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Longtime Port Arthur pastor remembered

Thurman Bartie, former Jefferson County Precinct 8 justice of the peace, described his lifelong friend, the Rev. Ransom Howard Sr. as a “good, Christian man.”

“He was a family man. A preacher bar none. A great pulpiteer, chosen by God. His uncle’s mantle passed down to him.”

He received a call to ministry under the leadership of his late uncle, Dr. Ransom Howard of First Sixth Street Baptist Church in Port Arthur.

Howard died on Feb. 18, according to his obituary.

He was 49.

He was born in Port Arthur on August 26, 1967.

Howard was educated in PAISD schools and graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1985. He attended Prairie View A&M University where he studied political science and pre-law.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Lamar University- Beaumont. He also attended the American Baptist Theological Seminary of American Baptist College, Southeast Texas Extension and received a certificate in Christian Training in 1995 and a diploma in Theology in 1996.

Howard was the vice moderator of the Eastern Progressive Baptist District Association and served on the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation and he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

He led the Rock Island Congregational March to the place of the historical marker recognizing the church as a Texas Historical Landmark on July 22, 2012.

Howard has been married 23 years to his wife, Rhonda, and they have three sons.

Bartie said he was shocked to hear the news Howard had died. He knew he had some health issues, but nobody thought they were that serious.

“We’re asking the community to pray for his wife, his sons, his mother and his church family,” Bartie said.

Services for the Rev. Ransom Howard Sr. will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Rock Island Missionary Baptist Church in Port Arthur. The Kappa Alpha Psi funeral/burial rite will start at 10 a.m. at the church. Viewing will be from 9 a.m. until the service time.

Entombment will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Park under the direction of Gabriel Funeral Home.

David Ball: 409-721-2427