Ralph Douglas Phifer, AKA BIG Ralph, passed away in Huntersville, North Carolina, on Monday, March 22, 2021. Ralph was born December 03, 1964, in Mooresville, North Carolina, to Shirley Phifer and Ralph Young. He was known as a quiet and gentle giant.
Ralph was a native of Mooresville, North Carolina, and a graduate of Mooresville HS. He was a standout student-athlete who held various records in track, weight lifting, and football. He also was all Piedmont, All-State, and selected to the NC Shrine Bowl Team.
He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a football scholarship, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1988. He was a 3-time scout player of the week as a freshman, most improved player in 1985, offensive lineman of the week vs. North Carolina State in 1985, and played in the Peach and Aloha Bowl.
In 1992, Ralph gave his life to Christ. In 1997, he moved to Oklahoma to pursue ministry. Shortly after moving, Ralph met his wife. In 2000, he graduated from the School of Life Bible School in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Not long after, he married and started his family. Ralph and his family moved back to North Carolina in 2004, where they pioneered Impacting Word Church in Mooresville. Over the years, Ralph has served as senior pastor, men’s pastor, youth pastor, worked with prison ministries, and countless other community positions. In 2007, Ralph was inducted into the Mooresville High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
In addition to pastoring, Ralph expanded his ministry outside of the church walls. He conducted Next Level seminars to help high school student-athletes and parents understand what it takes to transition from high school to college. Ralph also authored the successful selling book entitled, “Your Decisions Determine Your Destiny,” which has blessed many. Ralph spoke with passion, determination and shared his life experiences every time he preached. His message of purpose and destiny has impacted the lives of thousands. Ralph’s greatest desire was to take the healing power of Jesus Christ to a lost, hurting, and dying world through the healing ministry that God called him to. He believed, to fulfill your destiny, you must learn to make wise decisions. Ralph proclaimed each day of our lives, we are faced with destiny decisions. He taught everyone he met how to live a “PHENOMENAL” life and build on godly choices.
Ralph leaves to cherish his memories, his wife, Bridget; two children, Christopher and Destini; sister, Thaddine Mathis; two aunts, Martha Brewer and Laura Daye; uncle, Howard Phifer (Doris); and a host of cousins, teammates, family, and friends.
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