Although he has recently attained the title of Professor Emeritus, he has never waivered in his commitment to education and community service. He is the recipient of the Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence and the Chancellor’s Award for Research and Creativity. He is also a Kellogg National Fellow and a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Iowa. In 2004 he was awarded the Martin Luther King Community Service Award and the Columbia Values Diversity Award. Most recently he was named the 2012 recipient of the President’s Award for Community Engagement. In 2015 Rev. Ruffin was elected to the Columbia City Council as the representative for the First Ward where he continues to champion an agenda to confront the issues of social inequity, racial disparity and violence that continues to plague our community.
Rev. Ruffin and First Lady Sheila Ruffin are blessed to have four daughters and six grandchildren in addition to the innumerable children that they have accepted into their hearts and home during their 40+ years of marriage.
First Lady Sheila Ruffin
Rev. Clyde L. Ruffin accepted the call to the ministry at the age of five and preached his initial sermon shortly thereafter. He was officially licensed as a minister of the gospel in the fall of 1970. He entered the University of Iowa in 1970 where he completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in Speech and Dramatic Arts. In 1976 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor at Washington University- St. Louis. Immediately after moving to St. Louis he united with San Francisco Temple Christian Assembly and was ordained in 1978 under the leadership of the late Bishop Dwight McDaniels. He served this ministry faithfully for six years prior to moving to Columbia, Missouri to accept a senior faculty position with the University of Missouri in 1982.
Rev. Ruffin was licensed as a Baptist minister in 1988. He united with Second Missionary Baptist Church in 1997 where he served as an Associate Minister and Assistant Pastor. In 2002, he was awarded a Doctorate in Pastoral Theology and subsequently ordained by Rev. Donald R. McNeal. It became apparent that God was quickly preparing him for a more challenging role in ministry when later the same year he was invited to serve as Interim Pastor of Second Baptist Church. Recognizing the anointing of God on his ministry and his desire to empower all believers to live a life of faith and victory, he was elected to the position of Senior Pastor in December 2003.
Rev. Ruffin serves the ministry of Second Baptist Church by faithfully preaching and teaching the word of God and embracing anyone who needs Godly counsel, earnest prayer or a listening ear. His vision of a church overflowing with believers of all races and backgrounds who are fervent in love and worship, grounded in the Word of God and committed to serving the community continues to challenge our church to believe in the extraordinary possibilities of what God will do in the lives of ordinary people.