Leroy E. Ricks, Sr – Founder New Berean Baptist Church

On Tuesday, June 23, 2020, Pastor Leroy Edward Ricks, Sr. was called to his eternal rest in the Heavenly realm by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Leroy Ricks, Sr. was born on August 12, 1951 in Norfolk County, VA (South Norfolk section of Chesapeake) to the late Doris Bell Ricks.
He graduated from Crestwood High School in 1971. While at Crestwood, he excelled at drafting and mechanical drawing. He loved the game of basketball. His work-ethic, tenacity, and dogged perseverance was forged on the hardwood. He championed the position of point guard for the Bombers earning All-City honors. Basketball was his second love, next to his love for his high school sweetheart, Vanessa Hinton.

After graduation, he work at Norfolk Dredging Company, GFM, and Norfolk Naval Air Station as an inside machinist. It was at the Air Station where he encountered Jesus Christ via a bible study. After he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal savior, he joined Calvary Evangelical Baptist Church under the leadership of Wilbur Jones and then under the guidance of Dr. Allen R. McFarland. While at Calvary, Pastor Ricks served as Sunday school teacher and then Sunday School Superintendent, Deacon and Associate Minister. In September of 1989, he and a few faithful men founded New Berean Baptist Church where he faithfully and tirelessly served as the Senior Pastor for 31 years. Great will be his reward!

In preparation for the calling, he attended Washington Bible College, Luther Rice College and Seminary, and later he graduated with a Bachelor of Biblical Education degree from Tabernacle Baptist College & Theological. His favorite scripture that related to his calling to preach was Galatians 1:15-16, which states: “ But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood.”

He was predeceased by his grandmother, Cora Ricks, mother, Doris Bell Ricks-Hargrove, and eldest sister, Dorothy Jean Parker.
He leaves to cherish his beloved memory his high school sweetheart and wife of 49 years, Vanessa Ricks, three adult sons and daughters-in-love, Leroy (Nuke) E. Ricks, Jr. (Felicia) of Suffolk; VA., Dr. Lamont. E. Ricks (Tracey) of Suffolk, VA., and Lance E. Ricks (Ericka) of Suffolk, VA.; four granddaughters, Destini Ricks, Aniyah Ricks, McKenzie Ricks, Areyah Ricks ;a sister, Mary Clayton and brother, Percell Ricks (Selma); New Berean Baptist Church family, pastoral co-laborers in the ministry, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.