In Memory of Ronald Ray Rinnert

Missionary Ron Rinnert passed into the arms of Jesus Monday, January 8th, 2018. Born in New Boston, Texas, in 1933, during the Great Depression, Ron lived 84 years as a bright light in a dark world. After graduating from Texas A & M in 1954, Ron was commissioned an US Air Force second lieutenant. Soon after transfer to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, Ron was powerfully converted to faith in Christ.

He often spoke of the evening when Christ took hold of his life: Aimlessly wandering the streets outside the air base, Ron was drawn to the unusual testimony of a young Okinawan woman. Her words of faith compelled and illuminated his heart with the Gospel like a brightly lit jack-o-lantern on a dark, cloudy night. Immediately following his dramatic conversion, Ron began sharing Jesus with everyone he met. He talked about Jesus all the time—so much that his superior officer quipped that Ron was better suited to be a missionary than an Air Force officer.

Recognizing God’s call to missions, Ron resigned from the military in 1960 and commenced training with Christians in Action Missions International (CinAMI). Soon thereafter, he married Elaine Haley and together they returned to Okinawa where they labored passionately for 24 years reaching US serviceman and local nationals with the Gospel. During those years, they planted three churches and several coffee shops.

In 1969 they established Kadena Circle Community Church, primarily targeting US servicemen. Known today as Yomitan International, the church is pastored by CinAMI Missionary Glenn Kennedy, who leads our annual medical/dental outreaches in the Philippines. Ron’s legacy of winning lost souls continues, not only in Okinawa but also across Asia.

Whether in a one-on-one conversation, in the pulpit, in the middle of the street, or carrying a large cross, Ron was natural and winsome as he introduced hundreds to Christ. Preacher through and through, he was always ready to share the truth of the Gospel. Following his thirty-minute sermon and altar call, Ron would often preach another twenty minutes at the altar. Thoroughly prepared or spontaneously given, Ron’s messages were riveting and fascinating, drawing many to Christ.

Living a Christ-centered life, Ron mobilized and energized generations of evangelists who continue his legacy. Only eternity knows the thousands spiritually impacted by this great man and ministry—Ron’s legacy.