29 Jun 2023

In Loving Memory of John Ritenbaugh

On Pentecost of this year (May 28th), John W. Ritenbaugh, Founder and Pastor Emeritus of Church of the Great God (CGG), passed away after a nine-month decline due to a severe stroke and worsening dementia. He was 90 years old. John was a long-time minister in the Church of God community and will be missed. Please keep the Ritenbaugh family and all of the CGG brethren in your prayers.

John is survived by six of his seven children, twenty grandchildren, and twenty-nine great-grandchildren.

From CGG website:

John and his wife Evelyn were baptized into God’s church in September 1959 in the then-Radio Church of God’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, congregation. He quickly involved himself in church activities and leadership and was ordained as an elder during the Feast of Unleavened Bread in 1966. Two years later, he and the family moved to Pasadena, California, so he could take Bible classes at Ambassador College before being sent out as a minister. He was assigned to assist the pastor of the Norwalk, California, congregation. At the 1969 Feast of Tabernacles, he was ordained a preaching elder and took over pastoring in Norwalk during a period of astounding church growth.

In 1975, he and the family were transferred to Columbia, South Carolina, where he also pastored the Walterboro, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia, congregations. He was ordained as a pastor at the Feast of Tabernacles in 1982. The next January, he was sent to Hammond, Indiana, to pastor the Chicago Southeast church and later, the Park Forest and Hinsdale, Illinois, and Michigan City, Indiana, congregations. In 1986, another transfer returned them to 

Southern California to pastor the Glendale and North Hollywood churches. He also spent several months leading the Auditorium AM congregation in Pasadena. In 1991, the church sent him to what was supposed to be his eventual retirement destination, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Because of the extensive doctrinal changes in the Worldwide Church of God, John left that organization in January 1992, forming CGG in Charlotte. 


Cards may be sent to:

c/o Church of the Great God
10409 Barberville Rd
Fort Mill, SC 29707