Pastors' Memoirs

Robert Daniel Fridley, 1915-2002

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  John’s Gospel reports, "In my father’s house are many dwelling places." For 35.75 years, Robert Daniel Fridley dwelt in college classrooms and local churches as college teacher and as pastor. For 21 years he lived in retirement. After a long illness, on Dec. 28, 2002, Bob moved to the dwelling place that God has prepared for those who finish the course as faithful servants of Jesus Christ.

  A son of the Rev. Samuel Ford Fridley and Laura Jenkins Fridley, Bob was a native of Augusta Springs, Va. He moved from the home of his parents to complete his preparation for his clergy career at Randolph-Macon College and The Divinity School at Duke University. During a part of his time as a student at Duke, he served as pastor of Fountain Place Methodist Church in Burlington, N.C. Upon completion of his seminary work in 1945, he returned to Virginia and became pastor at Fincastle.

  In 1947, Bob began a four-year period on the faculty of Wofford College as Associate Professor in the Department of Religion. While in that position, he was a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the National Association of Biblical Instructors (NABI). On two occasions, he read research papers at annual meetings of the Southern Section of NABI.

  In 1951, he returned to Virginia and to his career as pastor serving these Virginia churches: Lunenburg Charge, Branch Memorial, Design-Mt. Olivet, Design, Crozet, High Street in Franklin, Westover Hills in Richmond, Main Street in Suffolk, and Huntingdon Court in Roanoke. While serving as pastor, he also served on conference and district agencies including the Conference Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Richmond District Committee on Ministry. He retired in 1981.

  On Feb. 20, 1952, Bob married Louise Triplett who survives him. A faithful pastor and devoted husband, Bob found time to write poetry, and there is a large collection of his unpublished poems. He was a biblical scholar who also studied history and especially enjoyed reading about the Civil War. His personal library was extensive. He was a connoisseur of fine handmade walnut furniture. In retirement, Bob and Louise lived in Franklin until his illness caused them to move to The Hermitage in Richmond in 1997. A graveside service was held at Elk Run Cemetery in Elkton, Va., on Jan. 2, 2003, with his college classmate and longtime friend, Elmer A. Thompson, officiating. On Jan. 9, 2003, Hermitage Chaplain Anita Mays Warner and Mr. Thompson conducted a memorial service at The Hermitage in Richmond.

  This earth has lost a gentleman and a scholar. The heavenly kingdom has gained another United Methodist minister who now knows firsthand what we all know by faith.

— Elmer A. Thompson



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