John C. “Jack” Ward, 78, of Ninevah, was conceived of God and entered this world in New Castle, PA on February 12, 1941, the son of the late Jesse “Jake” and Elizabeth “Betty” (Shelton) Ward. He entered into the eternal arms of his Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh.
On June 10, 1967, he married his sweetheart, the former Carolyn J. (Weaver) Ward, and together God gave them three wonderful children, the late James Ward; Christina “Christy” (Michael) Will of Sanford, NC; and Stephen “Steve” Ward of Jacksonville Beach, FL.
“Jack” as he was known, was a graduated of North Clarion High School, Class of 1959; attended Penn State University; served 4 years in the United States Air Force; completed his college training at Clarion University; and taught at Cranberry High School, before entering Evangelical Seminary and 41 years of pastoral ministry. Jack served congregations in Myerstown, PA; Youngstown, OH (twice); Seneca, PA; Akron, OH; and Cedarville, IL. He also served eight years as Conference Superintendent in the Evangelical Congregational Church.
Jack’s spiritual journey was impacted by his grandfather who read the Bible to him and prayed for him; his wife and father-in-law; two young students at Cranberry; a layman who led a Bible study of 18 teachers; and two other pastors who mentored him in ministry. Jack often said “Never despise your youth nor your role as layman, as your love for the Lord and His Word may have an impact you never imagined.”
Jack’s great love was working with young people. After teaching at Cranberry he was involved at Twin Pines, ECCO and Rock River Bible Camps, while also initiating the YOULEAD program in the denomination, designed to prepare them for Christian leadership. Since his retirement in July of 2010 he continued to work with young people, serving on the Venango-Forest-Clarion Child Evangelism Fellowship Committee and the PA State CEF Board. He taught classes in Bible; Apologetic; America’s Christian Heritage; and Creation Science for the Clarion County Home School Association; and was treasurer at Grace E.C. Church.
Jack believed the unique path the Lord Jesus Christ led him to follow had allowed him to minister to old and young alike, as he blended his love for history, science and the Bible into a firm conviction of God’s creative work in the universe and in himself. Jack was convinced in mind and in heart that science absolutely confirms the Truth of God’s Word; that this is a young earth, created in six days; and that he could trust every word of God’s scripture.
Besides his wife and three children, Jack is survived by four wonderful grandchildren; Emma, Noah, Micah and Elijah Will; a brother Samuel (Lavonne) Ward of Butler, two brothers in law, Douglas (Susan) Weaver of Emlenton and Rick (Ruth Ann) Weaver of Ninevah and two sisters in law Kathy (Crandall) Taylor of Ninevah and Doris (Karl) Shoup of Knox. Also surviving are 12 wonderful nieces and nephews along with 17 great-nieces and nephews.
Along with his son and parents Jack was preceded to the throne of grace by his sister Margreth Ward, sister in law Charlene Weaver and brother in law Larry Weaver.
The family will receive friends from 1 to 3 pm and 6 to 8 pm Sunday at the McEntire-Weaver Funeral Home Inc., 504 East Penn Ave, Knox, and from 10 to 11 am Monday at the Grace EC Church, 2561 Grace Church Road, Knox. Funeral services will be held at 11 am Monday in the church with Rev. Rick Osberg of Grace EC Church officiating. Interment will follow at the Starr Cemetery in Knox.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial donations be made to the VFC Chapter, Child Evangelism Fellowship, 170 Carnes School Road, Cranberry PA 16319.
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