In Memoriam: Dick Snavely, Founder of Family Life Ministries

Dick SnavelyRichard “Dick” Mellinger Snavely, Founder of Family Life Ministries Inc., went to be with the Lord on June 11 at the age of 86.

In 1957, Snavely moved his family from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to Naples, New York, to begin a specialized ministry to area youth called Area Youth for Christ. The organization grew and began its first radio station in 1983.

Over the next 30 years, the radio outreach grew to nearly 70 outlets throughout the states of New York and Pennsylvania. In 1986, the organization changed its name to Family Life Ministries (Family Life). 

Today, Family Life’s radio network airs contemporary Christian music, biblical teaching, kids' programs, and news from a biblical worldview. Extending music and the arts to the stage, Family Life uses music concerts, theater, and dance to creatively communicate and connect audiences to the Gospel. Together with an inspirational staff and many dedicated volunteers, the ministry’s performing arts outreach presents stage plays, musicals, and dance performances, and provides theatrical training for developing talent. Family Life’s Center for the Arts, an extension of the performing arts outreach, offers private vocal and instrumental lessons, along with a variety of dance classes for students to learn the arts in a Christ-centered atmosphere.

To commemorate the ministry’s 50th anniversary in 2007, Snavely wrote An Ordinary Guy…With The Extraordinary God, an autobiography detailing the history of Family Life. Snavely was also the driving force behind the creation of New Life Homes-Snell Farm in the early 1970s, a home that provided hope and direction to delinquent youths.

Snavely is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Jacqueline “Jackie” DeVere; four adult children; and 11 grandchildren. Snavely and his wife were married on June 21, 1952.

In announcing Snavely’s passing, the Snavely family expressed their sincere appreciation to Care First in Corning, New York, and The Vincent Home in Wayland, New York, for their help, care, and love. 

An informal time of gathering for calling hours will be held 4-7 p.m. on June 16 at the Family Life Center in Bath, New York.  A memorial service honoring the God that Snavely served will take place at the same location on June 17 at 11 a.m. Snavely will be laid to rest at the Valley View Cemetery in Avoca, New York. 

In lieu of flowers, gifts given in Snavely’s memory can be made to Family Life Ministries’ Building Fund; PO Box 506; Bath, NY 14810.

By NRB Staff

Published: June 15, 2017

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