Bishop Booker Taliaferro Ruffin, Sr. was born to the late Dave Blucher and the late Annie Ruffin on September 5, 1925 in Riderwood, Alabama. He had one sister, Cora Todd, who preceded him in death.
He gave his life to the Lord at the age of 28. On June 5, 1954, he was joined in holy matrimony to Catherine Rooks who preceded him in death. Four wonderful children were born to this union.
Bishop Ruffin accepted his call to the ministry shortly after he was saved and baptized in the Holy Ghost. He served as pastor of three churches concurrently. He was appointed pastor of the Community Glorious Temple Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Gilbertown, AL by Bishop C. A. Ashworth in 1954. He served there from 1954 until 1982. This church had 100 members, which included the children. In 1966, Bishop Ashworth appointed him pastor of the Arlington COGIC. He served there from 1966 until 1982. He also served as pastor at Riderwood COGIC from 1974 until 1982. As if he did not have enough to do, Elder Ruffin later began a Mission in Shady Grove, AL.
Later, Bishop Ruffin was elevated to the office of Bishop and appointed pastor of the Glorious Temple Church of God by Apostle Freddie Ford (Alpha and Omega Glorious Temple Church of God of the Apostolic Faith) and Apostle J. E. Johnson (C&J Holiness) in 1982. He was appointed pastor of the Living Church of God Pentecostal Gilbertown by Bishop Elmer Lane during the mid-90’s. He remained faithful until his death.
His ministry spans over 60 years. He will be remembered as the little preacher that: 1) could preach and dance (jump) at the same time, 2) carried the saints to church on the back of a pickup truck, and 3) provided assistance to everyone that he could. Bishop Ruffin’s secular jobs included: Running a Lumber Edger at a Saw Mill; Cutting, loading, and hauling pulp wood; Farming Vegetation (plowing corn fields with a mule and a horse); and Farming Animals (raising cows, hogs, and chickens). His favorite Scriptures are: Jeremiah 17:14 (Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved) and I Thessalonians 4:7-8 (For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit).
Precious memories of Bishop Ruffin will linger in the hearts and minds of his four children—Paul B. (Vetrea) Ruffin of Harvest, AL, Booker T. Ruffin, Jr. of Gilbertown, AL, Lillie A. Brooks of Livingston, AL, and Kathy J. Ruffin of Gilbertown, AL; five adopted children—Lola Pace Ruffin, Harry G. Pace, Gloria Pace, Tracy L. Pace, and Jessie R. Pace; a devoted godson, James (Julie) Whigham of Waynesboro, MS; Molet (Bertha) Gray of Toxey, AL; 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.