- On September 13, 2022
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Dr. Kenneth M. Culbertson, Jr. went home to be with Jesus on September 11, 2022. He is survived by his wife Patty (Whitling); daughter Kelly Tatum, son-in-law Chuck, granddaughter Kenna, grandson Noah and fiancée Ailsa Poling; son Derek, daughter-in-law Jessica, grandson Ethan, granddaughter Olivia; and daughter Erin. Preceding him in death were his parents Kenneth and Jacqueline Culbertson, brother Kevin and sister-in-law Jane; grandparents Clyde and Jean Culbertson and Gladys and William Wilson.
Ken graduated from Oil City High School and went on to earn a B.A. at Washington and Jefferson College. Called to ministry, he continued his education at Nazarene Theological Seminary, graduating with a Master’s in Divinity. Later, he earned his Doctor of Ministry degree at Drew Theological Seminary.
He ministered for fourteen years in Ohio before becoming the pastor of the South Hills Church of the Nazarene in Bethel Park, serving that congregation faithfully for thirty-six years. During his pastorates, he was elected to various district leadership positions, including trustee of Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA. Ken also had a heart for the inner city and developed great friendships while serving with his brothers in Duquesne, Word on the Street, Light of Life, and Changing One Man at a Time conferences. After retiring, he preached weekly for nearly a year at the New Brighton Church of the Nazarene. Throughout his ministry, he was supported by his wife and family, whom he considered to be his first church.
Another of Ken’s passions was teaching and mentoring ministerial students. He was not only an outstanding teacher but also an encourager and supporter. He went the extra mile to help students complete their degrees and be equipped as servant-leaders. He also loved to study, write, and preach. Often, on weekday mornings, he would be at McDonald’s preparing for sermons and end up sharing in other people’s journeys. He was never too busy to listen to others. On Sundays, after preaching in the worship service, he would teach a Sunday school class, and, in the evening, lead a time of worship, discipleship, and fellowship. During the week, he led Bible studies, conducted meetings, and enjoyed speaking for various groups within the church and community. He exemplified the ministry of presence by being with people during their joyful celebrations and sorrowful seasons of life. Many people simply called him “Pastor.”
Preaching God’s Word always brought immense joy to Ken. Even in his last days when he seldom could speak intelligibly, miraculous times occurred when he unexpectedly prayed for someone who was there to pray for him or, on one occasion, spontaneously shared biblical truths with friends who had stopped by to visit. His final message was to “Love like Him.” Ken not only preached that message clearly but exemplified it throughout his life so well.
A memorial service will be held at Waterdam Church in Canonsburg at a later date, and interment will be at Brandon Cemetery in Seneca.