Dear First Baptist Nashville Family,
I must inform you of the passing of our dear friend and beloved Minister of Senior Adults and Pastoral Care, Cleatis L. Roach, Jr. (Rus).
Rus demonstrated the most valiant faith and strong fighting spirit, especially over the five years since he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer. All of us have learned from him and admired the way he has continued to serve Christ, family, and church throughout his illness.
October 18, 1987, Rus and his family moved to Nashville from Texas to serve the Lord in our church’s missions ministries. Since then, Rus has served in a variety of ministerial positions-missions, pastoral care, and senior adult to name a few. Every aspect of his ministry with us has contained the common DNA of serving Christ, helping others know Christ, brightening our day with humor and happiness.
Rus grew up in Houston, TX. As a junior in high school, he knew he was called to ministry. He graduated from Baylor University and received a Doctor of Ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was pastor of several churches in Texas including Lone Camp Baptist Church, Palo Pinto, Texas; and Belmont Baptist Church, Abilene, Texas, before being called to First Baptist Nashville where he served loyally for nearly 30 years.
During his First Baptist Nashville ministry, Rus helped thousands of people know God’s love. He wrote and delivered over 1,000 sermons, baptized over 75 people, and performed over 120 weddings and over 200 funerals for families, bringing joy and comfort. Rus was a world-traveler for Christ, leading trips to Rome, Costa Rica, Rio de Janeiro, Russia, the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and Canada, to name a few. Rus always had time for others in need. Celebrate Recovery was a highlight of his ministry as he gave every Friday evening for years, serving adults dealing with life-struggles. His church family loved him deeply because he lived fully and brought everyone he encountered toward Jesus Christ.
You may send condolences and expressions of love to these and other family members:
Mrs. Debbie Roach
Holly, Heather and Hailey
102 Gillette Drive
Franklin, TN 37069
Mrs. Pam Sloan (Rus’s sister)
1936 Edenbridge Way
Nashville, TN 37215
God bless you and thank you for your kindness and many expressions of love,