“North Carolina has lost a great leader and an incredible woman of deep faith who epitomized graciousness, poise and authentic love,” responded NC Family President John L. Rustin after learning of the passing of former State Representative Ruth Samuelson on Monday. “Ruth radiated the love of Christ, and she always saw and brought out the best in others,” Rustin continued. “Our heartfelt prayers go out to Ruth’s family and friends. We mourn with them in their loss and rejoice with them in the knowledge that Ruth now stands in the presence of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
During her four terms in the State House, Ruth Samuelson distinguished herself as a highly intelligent, conscientious and hardworking lawmaker respected by all members of the North Carolina General Assembly. She championed numerous pro-life and pro-family initiatives, often serving as the primary sponsor of these bills and giving moving and personal testimony as she presented legislation to her colleagues. She was also very willing to reach across the aisle to befriend and work with all legislators regardless of party affiliation. Prior to her retirement from the House, Samuelson rose to the position of House Republican Conference Leader.
Ruth is survived by her husband Ken, four children, four grandchildren and many other family and friends. A service celebrating her life will be held at First Baptist Church, Charlotte (301 S. Davidson St.) at 2:30 p.m. on Friday January 27.
“While other members kept jars of candy on their desks in the House chamber to provide a boost of energy during extended sessions, Ruth kept a jar of Scripture verses and hymns from which she drew strength and encouragement,” said Jere Royall, NC Family’s Counsel and Director of Community Impact. “I vividly remember one of her last days in the State House and some of her last words on the chamber floor,” Royall recalled. “She recited the words from the hymn ‘In Christ Alone.’”
As a tribute to the life of Ruth Culbertson Samuelson, the lyrics of “In Christ Alone” are included below. You can listen along as well if you wish:
“In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.”
(“In Christ Alone” lyrics by Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend, 2001)