Dr. Ritsch was born in 1959 and grew up in Spartanburg, SC, where his parents taught at Converse College. He received a BA in English from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, and his D. Min. degree from Union Seminary in Richmond, VA, in 1985. His first two parishes were in Virginia ’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley, where he met his wife, Margaret, and where their first child, Sara Caitlin, was born. From there he crossed the Mason-Dixon to serve as associate pastor of Concord Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, DE . In Wilmington their son Bennie was born.
In 1997, Dr. Ritsch received a call to serve as pastor of Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, MD. While there, he helped found Action in Montgomery, a faith-based community action organization affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation. He also received a grant from the PCUSA for a post-9/11 project that facilitated faith-based intergenerational discussion of dealing with national and personal trauma.
Dr. Ritsch has served as head of staff at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church since 2004. He is the author of several articles on faith and public policy and has been published in The Washington Post, Presbyterian Outlook, and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He is a graduate of Leadership Fort Worth and has served on the boards of The Presbyterian Night Shelter, Room in the Inn, and presently serves on the board of the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition. All are organizations dedicated to addressing homelessness, a major mission field of St. Stephen’s. You can find more information about Dr. Ritsch on Facebook and Linkedin.
Dr. Ritsch’s wife, Margaret, is a journalist and public relations professional. Both modestly believe they have the best children in the world. Sara Caitlin is in college and a jazz singer. Bennie attends Paschal High School and plays guitar. Their musical talent comes from their mother’s side of the family. The Ritsch’s live in the Ryan Place neighborhood of Fort Worth.