Pastor Ted Christman, man of God, devoted family man, and lover of mankind, finished his race and was called home to his God and Savior on Monday, February 4, 2019. He was 73. Pastor Ted, “PT” to many, served his Lord faithfully, having taught Sunday School and ministering at the Lord’s table the day before he was called home. Born January 2, 1946, in Grand Rapids, MI, a child of the late Theodore and Zelpha Younts Christman, he enrolled at Bob Jones University where he met his wife Dianne during the first week of class. Following graduation, he enrolled at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary from which he earned his Master of Divinity degree. While there, he served as the Dean of Men and coached the soccer team. In 1973, he was asked by friends and called by God to plant a church in Owensboro. He began a pastorate that extended through 46 years with the same church. First meeting in homes, then at Kentucky Wesleyan College, Heritage Baptist Church found a permanent home on Thruston-Dermont Road.
Pastor Ted had an electric personality. So many apt descriptions could characterize his life. He was a genuine worshiper, rigorous scholar, spiritual father and grandfather, encourager, counselor, possessor of an evangelistic heart, caring shepherd, approachable, influencer, healer of fractured relationships. An inveterate practical joker, his life was filled with humor. PT had a vibrant relationship with Christ, one which allowed him to share it with others in edifying and sometimes hilarious ways. His heart was committed to those on the fringe, never missing a moment to uplift and share his faith in Christ.
Pastor Ted led a multi-faceted ministry. He founded Heritage Christian School and the Midwest Center for Theological Studies. He authored the book “Forbid Them Not” and at the time of his home going was well into the writing of a book on Acts and Proverbs. Pastor Ted was actively involved in his community, having served on the board of directors of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, as a member of the Daviess County High School Site Based Council, and a coach of youth athletics. He hosted a radio program and a television program “God’s 5 Minutes”, and led numerous community-wide Bible studies as part of his pastoral outreach. His commitment to his fellow ministers resulted in his creation of The Pastor’s Fellowship, a group of more than 30 area pastors who met regularly.
In addition to his parents, Pastor Ted was preceded in death in 2012 by his grandson Ezra Kline.
Those left to honor and cherish his memory include his wife of 47 years, Dianne Nelms Christman; his children, Rebekah Kline and her husband Justin, of Owensboro, and Jonathan Christman and his wife Tina, of Houston; his grandchildren Eliza Kline, Jersie Kline, Judah Christman, Ezra Kline, Aaryan Christman, Amos Kline, and Lazarus Kline; his sisters Virginia VanderVall and her husband Marvin, and Gerry Thornton and her husband Jack, all of Grand Rapids; and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Pastor Ted will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Owensboro Christian Church. Visitation for Pastor Christman will be from 2:00 until 8:00 p.m. Friday at Heritage Baptist Church and from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Owensboro Christian Church. A private service of committal and burial will be in the Bethabara Baptist Church Cemetery. Memories and messages of condolence for the family of Pastor Ted Christman may be shared at www.glenncares.com.