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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Reverend Vernual Ridgeway

Reverend Vernual Ridgeway went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Sunday, March 12, 2023. He was born July 10th, 1927, in Abbott, Arkansas. He was united in marriage to Mattie Vineyard in 1945 and they were married for 75 years and 4 months at her time of death. In that same year, he joined the Army and served in the occupation of Japan at the end of World War II.

 He surrendered to the ministry in 1956 and pastored Baptist churches in Pilot View, Bates, Two Mile and Hatfield Arkansas, in Whitesboro and Shady Point, Oklahoma, and in Detroit, Texas. He pastored at the Board Camp Baptist church for 22 years before retiring from the full-time ministry and then supplied at various churches in the association. He picked up his first guitar at the age of 14 and taught himself how to play. He played with a band in the early 1940’s on Radio Station KWHN in Ft Smith, AR. After retirement, he played with a group of senior adults in Hatfield and they had a band called Ridgy’s bunch. They played at churches and various nursing homes and senior centers in Polk County.

 Vernual was an active Pastor for the Ouachita Baptist Association and was Moderator for 5 years, Chairman of the camp committee, and Director of the adult camps for 10 years. He was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the Ouachita Baptist Campgrounds.

 He loved mountains, hunting, and fishing, but most of all he loved the Lord, his family, friends and church congregations.

 Preceding him in death is his wife, Mattie Vineyard Ridgeway, his parents Dave and Della Ridgeway, his sister Ileze (Elzie) Dodge, Brother David (Juanita) Ridgeway, niece Barbara (Charles) Cusick, niece Sharon Smith, niece Sharla Englebright and nephew-in-law Curly Martin. Sisters-in-law Ruth (James) Watson, Doris (Mack) Morgan, June (Ken) Brooks and Brother-in-law Carl Finney.

 He is survived by his daughter, Carolyn McIntosh, Grandson Troy (Angela) McIntosh, Granddaughter Kristy (Roger) Frazier, Great-Granddaughters Melissa McIntosh, Tara (Shane) Harder, and Great-Great-Grandchildren Summer Martin, Nathan Harder and Jacob Harder. Nieces Violet Martin, Mary Ann (Ronnie) Richmond, Linda Kay (Bill) Carter, Dava Simpson, Cousin Retha Pennington and sisters-in-law Helen Finney, Joy Boren, and Zella (JD) Harrison and a host of other nieces, nephews, and friends.

Services for Mr. Vernual Ridgeway will be held at, 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 18, 2023, at the Board Camp Baptist Church, in Board Camp, Arkansas. Interment will follow at the Liberty Cemetery in Board Camp, Arkansas. Brother Garry Haskins, Brother Don Youngblood, and Brother Grant Geiger will be officiating under the direction of Beasley-Wood Funeral Home. Visitation will be general.

Pallbearers are Jeff Turner, Larry Eades, James Looney, Jacky Lynch, Jackie Morgan, and Shane Harder.

Honorary Pallbearers are Jim Aleshire, James Martin, Larry Maechler, and Henry Tittle.

Online obituary at

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