|“To serve the present age, my calling to fulfill;
O may it all my powers engage to do my Master’s will.”
The ministry and life of Rev. Wesley Ralph Cain was interrupted by his untimely death on April 28, 1975. Rev. Cain was serving as the Area Provost of the Louisiana Annual Conference. A life of service was the daily goal of this servant of God.
Ralph Cain was a native of Minter City, Mississippi. He lived all his life in a Methodist parsonage. His father, Rev. L. W. Cain, served the church for more than fifty years. In 1945 Ralph married Adona Pfost, the daughter of the late Rev. Howard and Mrs. Pfost. This parsonage family was blessed with four sons: Noel Cain of Houston, Texas; Bruce Cain of Ft. Hood, Texas; Richard Cain of Houston, Texas; and Paul Cain of Ruston. Knowing the importance of the home in God’s plan for this life, Ralph spent time with his family. He loved Adona and together they supported their sons in all the activities of church, school, sports and life. Ralph enjoyed and treasured his family life.
His seminary work was interrupted at Perkins School of Theology when he felt the call to serve as chaplain in the Army during World War II. Ralph was stationed in Norwich, England during the war. After serving his country he completed his seminary work at Boston School of Theology. Rev. Cain completed 10 years in the Army reserves.
Rev. Cain served the following appointments: the Gonzales work, Denham Springs, Winbourne Ave. in Baton Rouge, associate Alexandria First Church, Memorial Church in Monroe, Springhill and Mangum Memorial in Shreveport. He was a faithful and beloved pastor.
He served the Louisiana Conference for five years as conference secretary until he was appointed District Superintendent of the Ruston District. He was chosen by his peers as a reserve delegate to the 1970 Jurisdictional Conference. Ralph accepted the challenge to serve as the first Area Provost of the Louisiana Conference.
Ralph Cain loved people of all ages and this love was returned by all who knew him. Christian adjectives were used to describe him in life as well as in death.
A memorial service was held at the Trinity Church in Ruston. Bishop Finis Crutchfield, Dr. Merlin Merrill, Dr. John Bayliss, Rev. William Shaw and Dr. Marshall Bretz officiated. Members of the Cabinet of the Louisiana Conference served as honorary pallbearers. Bishop Aubrey Walton, fellow ministers and laity joined the family in giving thanks to God for the life and love of Ralph Cain.
Included among the survivors are three daughters-in-law, one granddaughter, five sisters, and a brother, Rev. Jerome Cain.
Wesley Ralph Cain was a child of God who matured through love and service to become a man of God in every sense of the word.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1975; p.177 By Deen Thompson|