The bed sheet unfurled out of one of the windows in Ralph Stice’s dormitory at the University of South Carolina in 1980 read: “Kill All of the Iranians.” The Iran Hostage Crisis was at its peak. As he looked at the sheet, Ralph could sense God asking him, “Who is going to love these people?”
Thus began a lifelong passion for Muslim people in Ralph’s heart. After befriending several Iranians through his work as a volleyball referee in the intramural sports department (which led to at least one Iranian finding Jesus), Ralph went on a short-term missions trip to Kenya, where God clearly called him into cross-cultural ministry.
Upon his return from that trip during his college years, Ralph continued his studies in journalism and was employed as an editor on a newspaper staff upon graduation, all the while planning a return to Africa in the future. After a couple of years in newspaper work, Ralph married Charlotte Graeff and completed his seminary studies at Columbia International University.
After a four-year stint as a pastor in his native Maryland and Virginia, Ralph asked his denominational mission board to send him to an unreached people group. The board complied and he was assigned to work with Muslims in central Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, reigniting his love for followers of Islam.
Four years of church planting in West Africa led to an additional term evangelizing Muslims from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia in the ghettos surrounding Paris, then a third term teaching in the closed country of Turkey.
Throughout these 11 years among Muslims, Ralph has talked to just about every type of Muslim alive, from those who speak of jihad to those who believe in coexistence. This wide range of interaction, along with his personal study of Islam, has equipped Ralph to synthesize today’s headlines with biblical prophecy. When he undertook a study of Islamic prophecy for his first book, From 9/11 to 666, he was stunned by the parallels in biblical passages and was eager to share the results with readers. Ralph spoke in dozens of churches on that theme and continued his research over the next decade, resulting in a sequel to his first work, entitled Arab Spring, Christian Winter.
Unlike many writers who discuss Islam and Muslims, Ralph has actually lived in their communities and confesses a deep love and attachment to these largely unreached peoples. That enables him to speak the truth in love, sans hate speech, as he speculates on the role of Islam in the End Times and how God calls Christians to respond.