Present with the Lord – Ruth Luttrell (1926-2014)
Ruth Tidik was born in Lakewood, Ohio on August 22, 1926, one of six children of parents from Austria and Czechoslovakia who became citizens of the United States. She went to be with the Lord on March 15, 2014, surrounded by her family and loved ones.
Ruth Luttrell was known as “Mama Ruth” to many for her loving missionary work in the Caribbean, which spanned many decades and different countries. Together with her husband, the late Dr. Donald D. Luttrell, she founded Calvary Evangelistic Mission, Inc., which today encompasses the Bible Correspondence School of the Caribbean and The Rock Radio Network (WBMJ AM-1190 San Juan, WIVV AM 1370 Vieques, WCGB AM 1060 Juana Díaz).
After high school she studied secretarial sciences while employed as a clerk. She married Donald D. Luttrell after his discharge from the U.S. Army in 1946, and they continued their college education together. She studied at the Baptist Bible Institute in Cleveland, Ohio (now Cedarville College) and at Bob Jones University. She served with her husband in assistant pastorates in Ohio and Florida, and in Christian education and youth work while he studied for his Master’s Degree in Education and Doctor of Divinity Degree. Their children are Janet Louise, David John and Donna Jean (Nita), and Grandchildren Hollie Zambrano, Michael and Matthew Luttrell.
In 1952 the Luttrell’s started their missionary educational and mass media work in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Latin America. They founded the parent organization, Calvary Evangelistic Mission, Inc., in 1953; the Bible Correspondence School of the Caribbean in 1954 (over 24,000 enrolled students in the West Indies, other countries and extension schools in Guatemala, India and Myanmar); and Missionary Radio WIVV AM-1370 on Vieques in 1956 (covers Eastern PR, the Virgin and Leeward Islands). In 1963 the Mission’s headquarters was moved to San Juan. WBMJ AM-1190 in San Juan was acquired and started full-time Christian programming in 1986. WBMJ’s programming is now simulcast with WIVV’s over “THE ROCK” RADIO NETWORK. The purpose of the Mission is to win, train, challenge, and motivate people to live and work for Jesus Christ, based on 2 Timothy 2:2 ”And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
During the first eleven years the Luttrells lived on Vieques Island, Ruth helped manage the government outpatient clinic while her husband traveled with Youth for Christ International. As a representative of Child Evangelism Fellowship International, she organized and taught child evangelism classes to leaders for several years on three islands. She served at the Mission’s Servicemen’s Center and with her husband in the civilian chaplaincy at Camp Garcia for nine years, and taught in the Mission’s Elementary School.
Through the years, other services to the Mission included serving as Secretary-Treasurer and Secretary of CEM’s Board of Directors, as CEM’s Administrator and Manager, Radio Programming Director, editor of National Leaders materials and BCS lessons, and Building Complex Manager. As Co-Founder, Mrs. Luttrell has filled the position of CEO and President since Dr. Luttrell’s demise in May, 1987.
Ruth Luttrell participated with her husband in Mission Methods Seminars in various countries in a world-wide work tour. She helped edit his book, “GOD’S GREAT COMMISSION … AND YOU.” Ruth participated in the annual National Religious Broadcasters Conventions from 1968 onward. In October, 1987, she was appointed to fill her late husband’s term on NRB’s Board of Directors, and, was subsequently re-elected. She was the women’s Prayer Chairman for the International Congress on World Evangelization in Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles Islands, and for years was the area representative and is a consultant for Christian Women’s Clubs. “Mama Ruth” originated and hosted the daily UPDATE PROGRAM on the Network.
The Luttrells received awards for service in Christian ministry, missionary radio, social and civic work from various organizations and governments. She is included in her husband’s listing in WHO’S WHO IN AMERICA, and individually in WHO’S WHO OF AMERICAN WOMEN. February 2006 Ruth was awarded the ‘Milestone Award’ at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention for broadcasting over 50 years. Her greatest desire was to bring honor and glory to Almighty God as His faithful servant, ministering to mankind.