16 January 2024 |
A summary of an obituary for Dale Ratzlaff, posted by Proclamation! Magazine and Life Assurance Ministries, Inc:
Dale Ratzlaff, a prominent figure known for his critical examination of Seventh-day Adventism and his dedication to teaching the biblical gospel, passed away on January 5, 2024. Born to Mennonite/Adventist parents in Shafter, California, on September 14, 1936, Ratzlaff’s journey was shaped by personal challenges and a relentless pursuit of religious truth.
Ratzlaff’s early life was marked by adversity, including the death of his father and financial struggles. Despite these hardships, he maintained a strong work ethic and deep religious conviction. He met his lifelong companion, Carolyn Mundall, during his childhood, a relationship that would profoundly influence his life and work.
Ratzlaff’s educational journey took him through Adventist institutions, where he excelled in theological studies. However, his time at Pacific Union College and later at Andrews Theological Seminary was pivotal, as he began to question the doctrinal tenets of Adventism, particularly the investigative judgment and the writings of Ellen White.
These doubts culminated in Ratzlaff’s departure from the Adventist Church. His integrity and commitment to biblical truth led him to resign from his pastoral position, a decision that brought both challenges and a sense of liberation. Alongside Carolyn, he embarked on a mission to study the Bible without the influence of Ellen White, leading to the publication of several influential books.
Ratzlaff’s ministry expanded beyond the Adventist Church. He served as a pastor in Arizona and founded Life Assurance Ministries, Inc, in 2000, along with Proclamation! magazine, dedicated to exploring biblical teachings and critiquing Adventist doctrines. His writing portfolio grew with titles like “The Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists” and “Gospel Transformation—What the Good News Does in Your Life.”
His work, marked by a commitment to biblical truth and integrity, has significantly influenced many Adventists. Ratzlaff’s teachings have been instrumental in guiding many towards a re-examination of their beliefs and a deeper understanding of the Christian faith.
Dale Ratzlaff’s legacy extends beyond his theological contributions. He leaves behind his wife, Carolyn, two sons, Bruce and Mike, their families, and a great-grandchild on the way.
In his final days, Ratzlaff’s gratitude towards those who supported his ministry was evident. His life’s work, underscored by the belief that “Truth can bear the test of investigation,” remains a testament to his dedication to questioning and critical thinking.
Memorial Service Information:
March 2, 2024 at 11:00 AM
Redeemer Fellowship at 24711 Redlands Blvd, Ste. K, Loma Linda, CA 92354
Mailing Address (For Contact with Family, Memorials):
Life Assurance Ministries at PO Box 7776, Redlands, CA 92375