Howard Francis Rampton

Photo courtesy of Adventist Heritage Centre, Australia.

Rampton, Howard Francis (1923–2009)

By Neroli Douglas

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Neroli Douglas, M. App Sc. Teacher Librarianship (Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia), retired after over forty years of teaching. Currently Douglas is a school library cataloguer. As an educator and librarian in schools across Australia, Neroli influenced hundreds of children. She is married to Pastor Robert Douglas, with three adult children and ten grandchildren.

Howard Francis Rampton served the Seventh-day Adventist church in literature evangelism, pastoral evangelism, and as a departmental director at conference, division and General Conference level.

Early Years

Howard Francis Rampton was born in Dannevirke, New Zealand, on September 1, 1923, to Australian parents, Frank G. Rampton (1887-1947) and Florence E. Rampton (1889-1970).1 Howard was their fourth child, following Ron (1915-1987), Beryl (1917-1998), and Ruby (1920-2013). Later Lewis (1925-1972), Cecil (1928-2009), Olivine (1930-), and Coral (1933-) joined the family. 2

Rampton’s early years were spent in both New Zealand and Australia as his father was transferred to different places such as Ipswich, Wahroonga, Hobart, Christchurch, and Brisbane. He commenced school in Wahroonga, New South Wales when he was six and, wherever possible, he attended an Adventist school.3 With his brothers and sisters, he was active in church activities such as Sabbath School, Junior Missionary Volunteers and young peoples’ meetings.4 The addition of daily family worship and the example of his parents influenced his life choices.5

After completing high school with a Junior Certificate, Rampton commenced working at the South Queensland Conference office under the Junior Workers’ Plan in order to save money to attend the Australasian Missionary College (Avondale) and train for the ministry. Winning a bicycle in a competition provided his transportation then and for years to come.6 In 1939, Rampton was baptized in the Red Hill church in Brisbane by Pastor Gane.7 The following four years (1941-1944), were spent studying at Avondale where he graduated from the ministerial course.8

Years of Service

Following graduation, Rampton commenced work as a literature evangelist in the western district of Victoria, still using his bicycle for transport. Selling Bible Readings for the Home Circle proved difficult in Camperdown, but he had more success in Warrnambool.9 In October 1945, he was invited by the conference to join an evangelistic team in Melbourne.10 He served as tent master, song leader, Bible worker, choir master, sign writer, and assistant to the evangelist.11

On December 20, 1945, with his father officiating, Rampton married Barbara Helen Winch (1924-2007) in the Concord, New South Wales, church and together they settled in Footscray, Melbourne.12 Twin sons, Colin and Peter, were born to the couple.13 The evangelistic team of which Howard Rampton was a member conducted tent meetings in different Melbourne suburbs until 1950.14

In 1951, the family moved to Moe, Victoria, where Rampton pastored his first church.15 At the Victorian Conference Camp in Nunawading in 1952, he was ordained to the gospel ministry.16 He next moved to Launceston, Tasmania, where he pastored two churches and four companies,17 and later, to Smithton in the northern Tasmania where he built a new church.18

From 1957 to 1960, Rampton pastored churches in South Australia, Port Lincoln and then, the Adelaide city church where he also assisted George Burnside in his evangelistic series. In every place Rampton ministered, he was a strong supporter of the Ingathering campaign.19

After sixteen years in pastoral evangelism, Rampton transitioned to administrative work for the Church when Frank Maberly, the Western Australian Conference president invited him to lead the Home Missionary and Sabbath School departments in 1960.20 Among his many duties, Rampton pastored the Mt. Lawley church, advocated for Vacation Bible Schools, and promoted Sabbath Schools, and welfare work.21 He also organized the annual Appeal for Missions campaign and participated in trips to the northwest of the large state.22 One of the highlights during this time was attending the Sabbath School workshop in Melbourne run by Eric Hare of the General Conference.23

In February 1963, Rampton was invited by the Australasian Division to head up the Sabbath School and lay activities (home missions) departments. The family moved across the country to live in Wahroonga24 and incidentally, they were assigned the very same house Rampton had lived in as a child when his father worked in Wahroonga.25 During his seven years at the Australasian Division, Rampton visited each conference and also many churches and mission outposts throughout the Pacific Islands and New Guinea.26 He also wrote extensively in church papers, promoting 13th Sabbath offerings.27 As welfare director, he reported on the help given by church members following the devastating bushfires in Tasmania in 1967 as well as those in New South Wales and Victoria.28

In 1970, Rampton was asked to become an associate secretary of the Sabbath School department at the General Conference in Washington, DC. He remained in this position until 1975 when he became the director of the Sabbath School department.29 Part of his responsibilities included organizing and scheduling the authors of the Sabbath School Quarterly three years in advance of publication.30 He also supported the Collegiate Quarterly, an experimental publication involving Adventist colleges and universities, which was published in conjunction with the General Conference Sabbath School department. Rampton was also involved with the publishing of Mission magazine each quarter, promoting Sabbath School mission offerings. As Rampton travelled, speaking at churches, camp meetings, Sabbath School workshops, and rallies, he expressed a deep concern that Sabbath School should be an agency to win people to Christ, strengthen church members in their faith through Bible study, and train members for service.31 Children were not forgotten, with workshops held for leaders to focus on guiding and training children and how to use visual aids to keep them interested.32

Each year, while he was at the General Conference, Rampton fulfilled two overseas itineraries promoting various Sabbath School interests.33 He felt it was a privilege to visit the twelve divisions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.34 Evangelism through Sabbath School was the focal point of study during the institutes he conducted.35

Later Life

Rampton retired from the General Conference in 1985 after 43 years of ministry and elected to retire in the United States.36 With his wife, he to Hendersonville, North Carolina, and while there pastored the congregation in Leicester (now known as the Erwin Hills church) for the next seven years.37 Rampton’s ministry was enhanced by the faithful support of his wife. Often left alone while Rampton travelled, she raised their sons and entertained church members hospitably. Barbara Rampton died on July 9, 2007, after 61 years of marriage.38 In 2009, while visiting his son and family in Naples, Florida, Howard became ill and died on January 8, 2009. A memorial service was conducted in Naples, by Pastor Leo Ranzolin and a graveside service in Henderson, North Carolina was led by Pastor Bob Frame.39

Sources

Beeler, Charles R. “Festival of Faith.” Central Union Reaper, November 3, 1977.

“Brevities.” Australasian Record, May 12, 1952.

Brewer, R. E. “Sabbath School Workshops.” Central Union Reaper, October 17, 1972.

“Sabbath School Workshops.” Central Union Reaper, November 7, 1972.

Douglass, A. E. “Missionary Voluneer-South New Zealand "Kiwi" J.M.V. Camp.” Austalasian Record, July 1, 1935.

“Howard F. Rampton.” Thos. Shepherd & Son: Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center. 2009.Accessed August 7, 2019. https://www.thosshepherd.com/obituary/howard-f-rampton/.

Krenzler, L. R. “Sabbath School Rallies and Health and Welfare Federations.” Canadian Union Messenger, November 30, 1971.

Larson, W. G. “VBS Workshops in Northern Union.” Northern Union Outlook, June 21, 1976.

Mowday, D. J. “Largest Civil Defence Gathering.” Australasian Record, October 2, 1961.

Rampton, Colin and Peter Rampton. Life sketch of Howard Francis Rampton. January 2009.

Rampton, Colin. “Howard F. Rampton obituary.” Australasian Record, May 9, 2009.

Rampton, F. G. “Wedding Bells.” Australasian Record, 4 February 4, 1946.

Rampton, Howard F. “$2,390,065 for Missions.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, February 3, 1964.

Rampton, Howard F. “Fires and Their Aftermath.” Signs of the Times, September 2, 1969.

Rampton, Howard F. “God Booked My Seat.” The Youth's Instructor, 7 November 7, 1967.

Rampton, Howard F. “The Hobart Holocaust.” Signs of the Times, November 1967.

Rampton, Howard F. “Ingathering for Christ.” Australasian Record, March 24, 1947.

Rampton, Howard F. “Lands End.” Northern Union Outlook, March 11, 1974.

Rampton, Howard F. “The Miracle of Unity.” ARH, September 11, 1980.

Rampton, Howard F. “Sydney Sanitarium and Hospital.” North Pacific Union Gleaner, May 27, 1968.

Rampton, Howard F. “Under the Southern Cross.” Gleaner [Australasian Union], October 18, 1965.

Rampton, Howard F. “When Disaster Strikes.” Signs of the Times, May 1, 1967.

Rampton, Howard Francis. Personal Service Records. General Conference Archives.

“Rampton visits Southern India.” Southern Asia Tidings, April 1982.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1971-1985.

Stanton, Ray. “Welfare in Action–2.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, April 17, 1967.

Wolfe, E. P. “2,000 Miles Through North-Western Australia.” Australasian Record, January 8, 1962.

Notes

  1. Howard Francis Rampton Personal Service Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, folder: “Rampton, Howard Francis,” document: “Biographical Record.”

  2. Personal knowledge of the author as a niece of Howard Rampton.

  3. Howard Rampton, “Rampton Ramblings,” unpublished manuscript held in the personal collection of the author.

  4. A. E. Douglass “Missionary Volunteer, South New Zealand ‘Kiwi’ J.M.V. Camp,” Australasian Record, July 1, 1935, 5.

  5. Howard Rampton, “Rampton Ramblings,” unpublished manuscript held in the personal collection of the author.

  6. Ibid.

  7. Ibid.

  8. Howard Francis Rampton Personal Service Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, folder: “Rampton, Howard Francis,” document: “Biographical Record.”

  9. Howard Rampton, “Rampton Ramblings,” unpublished manuscript held in the personal collection of the author.

  10. Ibid.

  11. Colin Rampton and Peter Rampton, Life sketch of Howard Francis Rampton, email message to author, January 2009.

  12. F. G. Rampton, “Wedding Bells,” Australasian Record, February 4, 1946, 6.

  13. Howard Francis Rampton Personal Service Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, folder: “Rampton, Howard Francis,” document: “Biographical Record

  14. Howard Rampton, “Rampton Ramblings,” unpublished manuscript held in the personal collection of the author.

  15. Ibid.

  16. Howard Francis Rampton Personal Service Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, folder: “Rampton, Howard Francis,” document: “Biographical Record.”

  17. Howard Rampton, “Rampton Ramblings,” unpublished manuscript held in the personal collection of the author; “Brevities,” Australasian Record, May 12, 1952, 8.

  18. Howard Rampton, “Rampton Ramblings,” unpublished manuscript held in the personal collection of the author.

  19. Ibid.

  20. Ibid.

  21. D. J. Mowday, “Largest Civil Defence Gathering,” Australasian Record, October 2, 1961, 1.

  22. E. P. Wolfe, “2000 Miles through North-Western Australia,” Australasian Record, January 8, 1962, 4.

  23. Howard Rampton, “Rampton Ramblings,” unpublished manuscript held in the personal collection of the author.

  24. Howard Francis Rampton Personal Service Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, folder: “Rampton, Howard Francis,” document “Employee Service Record.”

  25. Howard Rampton, “Rampton Ramblings,” unpublished manuscript held in the personal collection of the author.

  26. Colin Rampton and Peter Rampton, Life Sketch of Howard Francis Rampton, email message to author, January 2009.

  27. H. F. Rampton, “Under the Southern Cross,” Gleaner [Australasian Union], October 18, 1965, 1; H. F. Rampton, “$2,390,065 for Missions,” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, February 2, 1964, 1-2.

  28. Howard F. Rampton, “When Disaster Strikes,” Signs of the Times, May 1, 1967, 8; Howard F. Rampton, “Fires and Their Aftermath,” Signs of the Times, September 1, 1969, 6-7.

  29. Howard Francis Rampton Personal Service Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, folder: “Rampton, Howard Francis,” document: “Employee service record.”

  30. Colin Rampton, email message to author, June 17, 2019.

  31. Charles L. Beeler, “Superintendents Study Role of Sabbath School,” Central Union Reaper, November 3, 1977, 3.

  32. “Sabbath School Workshops,” Central Union Reaper, November 7, 1972, 9.

  33. Colin Rampton, email message to author, June 17, 2019.

  34. Colin Rampton and Peter Rampton, Life sketch of Howard Francis Rampton, email to author January 2009.

  35. “Rampton Visits Southern India,” Southern Asia Tidings, April 1982, 7.

  36. Howard Francis Rampton Personal Service Records, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, folder: “Rampton, Howard Francis,” document: “Employee Service Record.”

  37. Colin Rampton and Peter Rampton, Life sketch of Howard Francis Rampton, email message to author January 2009.

  38. Ibid.

  39. Sheri Rampton, email message to author, June 13, 2019.

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Douglas, Neroli. "Rampton, Howard Francis (1923–2009)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed September 23, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4AWR.

Douglas, Neroli. "Rampton, Howard Francis (1923–2009)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access September 23, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4AWR.

Douglas, Neroli (2021, April 28). Rampton, Howard Francis (1923–2009). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved September 23, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4AWR.