Weaver grew up in Harrisonburg. His father, H.D. Weaver, was the
business manager of EMS (EMU). He graduated high school from EMS in 1936
and worked at different jobs from sheet metal, grocery store management
to refrigeration until he was drafted by the Army in March, 1944, during
World War II.
As a conscientious objector, Richard was first sent to Civilian Public
Service Camp #28 at Medaryville, Indiana, where the work projects were
farming, wild life reconnaissance and forestry. After 9 months there he
transferred to CPS Unit #93, the Harrisburg State Mental Hospital in
Pennsylvania. After another 9 months, Richard transferred to CPS Unit
#103, a U.S. Forest Service Smokejumpers unit that fought forest fires
by parachuting to remote areas. He purchased and flew a 65 HP
Taylorcraft airplane trainer from Harrisburg, PA, to Missoula, MT. The
plane was used by the Smokejumper Flying Club. Richard served as flight
instructor and camp clerk until the camp closed in January of 1946.
He then returned to Medaryville, IN and became camp director. While on
furlough, he married Virginia Grove in March, 1946. She accompanied him
back to Medaryville as camp nurse and matron. They were charged with
closing Camp #28. They then transferred to CPS Unit #55, at Belton,
Montana, as director and camp nurse, where they served until discharged
from Civilian Public Service.
Back home in Virginia, Richard and Virginia lived at Dale Enterprise
near Harrisonburg. Richard worked as a plumber with his father-in-law
and Virginia served as a registered nurse at Rockingham Memorial
On August 15, 1948, Richard was ordained by lot to the ministry by
Virginia Mennonite Conference. After he was ordained, he earned a BA in
Bible from EMC (EMU) in 1953. Together, Richard and Virginia served
pastorates at Bethel, Horton, Lambert, and Job, West Virginia, then at
Rawley Springs and Sandy Bottom in Rockingham County, VA. In 1958,
Richard became pastor of Broad Street Mennonite Mission, where he served
for 20 years. After leaving Broad Street, he was asked to pastor the New
Covenant Mennonite Church from its inception until a younger pastor
became available. After retiring from New Covenant, he served Hopewell
Mennonite Church at Elverson, PA, as interim pastor from 1988 to 1989.
Richard graciously came out of retirement to serve as interim pastor at
Staunton Mennonite Church for 6 months, and then agreed to stay on as
half-time pastor. He was Pastor until 1995, and then retired again.
Following his retirement from the ministry he was appointed elder until
2003. At that time Richard and Virginia felt they needed to be closer
home because of health reasons. Richard and Virginia live at Dale
Enterprise and enjoy traveling in their RV, amateur radio, gardening,
and visiting with their many friends and family. They are now members at
Weaver’s Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, but continue to be active in
the life of the Mennonite Church. At Weaver’s he serves as assistant
teacher of the Adult Sr. Sunday School Class where his motto is, “You
retire from pastorates, but never from ministering”. Richard and
Virginia have given us many years of mature insight and contributed many
hours to the work here at Staunton Mennonite they continue to be and
inspiration to us all.