The Rucker Family
Serving in United States
Father David was born in Kentucky, the fourth generation son of Methodist ministers and missionaries. He attended Asbury College in Kentucky earning a BA in Education and Missions. While attending college he spent a summer doing missionary work in Colombia, SA, where he met Rozanne, the daughter of missionaries to Brazil. They were married and following a year of pastoral ministry they entered into career missionary service with a Protestant organization which specialized in planting churches and seminaries around the world. Their thirteen years of missionary service would take them to Japan and China. During that time Fr. David also completed an MDiv degree from Asbury Seminary.
It was while serving in China that the Ruckers began to learn about the Orthodox Church. Fr. David was involved in theological education of Chinese church leaders. In Father’s own words, “They were asking questions we never asked as Protestants, and I was not satisfied with my answers.” Fr. David and Rozanne turned to Orthodox history and doctrine to help the Chinese make the Gospel truly “good news.” What began as academic research ended up leading them into life-giving relationships with men and women in the Orthodox Church. “I discovered a gold-mine largely untapped for the Chinese people. To our surprise, the Orthodox Church not only made the Gospel truly ‘good news’ for the Chinese—it transformed it into ‘good news’ for us. We discovered fullness historically and theologically, and a community where we could begin to live what we truly believed. We found the Church.”
The Ruckers returned to Kentucky from China in 1993. Fr. David began doctoral studies in Missiology and Rozanne finished a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Kentucky. They were Chrismated in the Evangelical Orthodox Church in 1995 and planted a mission parish in Nicholasville, KY, which was received into the Orthodox Church in America in February 2002. Fr. David was ordained to the Priesthood that year. The Ruckers continued serving the parish they founded until December 2006, when Fr. David was asked to become the Associate Director of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center in St. Augustine, FL. In 2013 the Ruckers became Mission Specialists, participating in the training of clergy for 40,000 new Orthodox Christians in 100 churches in Guatemala and Mexico. In 2015 they joined the faculty of St. Herman Theological Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska. When not in Alaska or Central America, they teach and speak in parishes and conferences across the USA, for the edification of the local parish.
Rozanne is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and certified teacher. They have three children and a “son-in-marriage”, Lauren and her husband Wesley, currently enrolled at SVOTS; Ethan, engaged to Marissa Koranda, doing graduate work at Loyola in Chicago; and Andrew, enrolled at St. John’s River State College. Lauren and Wes made the Rucker’s grandparents in September 2012 with the birth of James. Hobbies include water sports and long walks together on the beach.