The Rucker Missionary Family
Serving in Guatemala
Fr. David was born in Kentucky, the fourth genera-tion son of Methodist ministers and missionaries. He at-tended Asbury College in Kentucky earning a B.A. in Ed-ucation and Missions. While attending college he spent a summer doing missionary work in Colombia, South America, where he met Rozanne Wolff, the daughter of missionaries to Brazil. They were married and after 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 from Asbury Theological Seminary.
While serving in China the Ruckers began to learn about the Orthodox Church. Fr. David was involved in the theological education of church leaders and noted that, "The Chinese 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. "We 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 historical-ly and theologically, and a community where we could begin to live what we truly believed. We found the Church."
The Ruckers returned to Kentucky in 1993. Fr. David began doctoral studies in Missiolo-gy 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 which was received into the Orthodox Church in America in February 2002. Fr. David was ordained to the Priesthood in June of that same year. The Ruckers continued serving the parish they helped to found, St. Athanasius Church, in Nicholasville, Kentucky until De-cember 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, realizing a goal to return to missionary service when their last child went to college. They are currently assisting in the training of leadership for 40,000 new Orthodox Christians in over 100 new churches in Guatemala and southern Mexico. When not in Central America, they teach and speak in parishes and conferences across the USA, for the edification of local parishes.
Rozanne is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and certified teacher. The Ruckers have three children (Lauren, Ethan and Andrew) and a "son-in-marriage" (Wesley Pulley). Lauren and Wes made the Ruckers grandparents in September 2012 with the birth of James. Hobbies include water sports and long walks together.