Dr. Randall Ruble

Dr. Randall Tucker Ruble

April 15, 1932 - February 22, 2021
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Randall Tucker Ruble, longtime minister and former president of Erskine College, died February 22, 2021 surrounded by family.

Dr. Ruble was born on April 15, 1932, the fourth of five children of William C. and Carrie Conner Ruble. He grew up in Lexington, VA, and graduated high school near Philadelphia.

Upon graduation from high school, Dr. Ruble enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving in the Korean Conflict. He moved to South Carolina to attend Erskine College on the GI Bill, and graduated with honors in three years. Upon graduation, he then earned Master’s degrees from Erskine and Princeton Theological seminaries, and in 1964, the Doctor of Philosophy degree from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

He returned in 1965 to begin a long and productive career as an educator at Erskine College and Seminary. He did post-doctoral studies at Harvard University and the ATS Institute for Theological Management at West Point.

Dr. Ruble taught at Erskine for 45 years, first as a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, later as Dean of the Seminary, and finally as president from 2006-2010. He was named President Emeritus upon retirement. Throughout his tenure, he focused on students, faculty, staff, and alumni. He developed a reputation for encouraging all but especially those who, like him, were first-generation college attendees from modest upbringing. While in college, Dr. Ruble was welcomed into professors’ homes because he had nowhere to go on holidays. He, in turn, regularly welcomed students in the Ruble home for holiday meals.

Dr. Ruble served in many ways. As a minister, he was ordained in 1961, and pastored Abbeville and Mount Carmel ARP churches from 1967 to 2010, with a brief three-year break to serve as chaplain at Erskine College. He preached across the ARP denomination during his career and served as moderator of the ARP Synod, chair of the Presbyterian Council on Chaplains and Military Personnel, and president of the Association of Seminary Presidents of the National Association of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches. He served as chair of many accreditation committees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities and the Association of Theological Schools. As a major contribution to the church, he edited the Bicentennial History of the ARP Church.

Dr. Ruble chaired numerous civic groups including the Abbeville Lions Club, the Abbeville Heart Association, the Abbeville Rotary Club, the Christian Prison Ministries Board and Abbeville First Steps. He also helped found the Due West Rescue Squad and served on Due West Town Council.

Above all, Dr. Ruble loved family and friends. He organized family reunions for the Ruble family in Lexington, VA, and annual beach trips to Isle of Palms. He took his family camping across the U.S. and Canada, and traveled extensively with family in retirement.

He was an accomplished runner and loved all sports, but especially Erskine Athletics. He regularly welcomed Erskine sports teams to his home and those teams, in turn, adopted him as their favorite fan.

In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by two brothers, Bill and Ben, and a sister, Marjorie.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Martha Grant (Molly), two sons, John (Holly) of Orlando, FL, Jeffrey (Cathy) of Columbia, a daughter, Ellen (Mike) of Tucson, AZ, and a brother, Richard (Anne), of Siloam Springs, AR. Grandchildren are Grant and Carter Ruble, Meghan Hall and her husband Trevor Hall, Tucker Ruble, and Flannery and Liam Lindeman. Great-grandchildren are Owen and twins Mary Oliver and George Hall.

Due to the pandemic, a graveside service will be held for immediate family. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Dr. Ruble helped establish Reach the Children of Rwanda, a ministry in Rwanda, Africa, led by Benjamin Musuhuyke, a graduate of Erskine Seminary and a survivor of the 1994 Rwanda holocaust. This ministry was dear to his heart, and those wanting to provide memorial gifts may contribute to the Ruble Scholarship at Reach the Children of Rwanda, PO Box 423, Due West, SC 29639. The Rubles also established scholarships at Erskine College and Seminary, PO Box 338, Due West, SC 29639.

A message of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting

Harris Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Abbeville is assisting the Ruble family.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Due West ARP Church Cemetery


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Private Condolence
Matt and Meghan Hollingsworth, Your Marriott Family and Friends., and other have sent flowers to the family of Dr. Randall Tucker Ruble.
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Rob & Leslie Flaherty

Posted at 10:27am
Sending thoughts and comfort to the Ruble family

10 trees were planted in the memory of Dr. Randall Ruble

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Trudi Estes

Posted at 09:17pm
I was saddened to learn of Dr. Ruble's death. I first got to know him in high school when he would come into my Dad's Western Auto. When he was pastoring the Abbeville ARP Church, I occasionally played the organ and benefitted from his wonderful sermons. When I would visit my mother at the Due West Retirement Center in the early 2000's, I would see Dr. Ruble walking/jogging through the community. It was always a pleasure to catch up with him there. My prayers are with his family as you remember him with love and celebrate the well-lived life of this Godly gentleman.

Trudi Price Estes, Marietta GA

John McAllister

Posted at 05:55pm
Dr. Randy Ruble was the most Christ like person I have ever known. He and his wife Molly have been with me and my family in life and death. He ministered to my family when members of Mount Carmel-Abbeville ARP Church. Baptized my daughters Anne Leigh and Sarah Elizabeth, married my sister Cathy to Cal and brother Wes to Angel. He married Carolyn Matthews and me and then married our daughter Austin to Collin. I served as an Elder along with my father in The Church and we were taught by a master. He officiated my father and mother's funeral. Pictured here is my father John A. McAllister with Dr. Ruble discussing important matters in the parking lot of The Church on Vienna Street in Abbeville, SC. Dr. Ruble’s sermons and words of encouragement will be with me forever.

Edward Mburu

Posted at 01:00pm
He was a real mentor to me the time i studied at Erskine Theological Seminary.(2007-2009). A selfess servant. Rev. Edward Mburu. ( Kenya)

The Yavinsky Family

Posted at 11:12pm
I would hope this tree has the lasting impact that Dr Randall Ruble had on the family, friends and students that he touched.
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