Phone: (864) 422-1648 ext 212
Deacon Richard Ballard serves as Pastoral Associate at Our Lady of the Rosary. He is a convert, having worked as a Lutheran parish pastor for almost 25 years before entering the Church in 2006 with his wife Ruth, who is also a former Lutheran minister. They have been married since 1981.
He was ordained a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Charleston in 2010 and assigned by Bishop Robert Guglielmone to OLR. His undergraduate studies were undertaken in religion and philosophy at Mars Hill College, and he holds a Master of Divinity degree, as well as two additional Master’s degrees in theology and counseling, and a Doctorate in pastoral theology, from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, the University of South Carolina, and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. He also completed post-graduate work in bereavement counseling at Madonna University.
His diaconal work in the parish, and his work as Pastoral Associate, often overlap. He assists Fr. Longenecker in the overall care of the parish, serving as manager of the church office and assisting him in the supervision of the church staff. When so delegated, he also officially represents Father when particular occasions and needs arise. He has specific responsibilities in providing oversight for the ministries of our parish lectors, ushers, altar servers and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. He also works with the Respect Life Committee and is an ex-officio member of the Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Finance Council. He assists with the annual preparation of the church budget and works with the church accountants in its ongoing implementation and in the management of church finances.
With his background in professional counseling, and as a counselor licensed by the State of South Carolina, he offers pastoral care and counseling to members of our parish and others on a regular basis, as well as spiritual direction. From time to time he teaches special classes in the adult Religious Education programs of our church and in our RCIA program. He is also a trained VIRTUS facilitator and teaches the Protecting God’s Children program for adults on a periodic basis. He conducts marriage preparation for all couples who wish to be married at OLR, and serves as a Case Assistant for the Tribunal of our diocese, assisting those members of our parish and others who are in need of a declaration of nullity for a previous marriage. He collaborates with Fr. Longenecker and our organist/choir-director in planning weekly, seasonal and special liturgies; selects hymns for worship; and prepares the weekly music sheets and general intercessions for Mass. He serves as deacon at parish Masses and preaches on a regular basis. He assists Father each week in readying the church for Mass, and also leads communal prayer services, such as Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament as well as Communion services when called upon to do so. When delegated by the pastor, he serves as the officiating minister at weddings, funerals, infant baptisms, and other appropriate rites and ceremonies of the Church.
Deacon Richard always stands ready to assist parishioners of Our Lady of the Rosary, and encourages you to call upon him if he may ever be of any help.