Andy Thomas Ritchie, Sr.
Biographical Sketch On The Life Of Andy T. Ritchie, Sr.
Andy Thomas Ritchie, Sr., was born June 29, B77, at Ash Flat, Arkansas. He was the son of Jesse and Timy (Walling) Ritchie. He attended school near Ash Flat, Arkansas, in Izard County, and also attended Nashville Bible School in Nashville, Tennessee.
On October 22, 1906, he married Fannie Mae Cobb. To this union were born Andy T. Ritchie, Jr., Jesse Fulton and Francis Sewell.
He began preaching in 1901 at Ash Flat, Arkansas. Only two or three times did he work with a congregation on a full time basis as their regular full time minister. Mostly, his work was evangelistic in nature and his work took him to Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. His pulpit work was largely by Sunday appointment and "protracted" meetings. At Newark, Arkansas, he preached in many meetings. In one of these, he baptized 50 people at one time. Another of his most frequent and successful works was at Hillsboro (Leiper's Fork) in Williamson County, Tennessee. He preached frequently over a long period at the Chapel Avenue church in Nashville, Tennessee.
One time when he returned to his native soil. he was met at the train at Hardy, Arkansas, by one of his brothers. The brother informed him that a man who was drunk had heard that he was coming in and wanted to see him. They decided to dodge the man but were unsuccessful in the attempt. When they met the man, he extended his hand and said, "Don't you remember me? I am one of your converts." Ritchie replied, "You look like a piece of my work. If the Lord had had anything to do with your conversion, you wouldn't be in this condition."
Many who heard him preach will recall his praying. They will also remember that he extended the invitation in these words: "While mercy lingers, truth instructs and Jesus pleads. We sing for your encouragement and while we sing, we wait to welcome you."
In 1906, having given up some of his school work at the Nashville Bible School, he made an unusual trip to the Holy Lands. This was one of the earliest such trips made by members of the church. Within a short time, after his return, his book, "Travels in Bible Lands," was published. He gave lectures on his trip for the remainder of his life.
During the Nashville Bible School days, Ritchie and R. B. Cawthon formed a "David and Jonathan" friendship. They agreed that each would perform the other's marriage ceremony and perform the funerals of each other's children and whichever one survived would conduct the funeral service of the other. Cawthon lived several years after the death of his close friend, and he fulfilled his promise when Ritchie died in 1950.
Survivors included Mrs. Ritchie (who died in 1956), and one son, Andy T. Richie, Jr. The funeral service was conducted by R. B. Cawthon as he and Ritchie had agreed. The funeral was held in Neely's Bend, Madison, Tennessee. The body was taken to Nashville, Tennessee, and buried in the Springhill Cemetery where it lies until the Lord Jesus returns to claim his own.
-In Memoriam, Gussie Lambert, pages 241,242
Nashville Banner, Saturday March 23, 1946, page 5 (Nashville, Tennessee)
Nashville Banner, Saturday, September 9, 1950, page 10 (Nashville, Tennessee)
Nashville Banner, Saturday, September 9, 1950, page 4 (Nashville, Tennessee)
Nashville Banner, Saturday, September 9, 1950, page 1 (Nashville, Tennessee)
Directions To The Grave Of Andy T. Ritchie
A.T Ritchie, Sr. is buried in the Springhill Cemetery in the North East part of Nashville, Tennessee. Specifically the cemetery is in Madison. From Downtown Nashville head north on I-65 north. Take Exit 16a, Briley Parkway, heading east. Go to the second exit, 14b. Gallatin Pike. Turn left and travel north across the bridge and look to your right. You will see Springhill Cemetery. This cemetery is the outpouring of the old Presbyterian Church Cemetery adjacent to the old church where Thomas B. Craighead preached. Travel over the hill and enter the main entrance. After entering head back toward the corner of the cemetery that you saw initially closest to Briley Parkway. This will be the old part of the cemetery. After looking at the pictures below, you may easily be able to locate the Ritchie plot. Not far from the Ritchie plot is the grave of Thomas B. Craighead, an early Presbyterian minister who knew and influence Barton W. Stone. Another point of interest is that the property upon which you stand is a location where B.W. Stone preached in the early years before leaving Presyterianism. Just north of this spot about five miles is Mansker's Station where Stone lived. The old brick house is still standing there, and is said to be the oldest brick house in Tennessee. When standing at this grave, you are standing on a mound steeped in rich history.
Entrance of Cemetery From Gallatin Pike
Perspective Shot Of Ritchie Grave Location - Gallatin Pike In The Distance
See Thomas B. Craighead's Grave From The Ritchie Plot -
Gallatin Pike & Briley Parkway In The Distance