Reverend J. Richard Ernst

Reverend J. Richard Ernst

Reverend J. Richard Ernst

Cedar Rapids

Reverend J. Richard Ernst, 88, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. Memorial Services: 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, at Hillside Wesleyan Church, Cedar Rapids, by Pastor Kirk Statler. Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday at the church. Private family burial will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services, Cedar Rapids.

Survivors include his children, Joy Ernst (Mike Perkins), John Ernst, and Jerry (Abbey) Ernst; grandchildren, Daniel Rowland, Aaron Rowland, Brandon Rowland, Jacob Ernst, Jonna Ernst, Gabriel Ernst, Harper Ernst, Josiah Ernst, and Lyra Perkins; great-granddaughter, Iyla Rowland; brother, Ron (Esther) Ernst; and many nieces and nephews

Joseph Richard Ernst was born on March 11, 1934, in Sloan, Iowa, the son of George and Doris (Miquelon) Ernst. He graduated from Sloan High School, followed by Miltonville College and Phillips University. On June 30, 1955, he married Sara Lee in Aberdeen, S.D. With Sara as a faithful partner, Dick embarked on a lifetime of Christian ministry and music, spreading the Gospel to all those he encountered. He ministered at Hillside Wesleyan Church for 22 years, then 11 years as a District Superintendent for The Wesleyan Church in Iowa. Not one to retire, he planted the Church of Promise in Buckingham, Iowa, and served as a chaplain for Marketplace Ministries. Dick’s beautiful voice and musical gifts amplified his presence.

Dick’s genuine compassion placed him in leadership positions for several organizations, including Keys to Living, Bartlesville Wesleyan College, the Association of Linn County Evangelicals, and The Wesleyan Church. He was self-taught in church finance, using these talents to grow the organizations he served.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Sara; sister, Evonne Johnson; brother, G. Dale Ernst; and infant sister, Ann Ernst.

Memorials may be directed to the family or Hillside Wesleyan Church.

Please share your love and memories with Dick’s family on his Tribute Wall at under Obituaries.

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