About dr. ritter

William A. Ritter retired on June 30, 2005 after 40 years as a United Methodist minister and 12 years as senior minister of the 3200 member First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, Michigan. Pastoral assignments included Birmingham, First (1993-2005), and Nardin Park UMC, Farmington Hills, MI (1980-1993), Newburg UMC in Livonia, MI (1969-1980) and Dearborn, First UMC, Dearborn, MI (1965-1969).

A Detroit native, Bill was a member of Westlawn United Methodist Church. He graduated from Mackenzie High School, Detroit, MI (1958), Albion College, Albion, MI (BA, 1962) and Yale Divinity School (M.Div., 1965). Albion College awarded him an honorary DD in 1981.

Bill has served on a number of denominational boards and community agencies, and has been a Trustee of Albion College for 30 years. In addition to authoring a book of prayers (Prayers for Albion College), his book of sermons, Take the Dimness of My Soul Away: Healing After a Loved One’s Suicide, was released in 2004.

I am thrilled to finally have the opportunity to gather all of my sermons in one place and I hope that this website becomes a resource to my congregations, clergy members and friends.
— Dr. William Ritter

Continuing Work

After retirement, Bill held the title of Visiting Faculty in Preaching at Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina, where he also taught a course in church stewardship, fundraising and financial management.  He was designated Visiting Scholar in the Gerald R. Ford Institute of Public Policy and the Carl Gerstacker Institute of Professional Management at Albion College (Winter/Spring, 2006) and has taught at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, MI. Additional post-retirement responsibilities included a mentoring program linking him with clergy in their first decade of ministry and interim ministerial assignments at Newburg UMC, Fenton UMC, Shelby Township and Northville UMC. 

He served as the Executive Director of the United Methodist Union of Greater Detroit, a foundation that provides loans and grants to churches in the Metro Detroit area from 2009-2015.