Cover photo for The Rev. John  Rankin's Obituary
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1953 The Rev. John 2020

The Rev. John Rankin

June 23, 1953 — December 25, 2020

The Rev. John Clifford Rankin, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and sibling passed on from this life to be with the Lord Jesus on a windswept Christmas Day, 2020. A resident of Simsbury, CT, John was born on June 23, 1953 in New Britain, CT to his parents, Emmett Clair Rankin, M.D. and Anne McKee Rankin and grew up in West Hartford, CT. John graduated from South Kent School, Denison University (B.A. History), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Harvard Divinity School (Th.M. Ethics and Public Policy); and had been pursuing an M.Phil. and Ph.D. on Hebrew Covenant and Political Freedom at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. John was also an alumnus of the Fellowship of Christians in University and Schools (FOCUS), of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) and was ordained through the Vineyard Christian Fellowship. John and his wife Nancy had their four children in Massachusetts, where he studied and served in pastoral ministry, headed up a New England wide evangelical pro-life organization and founded the Theological Education Institute before returning to his native Connecticut in 1992. John wrote numerous articles, authored more than 11 books, hosted his own radio show, and taught internationally. John was a friend to many, a minister who spoke in hundreds of churches and many college campuses throughout New England and beyond. For decades, John addressed the most controversial political debates through his Mars Hill Forum Series, hosting a range of advocates with differing views and positions than his own. John believed in what he called a "Level Playing Field" for all ideas and questions to be heard equally. He was known to be kind, fair, and humorous. John pursued the Golden Rule: "Treat others as you wish to be treated." The point he said was never to win a debate but a relationship. John desired to see biblically literate people living out the ethics of Jesus in serving their communities and running for political office. To this end, in 2019, he founded the Emancipation Party. John is survived by his wife of 43 years, Nancy Gordon Rankin, and their children and families; son Robert Chad Rankin, wife Christiane, her children, Gustavo, Alana and David, and their son Evan, of Southbridge, MA; son Stuart John Rankin, wife Maike, and their children, Hannah, Phoebe and Noah, of Flensburg, Germany; and daughter Brittney Anne Rankin of Simsbury, CT; he is also survived by his sisters Linda Rankin of Knoxville, TN and Deborah Rankin of Portland, ME; his brother Douglas Rankin, wife Ann Reynolds, and their sons, Will and Ben, of West Hartford, CT; his sister-in-law Barbara Hummel, and her daughter, Kristen Addonizio, husband Craig, and their son, James, of Minneapolis, MN; his brother-in-law, David Gordon, wife Jean, and their daughters, Taylor, Kelsey and Megan, of McHenry, IL; and a larger extended family. John was pre-deceased by his parents; his sister Dayna Rankin; his granddaughter, Ellie V. Rankin; and by his beloved son Jeremy, who died earlier in 2020. The Memorial Service will be held Saturday, February 13, 2020, 11:00 a.m., at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 124 Old Farms Road, Simsbury, CT 06070. Due to limited seating, there will be pre-registration. The service will also be live streamed: Donations may be made in John's name to the church's Memorial Fund. An online guestbook can also be found at:
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Covenant Presbyterian Church,

124 Old Farms Rd, Simsbury, CT 06070

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