|states. The Willing Workers
purchased a fully equipped 300-seat
tent for his tent meetings. During
one summer, more than 400
persons accepted Jesus Christ as
their Lord and Savior.
When millions were still unemployed
in the 1930s, Percy Ricketts
purchased several acres in North
Danville. The land was sub-divided
and small homes were built for
young couples. Four and six room
houses were sold for $1,200 to
$2,500. While people thought Percy
received large profits, on one
six-room house, the sale price was
$3.65 more than his cost.
During the 1930s and 40s, Percy
served 20 years on the School
Board and four years on the City
Council. With 13 candidates
running, Percy received the highest
number of votes.
In 1941, Percy ceased the house
building program and resigned his
job as stereotyper at the Danville
Register and Bee newspaper to go
into the full-time ministry. His
income was cut from $7,000 to
$2,000 a year.
Percy Hutchins Ricketts was born in Dry Fork, Virginia, on April 24, 1904. He was the son of
Charlie Edward Ricketts and Lucy James (Mills) Ricketts.
Percy was ordained a deacon at age nineteen and became a Sunday school teacher. He taught in the
Willing Workers Bible Class at Third Avenue Christian Church in Danville, Virginia, and the class grew to
three hundred attendees. While he served as Sunday School superintendent, the attendance went from
100 to 1,000. He served as assistant pastor without pay for several years. Thousands of unfortunate
children lived in the Faith Home at Blairs, which was organized by Percy and other men at Third Avenue
|Percy Hutchins Ricketts at an early age
After a six-week mission trip in the West Indies, he returned
home and organized the Mission Crusader’s Board. Over the
200 orphan children.
When he was 26 years old, Percy married Beatrice Shelton
on June 25, 1930. Bea was a daughter of Robert B. Shelton
and Susie Dodson Shelton. In 1934, they built a rock house
on Rocklawn Place at a cost of $3,000.
Percy and Bea had one child: Irene James Estes, who was
born May 15, 1931. Irene married Reverend Manson P. Estes
from Charlottesville, Virginia, and they have three daughters:
Denise, Dona, and Dawn.
|Rev. Percy H. Ricketts and his wife, Beatrice (Shelton) Ricketts
During World War II, Percy provided monthly letters ad gospel tracts for over 1,300 servicemen. He
pastors. There were more than 200 conversions; mostly servicemen. Religious books and Holy Bibles
were distributed by the mission. After the war, he opened the Religious Book Center in downtown
Danville, which is still in operation by Fred Beville, who worked for Percy for many years.
After 30 years at the Third Avenue church, Percy organized Lakewood Evangelical Methodist Church on
U. S. 58 east of Danville, Virginia, where he served as pastor for twenty-one years.