Cover photo for Ronald Corley's Obituary
Ronald Corley Profile Photo
1937 Ronald 2024

Ronald Corley

March 21, 1937 — April 19, 2024

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Ron Corley our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, evangelist, pastor, and friend went into the loving embrace of His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at the age of 86 years old.  He was born the youngest of 10 children on March 21, 1937 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

At the age of 17 he entered the Navy and served on the USS Lexington.  The motto of the USS Lexington was “always ready”.  Daddy applied that motto of “always ready” to his life.   In 1957, he met the sweetest woman in California and married her, Mildred Jean Corley.  He said the reason he knew she was the sweetest woman was because he liked giving her sugar (kisses). They celebrated 66 years of marriage with five children: Barbara, Mike, J.D., Rhonda, and DeeAnna.  They also were blessed with 19 grandchildren and 38 great grandkids.

When he was a young boy, he was hiding from some friends on top of a chicken coop.  There was a tent meeting nearby with an evangelist preaching.  With the loudspeaker, he could hear the salvation message and he accepted Christ as His Savior.  Later as a teenager, he attended a Billy Graham event and went forward to confirm his salvation.

In 1959, sensing a call from God to preach, he attended Tennessee Temple University graduating in 1961.  This ignited a love for Christ and a heart for reaching people with the Gospel.  By faith, Ron and Jean with their little girl left Tennessee and headed to New Mexico to minister to the Navajos in February 1962. Their first mission was in Farmington and was known as “The One Shoe Rescue Mission”.  Ron, together with his brother, Don opened a rescue mission to help locals that needed help to have a place to sleep and to hear a gospel message.  They would offer one shoe to stay and then they were given back their shoe and were free to leave.

They moved to Gallup for a short time to start a rescue mission, their last move was to Bloomfield, where Mom and Dad served as missionaries for over 55 years.  Ron partnered together with his brother Don and started the Bible Baptist Shepherd Church ministry that started other church plants on the reservation, a Christian School in Farmington, and held Teen Camps at the Bloomfield Mission.  

Ron traveled the country and ministered in countless churches raising funds for the ministry.  He was a sought-after preacher, evangelist and spoke at many revivals.  Thousands of people have been touched across our great nation with his down-home message, a bit of humor and a whole lot of “God is good all the time, over and over again God is good!”

Ron wanted a horse ranch and wanted to help young boys. That started a ministry that over the years Ron and Jean would have over 29 foster boys in their home.  Some of these boys came broken and left whole and went on to serve the Lord.  This heart for kids also developed into yearly teen camps at the Bible Baptist Shepherd in Bloomfield were teens learned about the Navajo’s, helped serve others on the reservation, ride horses, learn teamwork and most important to Ron, hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

He had a heart for the Navajo to have the Word of God in English and in Navajo on the same page.  This strong desire led Ron to create an interlinear translation from the Navajo to the English.  He purposed to write the New Testament in Navajo with the English words underneath. This endeavor took him and countless Navajo friends of the ministry nearly 30 years to complete. With his determination and perseverance, along with the help of Navajo translators and the help of Bearing Precious Seed Ministries, the “Corley’s Navajo Interlinear New Testament” was published.  

Often, he would ask people, has anyone told you to go to hell?  I am someone asking you to go to heaven.  He was always quick to share a gospel tract and offer the salvation prayer.  He wanted everyone he met to be with Jesus Christ in heaven.  He was passionate that the only way to get to heaven was to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and to have Him forgive you of all your sins.  He would want you to know that Jesus made a promise that all who would believe in Him, would be saved and brought into everlasting life.  His motto was, “it will matter not when Jesus comes how rough the road we trod, if only we have walked with Him and led some soul to God”.

Ron also served 14 years alongside the Echo Food Bank to distribute food and necessities to families in need.  Ron had a servant’s heart and was always a man of generosity.

All of us will carry a part of his memory in our hearts, a thread of his life has been woven into the fabric of our lives that binds us together as family and friends, that keeps us strong.  We look forward to that day when we shall see him again, all weariness gone, clear of mind, strong and sure, smiling again, and the sorrow of parting gone forever.

He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Mildred Jean; twin brother, Don Corley; his children Barbara, Mike, JD, Rhonda, and DeeAnna; his grandchildren and his great grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Edna Florence and Nugent Dick Corley and his brothers and sisters: Vernon, Doris, Gene, Louise, Evelyn, D.N., Paul, and Nona.

Ron lived his life with great purpose.  His life was a living example of his passion for reaching people with the message of Jesus. 2 Corinthians 4:5 was how he always concluded his prayer letters.  “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” Small lights for Christ, Ron and Jean Corley

We would like to give a special thanks to our BeeHive family for their love and exceptional care for Cheii.  The BeeHive staff were God’s angels given to us.  Their love and generosity touched all of us and we cannot express enough gratitude for the care we all were given.

A funeral service is scheduled for 10:30 am on April 25th at Day 3 Church located 1111 South Miller Ave in Farmington, New Mexico   In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to be made to Native Vision for Christ at 2004 Saiz Lane, Bloomfield, NM 87413.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald Corley, please visit our flower store.

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