Richard Ellis Fuqua

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Image of Richard Ellis Fuqua, and his wife, Rena Wooster Fuqua.

This minister of the Gospel began his ministry among the people often called the Hardshell Baptists. After continuing with the United Baptists for some time he began to pastor Missionary Baptist Churches and soon cast his lot among them. We are not informed as to the exact date of the birth of our subject. It must have been near the year 1870. His place of birth was near Whitesville, Daviess County, Kentucky. He is the son of R. B. and Rebecca Ellis Fuqua. His mother was a niece of Elders J P. and H. H. Ellis who were pioneer Baptist preachers in this section.

Our brother had scant opportunities to secure an education but by close application has become a student of no mean ability in the Word of God. For several years he followed the occupation of farming before the Lord called him into His ministry. He attributes his conversion, which took place on August 3, 1894, to the fine Christian influences and prayers of his wife. Soon after his conversion he united with the Sugar Grove Baptist Church in Ohio County and was baptized by Elder F. D. Baughn. By this Church, he was licensed to preach in June, 1897, and was ordained in 1898 by Elders F. D. Baughn, J. H. Sapp, and G. M. Guy.

His first pastorates were at New Zion and Little Zion in the old Panther Creek United Baptist Association. At that time there were twenty-eight Churches in that Association. Most of these Churches soon united with Missionary Baptist Associations and our subject has been serving among Missionary Baptist Churches to the present time. In the last forty years he has served the following Churches: Adaburg, Barnett's Creek, Bell's Run, Cane Run, Central Grove, Concord, Cool Springs, Horse Branch, Huff's Creek, Mt. Carmel, New Panther Creek, Olaton, Pleasant Hill, Rockport, Pond Run, Rosine, Slaty Creek, Small House, Walton's Creek, and Zion, all in the Ohio County Association; Macedonia in Goshen Association; West Point and Friendly Grove in Blackford Association; Red Hill and Island in Daviess-McLean Association; and New Cypress and Graham in Muhlenberg County Association. He served 19 years at Barnett's Creek, 9 years at Adaburg, Horse Branch, and Island, and 8 years at Red Hill and Central Grove. Up until the last few years he has pastored from four to six Churches each year with the exception of half-time work at Island. His pastorates were never less than three years at any one place. In that time he has conducted about 1,200 funerals, baptized about 1,500 persons, and has witnessed about 2,000 conversions. This  is indeed a record for a man who has had very little educational opportunities. He has put his whole heart into his work and God has abundantly rewarded his faithful ministry.

Brother Fuqua was married to Miss Rena Wooster, daughter of J. W. and Emma Wooster, on September 15, 1891. She has been a constant source of inspiration to him throughout his ministry. Two sons and one daughter blessed this union. Their family life has been ideal. The following young men felt called of God to preach under the ministry of Brother Fuqua: Hondy Westerfield, M. G. Snell, Oscar Ashby, Harry McCormick, Hobart Chissom, W. T. Lawrence, and Lonnie Taylor. Some of them have been ordained while others have not. For over twenty-five years he has been a member of the Ohio County Association Mission Board. He also preached the annual sermon before that body on one occasion. We cannot help but thank God for the life and ministry of Richard Ellis Fuqua. He has a sense of humor that has won him many friends throughout the years.

Source: A History of the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association in Kentucky, 1844-1943. Wendell H. Rone, Messenger Job Printing Co., Inc., Owensboro, Kentucky, 1944.