Richard A. Wiedenheft was born April 15, 1946 in Chicago, Illinois and died March 23, 2007 at his home near Lake Winola, Pennsylvania. Raised on a farm and in a strong Lutheran home, he early learned the values of Christian faith and hard work.
He graduated from Ambassador College in Pasadena, California in 1967, and then served the Worldwide Church of
God as pastor in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. While in New York City, he met Darlene Dietz and married her in 1968; they had two children, Dick (married to Anne)—a pastor near Vancouver, B.C., and Marlene (Mrs. Sam Succaw), and three grandchildren.
In 1974 Richard launched an independent Christian ministry serving scattered brethren across northeast U.S. through Sabbath services in various locations, and through his publication of “Focus on Truth.” As his fellowship broadened, his articles began to appear in the Bible Advocate magazine. During the 1980’s, he served the Bible Sabbath Association as executive secretary and editor of its Sabbath Sentinel magazine. He also earned a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Scranton. In addition to serving in gospel ministries, he supported his family through building and home construction.
From 1990-97, Richard served as business manager, director, principal and teacher at Spring Vale Academy near Owosso, Michigan. From there he returned to the Chicago area to be near his aging parents, and was employed at Albany Molecular Research while also preaching and teaching in the area. After both parents died, Richard and Darlene returned to their beloved hilltop acreage and home in northeastern Pennsylvania.
From early 2005 until his death, Richard served as a staff writer for the Bible Advocate Press, as a lead instructor for Ministries Training System, and as Superintendent of the Northeastern District. He and Darlene were away most weekends, visiting the thirty+ congregations and home groups scattered from Michigan to Virginia to Massachusetts. At home, his computer, telephone, and his library were busy in the service of the gospel and his brethren many hours every day.
He was buried near his home, and services for family and nearby friends were held on March 30 with Bruce Chesney and Calvin Burrell officiating. A second memorial with Whaid Rose officiating was held for the regional Church on April 28 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania—a congregation he had often served.
Elder Wiedenheft’s service in the Church of God (Seventh Day), though short, was greatly appreciated and admired both by colleagues and by those he served. He may have accomplished more in his sixty years than most folks who live much longer.
Written by Calvin Burrell
Taken from The Sabbath Sentinel