Leeds – Yorkshire, England
Born in Leeds, in Yorkshire, England, Ravenhill was educated at Cliff College in England and sat under the ministry of Samuel Chadwick. He was a student of church history, with a particular interest in Christian revival. His evangelistic meetings during the Second World War drew large crowds. Many converts devoted themselves to Christian ministry and foreign missions.
In 1939, he married an Irish nurse, Martha. The Ravenhills had three sons: Paul, David, and Philip. Paul and David are Christian ministers, and Philip is a teacher.
In 1950, Ravenhill and his family moved from Great Britain to the United States. In the 1960s they traveled within the United States, holding tent revivals and evangelistic meetings.
In the 1980s, Ravenhill moved to a home near Lindale, Texas, a short distance from Last Days Ministries Ranch. He regularly taught classes at LDM and was a mentor to the late Keith Green. He also spent some time teaching at Bethany College of Missions in Minnesota, and some time in Seguin, Texas.
Among others influenced by Ravenhill were Ray Comfort, Ravi Zacharias, Tommy Tenney, Steve Hill, Charles Stanley, Bill Gothard, Paul Washer, and David Wilkerson.
He was a close friend of pastor and writer A. W. Tozer.
Through his teaching and books, Ravenhill addressed the disparities he perceived between the New Testament Church and the Church in his time and called for adherence to the principles of biblical revival.
Tozer said of Ravenhill:
“To such men as this, the church owes a debt too heavy to pay. The curious thing is that she seldom tries to pay him while he lives. Rather, the next generation builds his sepulchre and writes his biography – as if instinctively and awkwardly to discharge an obligation the previous generation to a large extent ignored.”
Ravenhill passed from this life into the next in November 1994 and is interred at Garden Valley Cemetery in Garden Valley, Texas.