Richard Dwaine Craven

19521218 –


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Richard D. Craven, beloved pastor of New Testament Baptist Church-Lubbock, passed from this life into eternal life early on Sunday morning, September 11th, following a 2-year battle against Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Richard was born to Pastor Claude N. Craven and Lillie Elizabeth “Beck” Craven on December 18, 1952 in Fort Scott, Kansas. At the age of twelve his family moved to Big Spring, TX where his dad was Pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church for many years, and Richard learned ministry firsthand from his parents. Richard graduated from Big Spring High School in 1970 and later attended the Bible Baptist Seminary in Arlington, TX – now known as Arlington Baptist College. He married Glenda Dyal and became father to Catherine Ann on June 27, 1973. He married Peggy Daratt in 1975 and adopted her daughter, Jennifer Lea, who was born on October 16, 1971. He married Melanie Hayworth on February 5, 1982 and began his ministry in Texarkana as Principal of the Texarkana Christian School. In 1984 he had his “backside of the desert” experience as he worked as a janitor for Trinity Baptist Church in Big Spring, and in October of 1984 he became the music minister and associate/youth pastor of Baptist Temple Church in San Angelo, TX, where he received a top-notch Bible education from his Pastor and mentor, Neal Brillhart. He was ordained into the gospel ministry on January 25, 1985. In October of 1987, Richard and his wife, Melanie, moved to Lubbock, Texas to begin his pastorate of NTBC with seven adult members. The church was reorganized under her parent church, Baptist Temple-San Angelo, in February, 1988. Ministry has been Richard’s life and passion. He loved life; he loved people and he loved to preach. Many people came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through his love and devotion to his Lord. He used his past sins of divorce, alcoholism and drug addiction to reach out to those who had fallen into Satan’s trap of despair and hopelessness. In 1998, he and Melanie adopted Jodie Lynn Holleman as an adult, and later adopted Zachery Ray Jimenez (age 9) from the Texas Boys Ranch in 2005. One of Richard’s primary concerns, especially after he got his cancer diagnosis, was his predecessor at the church. For quite some time, Richard has believed that God was leading him to mentor our Youth Pastor, Tracy Spencer, for the task. Tracy has now filled the pulpit for the past four weeks and will continue to do so. Richard’s best friend, Lonnie Kirk, has stepped up to the plate to teach our adult Sunday School Class and Wednesday evening lessons. We praise God for His divine guidance as NTBC has always been our love. He loved our little church and our people dearly. Richard was preceded in death by his parents – Claude N. and Beth Craven, and his daughters – Jennifer Lea Craven Dominguez (1971 to 2008) and Catherine Ann Craven Hickox (1973 to 2010). He is survived by his wife, Melanie Hayworth Craven of Wolfforth; his daughter, Jodie Craven of Lubbock; his son, Zachery Craven of Lubbock; a “shared” daughter, Gwendolyn Mason Dominguez and her husband, Michael of Big Spring; four siblings – Jan Christopher and husband, Neil, of Lubbock – Carolyn Schalk and husband, Joe, of Spring Hill, TN – Patty Hasting and husband, Rick of Elkmont, AL – Dana Craven and wife, Marion, of Oxford, AL; eleven grandchildren: Haley Danielle McGee of Amarillo, TX; Michael Alan Dyal Hickox and Colbey Reese Hickox of Waycross, GA; Nolan Michael Dominguez of Big Spring; Kirsten Paige Chau of Wolfforth, TX; Sophia Lea Dominguez of Big Spring; Katherine Elizabeth Hickox and Kyleigh Dawn Hickox of Waycross, GA; Kelby Ryan Olivarez of Big Spring; Kyler Larce McGee of Wolfforth and Camden Jace Dominguez of Big Spring. He is also survived by a multitude of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and a loving church family. The family suggests that memorials be given to New Testament Baptist Church, PO BOX 94108, Lubbock, TX 79408-4108 in lieu of flowers.


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