PC mourns the loss of professor emeritus Dr. George Ramsey
One of Presbyterian College’s most beloved professors – the Rev. Dr. George Ramsey – passed away on Nov. 7, 2021, at the age of 83.
The Kristen Herrington Professor Emeritus of Bible began his illustrious 37-year career at PC in 1968 and was a well-known teacher, mentor, and author. Countless alumni were the beneficiaries of his introduction to Old and New Testament classes. More people benefitted from his gracious wisdom and good humor. He will forever be remembered by his students and peers as a faithful attendee to Winter Conference in Montreat, N.C., and for his prowess on the volleyball court.
A tremendous educator, Ramsey was named PC’s Professor of the Year in 1975 and Outstanding Professor of the Year in 1990.
Dr. Bob Bryant, who succeeded Ramsey as the Herrington Professor of Bible, said it is hard to adequately describe the many ways Ramsey enriched those around him. Nonetheless, Bryant described his friend and colleague as a “child of God, faithful husband, loving father, caring pastor, dedicated citizen, vigorous scholar, inspiring teacher, wise counselor, celebrated author, humble colleague, effective leader, truthful mentor, caring servant, honest fisherman, dear friend.”
Bryant said God’s blessings “flowed freely and abundantly” through Ramsey and to every person or group he met.
“He was not just a master teacher of the Bible, he was mastered by the loving God it proclaims,” he said. “Indeed, if a legacy is a gift of great value that is passed from one person to another, then God has surely blessed a great many people with a legacy of faithfulness through their relations with George.
“I think it is clear to all who knew him that he embraced God’s love for himself and for everyone – for the whole world – and he carried God’s love happily and ably to others wherever he was. He epitomizes for me a life well lived in Christlike service for others. He has been and ever will be for me an abiding source of encouragement for faithfulness and the model Christian scholar and teacher. I’ll always give God thanks for my relationship with George and the great blessing he is.”
A native of Prescott, Ark., Ramsey was an ordained Presbyterian minister and was the son of and father to Presbyterian ministers. His academic specialties included the Old Testament, literary criticism of the Bible, world religions, and Biblical Hebrews. In addition to teaching at PC, he taught in numerous local churches, presbytery and synod workshops, and conferences.
Ramsey was a prolific author. In 1981, he wrote The Quest for the Historical Israel, which challenged methods of interpreting the Old Testament. A frequent contributor to the Presbyterian Outlook, he wrote for the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, the Journal of Biblical Literature, and Presbyterian Survey.
He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Davidson College and a bachelor of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary. He earned both his master’s degree and doctorate from Princeton University.
Ramsey is survived by his wife, Ellen, and son, the Rev. Dr. Scott Ramsey. Scott and his wife, the Rev. Dr. Laura Cunningham, have two children – Will and Ginny.
A Service of Witness of the Resurrection for Ramsey will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20. The service will be livestreamed at www.youtube.com/davidsoncollegepresbyterianchurch.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of George Ramsey made be made to: The Pines at Davidson Chaplaincy Fund, Montreat Presbyterian Church, Montreat Conference Center Office of Development or the advancement office at PC.