2-Dave-Rich-Living-Word-FatCENTRAL CITY, Ky. (6/16/14) — Millions of fathers and sons took time Sunday to enjoy being together on Father's Day.

But for Enoch David Rich, pastor of Living Word Church in Central City, Father's Day was extra-special. His father, Muhlenberg County native, Dave Rich Sr., conducted services at Living Word Church at both 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

The elder Rich, now in his 80s, recently moved back to Muhlenberg County after more than half a century as an evangelist based in Texas. He has spent his life spreading the word of God throughout the U.S. and the world.

In 1956, Rich turned his back on what was a fast rising career in rock music.

After a tearful introduction by Pastor Enoch David Rich, Dave Rich spoke to the congregation about growing up in Central City, and having to make the difficult choice between following his dream of becoming a rock n roll star or following God's call for him to preach the Gospel.

Rich was mentored and produced in those early days at RCA by the legendary Chet Atkins. Rich's star was rising fast, with major hits like "Red Sweater", and one of the first recordings of Bill Anderson's "City Lights". Atkins begged Rich to keep following his dream of success in the music business. But as Rich began to gain national attention, he said he felt he must heed the call of God to preach the Gospel.

Rich walked to the podium slowly, but once he began to preach to the congregation, it was clear how this tall, gray haired man with an infectious smile has reached thousands with his clear message and razor sharp sense of humor.

"You'll have to excuse me a minute," Rich told the gathering. "I have to get me a drink of water. My false teeth are slipping out."

Reminiscing of his time as a popular evangelist in Texas with admirers who include Willie Nelson, Rich joked about his Kentucky slang catching on with his congregations in the Lone Star state.

Dave-Rich-Living-Word-Fathe

"When I went to Texas," Rich said, "everyone was saying, 'Hallelujah'. But pretty soon I taught them the right way to say it. It's Halleluyer! Now can I get a Halleluyer from you all?"

The crowd responded in kind. The service went from laughter to tears of joy, and numerous members of the congregation felt lead to come to the altar as Rich laid hands on several, and let out a loud "Whoa, thank you Jesus".

Victoria Rich, the daughter of Enoch and Carmel Rich, told SurfKY News that the family feels blessed that her grandfather has come home to Muhlenberg County.

"When I found out he was moving back, I was so excited," she said. "Our dad has been in the ministry here in Muhlenberg County for 24 years. To have our grandfather here now is such an honor and means so much to the entire Rich family."

To say the least, this was one Father's Day the Rich family and the Living Word Church congregation will cherish for years to come.

Paul McRee
SurfKY News
SurfKY News Photos/Paul McRee

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Sorgho to Host ‘Zed’ Cartoonist

DAVIESS COUNTY, Ky. (1/31/15) — Sorgho Elementary School is hosting a Family Reading Night at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb.… Read More

KYTC Alerts Owensboro Residents to Lane Restrictions on U.S. 60 Projects This Summer

OWENSBORO, Ky. (1/31/15) — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has issued a heads-up alert to Owensboro area residents… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 18223

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 9504

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 28, 2015 7384

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 7124

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 25, 2015 6823

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 31, 2015 6703

24-Year-Old Killed in One-Vehicle Collision

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
January 28, 2015 6686

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 6372

Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of Child

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 23889

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 23463

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 31, 2015 6703

24-Year-Old Killed in One-Vehicle Collision

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
January 30, 2015 6348

More Than 800 Gather to Encircle HCCHS

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
January 31, 2015 1897

UPDATED GAME STORY: Muhlenberg Mustangs Trample…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Mike Groves
January 30, 2015 1800

Governor, First Lady, Commissioner Celebrate New…

in Top News For All Sites by Office of the Governor
January 31, 2015 1626

Eating Only during 9-12 Hour Period May Help…

in General News For All Sites by Melissa Landon
January 31, 2015 1453

Hooked on Science - 'Chemical Reaction Splash'

in General News For All Sites by Jason Lindsey
January 31, 2015 1363

Keeping the Faith - 'Will Practice Make Perfect?'

in General News For All Sites by Ronnie McBrayer
January 31, 2015 1358

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
January 31, 2015 1341

Woman Veterans Video Now on KDVA YouTube

in General News For All Sites by Lisa Aug
January 31, 2015 1151

Merle Travis Fans Pay Tribute to Thumbpicking…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
January 31, 2015 1127

Daviess County Traffic Advisory

in Owensboro News by Keith Todd
February 01, 2015 935

White Plains Man Arrested after Being Wanted for…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Robert LIttlepage