I Am Wilshire: Ralph Manuel

by | Sep 29, 2023 | I Am Wilshire

Hometown: Oklahoma City.
Present City: Dallas.
Education: Oklahoma City University,
Southwestern Baptist Seminary, B. H. Carroll Theological Seminary.
Profession: Retired music minister, missionary, educator.

Tell us about your family.
My wife, Donna, and I have two adult children, James and Melissa, who live somewhat nearby. In addition, we have a daughter-in-law, Marisa, and two granddaughters, Bella and Dani.

How about your work or volunteer life?
I am privileged to serve as handbell coordinator at Wilshire; I am also an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University.

Favorite hobbies?
Music, in all its forms. I try to keep active as a composer and music arranger. I also enjoy collecting books, including old hymnals.

What are your favorite places to travel?
Out-of-the-way places where I haven’t been before. Or any place where there are family or old friends.

What brought you to Wilshire and when?
After Donna and I retired in 2017, we moved from Maryland to Dallas to be closer to family. After visiting a number of churches in town, we decided that Wilshire was the place for us and joined in 2018.

Where are you engaged at Wilshire?
In addition to my work with handbells, I sing in Sanctuary Choir, assist with Faith in 3D productions, and am part of Cord of Three class.

What has surprised you most about Wilshire?
I don’t know that I was surprised, but I am delighted to be a part of a multigenerational church where everyone is so supportive of one another.

What do you think God is up to in your life right now?
I think that God is trying to get me to settle down and just be — present tense, being who I am, without undue focus on my past or excessive concern about my future.

Tell us about your faith journey.
I grew up in the Baptist church, part of a Christian family. I gave my life to Christ at an early age and continued to be active in the church. While in college, I felt God was calling me to service as a missionary, so in due course Donna and I were appointed to serve in Brazil, where we remained for 24 years. In 2004 we returned to the United States, where I served as minister of music in Annapolis, Maryland, for 13 years before moving to Dallas and becoming part of Wilshire.

Something interesting most people would not know about you?
I received an award for outstanding performance in physical education in the broad jump event — in fourth grade.

What adjectives best describe you?
Supportive, patient, steadfast.

*If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming I Am Wilshire feature, contact Carolyn Murray (cmurray@wilshirebc.org)