Pastors' Memoirs

Philip Randolph 'Randy' Rilee, Sr., 1936-2002

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  Philip Randolph "Randy" Rilee Sr. was born on Aug. 5, 1936, to Allan and Sarah Rilee of Glenns, Va. Growing up, he and his family were members of New Hope United Methodist Church in Glenns where he used his musical talents to play the piano and organ. Randy was raised on a farm and learned at a young age the value and rewards of hard work and dedication. As he got older he also helped his father with the family sawmill business. He graduated from Middlesex High School in 1954 and went on to attend Richmond Polytechnic Institute (RPI; now Virginia Commonwealth University) and was studying to become a social worker. This was a tough time in his life as illness struck and after a long period of sickness and recovery, Randy realized that his calling in life was to become a minister. He graduated from RPI and began work at the United Methodist Children’s Home in Richmond, Va. While in Richmond, he married his wife and "rock" of 42 years, Jane. Together, they raised three boys: Phil Jr., Jim, and Doug. As Randy pursued a life of ministry, he attended Duke University’s Course of Study and began serving the Lord as a minister.

  He began his career at the West Buckingham Charge, Buckingham, in 1961. He continued his 43 years of ministry with service at the East Halifax Charge, Chatham Heights in Martinsville, Bellamy in Gloucester, Lawrenceville, Woodstock, Asbury Memorial in Chesterfield, and Tappahannock Memorial.

  During his ministry, Randy used his talent for getting the many gifted parishioners to serve the church. His tireless commitment and drive to help the church grow both spiritually and in size evidenced his dedication to the ministry. An example of this was his love of visitation and the many hours he spent ministering to the sick and needy as well as going into the community to visit with families searching for a place to worship and get involved. Randy would find time to get involved in all of the activities of the church, whether it was with the men’s group or the youth group. He always seemed to have his finger on the pulse of the congregation and with God’s help, provided guidance and direction to the churches that he served.

  In 1997, Randy went on disability leave and they moved to Urbanna where he continued to serve the Lord as Pastor Emeritus in Urbanna Church with visitation and assisting in the worship service. No matter how he was feeling or how tough things were becoming, Randy always had a cheerful smile and kept his head high with a positive outlook.

  Christ touched Randy’s life in many ways and worked through him in his ministry as he touched the lives of all of us who were blessed to know him.

— Phil Rilee, son



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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
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