The Rev. Richard L. Crabbs, pastor emeritus at since 2003, died July 26 at age 79.
The Cuyahoga Falls resident was assigned to Northampton as an associate pastor in 1994.
Northampton Youth Pastor Brett Bartels said in an email message that he “had the privilege of working alongside Rich for a number of years before he ‘retired.’ I use the term loosely because he ‘retired’ officially, but still kept on doing the great ministry he’d always done, just for no money after retiring.”
It was his second ministerial stint in Cuyahoga Falls, having served the congregation at from 1981-85.
“I am so blessed to have known him, to have prayed with him, to have worshipped with him and to have been taught by him,” congregant Lori Testa wrote on the church’s Facebook page. “What a gift. You can almost hear the words ‘Well done, My good and faithful servant.’”
Crabbs, a 1953 graduate of Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, was a principal and teacher at Weymouth Elementary School in Medina for a year before beginning his studies for the ministry at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA.
He completed his studies at Garrett Seminary in Evanston, IL, in 1959 and began serving at Sycamore (OH) UM Church. He remained with the Sycamore church for three years after his ordination in June 1961.
From 1964-68, Crabbs served the congregation at Epworth Euclid UM Church in Cleveland.
He served as chaplain at Methodist Hospital and a pastoral counselor at First Presbyterian Church, both in Indianapolis, before becoming chaplain and program director at First Community Village in Columbus in 1970.
Eleven years later, Crabbs founded the East Ohio Conference’s Emmaus Walk and got his first assignment in Cuyahoga Falls. He served at Grace UM in Warren from 1985 until becoming chaplain at the Elyria UM Home in 1990.
In 1993, Crabbs was assigned to Berea UM, which had been his home church while in college. A year later, he returned to Cuyahoga Falls as associate pastor at Northampton.
Survivors include his children, Duane, Loren and Shareen Brown; six grandchildren; and sisters, Gwen Cook and Carolyn Luna. His wife of 57 years, Juliet “Julie,” died Nov. 10, 2010.
Calling hours are 4-8 p.m. Friday, July 29, at Northampton United Methodist Church, 852 W. Bath Road.
Friends also may call at the church from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. memorial services Saturday, July 30.
Donations may be made to South Street Ministries, 130 W. South St., Akron, OH 44311.
Arrangements are by Adams Mason Funeral Home and Crematory of Akron.