By Tina Fisher Cunningham
Fisher Forde Media 

32nd Kiwanis Prayer Breakfast speaker: Business exec Ragsdale

The Forde Files No. 167



Left, Kiwanis Prayer Breakfast speaker Daryl Ragsdale with daughters Callie Raye, 8, and Chloe Jane, 4. His two boys are Devin, 20, and Dylan, 17, a senior at Tehachapi HIgh School. The girls came with mom Carrie to see their dad before the weekly men's prayer group on Tuesday, April 9.

The theme of the National Day of Prayer on May 3 is "Unity."

The theme of the men's weekly Bible study led by World Wind and Solar Business Development Director Daryl Ragsdale is "Together."

Those twin themes will blend in harmony at 6:45 a.m. on May 3 as Ragsdale addresses the Annual Prayer Breakfast, sponsored for 32 years by the Kiwanis Club of Tehachapi.

Together men's Bible study, launched four years ago, draws 60 to 80 men every Tuesday for a catered pizza dinner and an ecumenical evening of prayer, fellowship and worship. At 7:30 p.m. they break into small groups for more discussion and prayer.

"They come from 12 churches," Ragsdale said. "Some have no church. or have become frustrated with church."

They come from Bakersfield, California City and Mojave to join Tehachapi area residents in focusing on discipleship and accountability.

The group just finished studying the Gospel of Mark and is now studying First Peter.

The men, Ragsdale said, referring to a Bible verse, spiritually "stir each other up."

"The purpose of the group is discipleship," Ragsdale told Forde Files. "To be encouraged, equipped, and challenged."

His mission is to share the joy that he experiences in his Christian faith.

Ragsdale, 44, was born in Fresno and raised in Yosemite, attending Yosemite High School until his senior year, when his family moved. He graduated from Tulare Union High School in 1991 and earned a degree in sports medicine from California State University, San Diego.

He has two older boys from an early marriage, Devin, 20, who has the dream job of testing video games for Sony in San Diego; and Dylan, 17, a Tehachapi High School senior who was voted Mr. Warrior this year and is excited about his recent acceptance into Westmont College in Santa Barbara.

Ragsdale described himself as a "broken man, from a broken family, living a broken lifestyle." He was drawn into a Christian life by his future wife Carrie who, while they were dating, took his young sons – of whom he had full custody – to church with her.

"Do you want to go with us?" she asked him.

"Absolutely not," he replied.

"My girlfriend took my kids to church without me. She asked again, and again I said no. By the third or fourth week I went, just to see what the church thing was all about. There was a dynamic preacher, Bob Botsford. I was so mad at Carrie – I was convinced she had told him all my secrets. He spiritually undressed me that day."

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From then on, Ragsdale became involved in the church and eventually the ministry.

He and Carrie have two daughters, Callie Raye, 8, who attends Heritage Oak Christian School, and Chloe Jane, 4.

He met World Wind and Solar co-founder Buddy Cummings at a men's retreat at Temecula in 2008 and moved to Tehachapi in 2012 to serve as Business Development Director for the company, which now has 250 employees in the United States. Ragsdale's job, as outlined on the WWS website, is finding new business opportunities for the wind, solar and construction divisions, "identifying new clients and new services for existing clients, maintaining client qualifications and the company's client database, predicting market trends and participating in a variety of prominent projects across the nation...."

He also is there to support the families of the employees, many of whom are local.

"Tehachapi is truly a city on a hill and is called to be a light to all who visit us and pass through," Ragsdale said.

See the website for information and downloadable study lessons.

The May 3 Prayer Breakfast is the kick-off of three events held in Tehachapi on the National Day of Prayer, which was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The breakfast will be held at McMullan Hall at St. Malachy Catholic Church, 407 East E St., 6:45 a.m. The always-delicious breakfast will be catered by Linda Pettitt of Linda's Cakes 'n Things and Margaret Veszpeller of Mill Street Kitchen. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased from any Kiwanis Club member, at The Loop Newspaper, at the Christian Store or at the door.

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Local pastors and ministry leaders will share specific prayers for American leaders and institutions. This year's theme, Unity, is particularly relevant in this day of deep political and emotional divisions among American people.

Tina Fisher Cunningham


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