Disciples of Christ since 1983 and since 1965 for the Churches of Christ.
He started preaching at the age of 16 in Hohenwald, Tennessee and would travel to country churches and preach while his best friend Terry Warren led congregational singing. Frank preached at more than 13 congregations in the Hohenwald area while in high school and college. He received his Bachelors in social work and his Masters of Divinity. After graduating from Freed Hardeman University in 1969 and David Lipscomb University in 1972 he worked a short time in the automotive field before accepting a full-time church in Englewood, Fla. Through 1982, he served as full-time minister to congregations in Florida, Newnan, Ga. and then Evergreen, Ala.
In 1983, he and his wife Margie were married and moved to Tallassee, Ala., where he would serve as the minister at Macedonia Christian Church for the next 15 years. Becoming bi-vocational at that time, he also began a 20+ year-long career in the insurance field, where he took pride in offering his customers quality health and life policies, and for a time operated his own agency specializing in property and casualty services in Montgomery. During this time he continued his work at Macedonia and within the Disciples of Christ regional activities.
After a short break, he began serving as pastor at River View Christian Church in 2000, and Valley soon became his and Margie’s adopted home. He first served at River View from 2000 to 2008, during which time he also worked as a social worker in various nearby counties, as well as a chaplain for the Valley Police Department from 2004-2008. In December 2008 he and Margie, briefly accepted a ministry position in Humboldt, Tenn. but gladly returned home in 2012 to the church and community they loved at River View Christian Church in Valley.
During all of his years preaching at both Macedonia and River View, he has remained active within the Alabama Northwest Florida Region of the Disciples of Christ, and has served in various positions through the years, including District 3 president and regional board member. He played a role in many positions involving church work and the insurance field.
From a young age, Frank’s life was defined by his desire to serve God and his community, as well as his dedication to his family. As a preacher, social worker, insurance agent, and devoted husband and father, he was a man of many incredible talents who spent every day serving others, loving the Lord and sharing God’s word. He took great joy in eating breakfast with his friends at McDonald’s each day. He also loved eating out, shopping, and going on trips with family and spending any time he could with the many friends he made throughout his ministry. He will be missed by all.
He leaves behind his loving wife of 35 years, Margie Rittenberry; a son, Gregory Tatum (Nancy); a daughter, Meredith Zeh (Robert); three grandchildren, Dakota Tatum, Kayleigh Tatum, Luowenqi Tatum and his loving cat, Meko.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 at 11 a.m. EDT at the First Christian Church of River View. His family received friends at the Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley Monday evening from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. EDT.
Please visit his Memorial Tribute page at www.johnsonbrownservicefh.com to leave a condolence for his family, share a memory of Reverend Frank, or to light a Remembrance Candle in his memory.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is directing.