A Life Lived Royally Well – How to Live a Blood, Sweat and Tears Gospel in No Easy Steps: The Life and Times of Royal Blue.

January 14, 2022

In Memory of Pastor Royal Blue who passed away on a Sunday afternoon, August 22, 2021 at the age of 95.

Passing the torch. Pastor Royal Blue with Jonathan Anderson, current Executive Director of the Good News Rescue Mission.


A Life Lived Royally Well – How to Live a Blood, Sweat and Tears Gospel in No Easy Steps: The Life and Times of Royal Blue.

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” – James 2: 14-17

On August 7, 1942, America launched its first major WW II land offense—dubbed the Battle of Guadacanal—against the Empire of Japan. Young Navy gunboat armament operator Royal Blue was deployed in that hard-fought battle, giving him experience not only in battling insurmountable odds, but also in helping to launch a major offensive against a common enemy.

In 1964, the Reverend Royal D. Blue used those invaluable life lessons when he launched Shasta County’s first major offensive against the growing problem of homelessness. But before that offensive—one that would one day set thousands of hurting men and women free—there was prayer. It was a raw, get-on-your-knees-and-ask-for-God’s-favor kind of prayer.

And so, with God on his side, and a fervent faith, Blue and his equally concerned cohorts pulled their resources together to purchase a humble two-story white house on Market Street in Redding, CA.  They named it The Good News Rescue Mission—a haven for the homeless where down-and-outers could receive food and shelter … served with a big heaping of spiritual sustenance to nourish their battle-weary souls.

God’s man for the job quickly got on the job: raising funds and soliciting volunteers. Blue was the ideal servant leader. There was nothing he asked anyone to do that he wouldn’t do himself. That kind of servant’s heart and compassion for society’s outcasts came from his own impoverished beginnings in rural Indiana.

There was always too much month at the end of the money to feed too many hungry mouths.

“People don’t know what poor is today,” remarked Blue. “Often, we would get up from the table, after we’d eaten all that was there, and would still be terribly hungry.  Mother would get up early, and I didn’t know at the time, to leave her food for the children.  So, I have always had a love and sorrow for the poor.”

Besides the heart for it, Blue had the ministerial chops. After attending Biola University in Los Angeles, he became involved in rural youth ministry. This led him to Redding in 1962, where he spoke at a Youth for Christ Rally.  Not long after, he started what is now called Crosspointe Christian Center. Blue faithfully served as minister there for seventeen years. He also helped to found KVIP Christian radio station and would later go on to start Shasta Bible College.

But Blue was never just about cramming young, eager minds with a head knowledge of the Bible. He believed that God’s Word had to be demonstrated with a “theology of the trenches.”

Most of all, this self-effacing man from humble beginnings preached—and lived—a “love that wilt not let me go” kind of gospel—a gospel that wouldn’t be content with letting those who had been held captive by addiction and poverty remain that way. To him, love meant going on the offensive, not sitting on the sidelines observing the misery of man while wringing his hands with despair over their hapless plight.

Royal on the mike—preaching and teaching the Word. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35)

Rev. Royal Blue’s brand of Christianity was more than a warm, oozy feeling. It was tangible. And it was tough. It had to be. Historically, ministries that serve “the least of these” tend to get hit with the “most” trouble—both from within and without. Opposing forces are well practiced at keeping men and women in misery and they are loathe to give up any of their occupied territory.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12)

But God, as the Rev. Royal Blue learned early on in Iife, is greater than our foes. He is mighty to save and brings light to those who are in darkness through the “ready, set, go” willingness of His humble servants.

These servant warriors go where others fear to tread. When they grow weary in battle, as each of us invariably do, they put their trust in the God of Angel Armies—the God who gives us victory over all our enemies, both domestic (Exodus 34: 7) and foreign (I Pet. 5:8).


Pastor Royal Blue was such a man. He didn’t make a big ministerial splash as much as carve out a series of streams in a parched land. In the war against poverty and injustice, he would not likely win any Christian media popularity contests; instead, he would win something of far greater value: transformed lives in the here and now and heavenly crowns in the hereafter.

It’s the reason the Good News Rescue Mission still stands today. Depending on the torchbearers who follow to carry the flame, good beginnings often mean greater longevity. The Mission is proof of that. Nearing sixty years later, it’s still going and going strong. This is due both to the nature of a tough, pioneering county and to those it breeds. And to a Jesus loving man who saw a need and didn’t just “walk on by”—ignoring the suffering Samaritan in the dirt.

Royal and Honey. Fitting names for two lovers of God’s Word. Both passed on to glory in 2021. “’His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” (Matt. 25:23)

Pastor Royal Blue’s life, and how he lived it, is a life lesson for all of us. It should also serve as an inspiration to get our priorities straight. “ Let us not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval” (John 6:27).

All who knew him, would agree. The humble man who grew up in a poor farming family in Indiana to live a life dedicated to the service of the “least of these” had God’s seal of approval.

It is fitting to end this tribute to the Rev. Royal Blue, a man of vision and uncommon faith with a poem he penned. It was said he passed in peace, with a smile on his face, no doubt after getting a glimpse of the Glory that awaits us all—to those who put their trust in Him.

It’s a good way to die—and an even better way to live.


Thank You God


I’m not as young now,

As once I used to be.

I’m in my later years,

And not much going for me.

As I review my past,

And the things that I now see,

God gives me great encouragement

How He took good care of me.

My blessings have been many,

And my trials not a few,

But God was always there for me

And His grace has seen me through.

I’ve a beautiful home in glory,

That God has prepared for me

It’s free of sin, sickness, and sorrow,

And no more crying there will be.

There I will be with and like Him,

Changed in the twinkling of an eye.

There to dwell for all eternity

With loved ones I once said good-bye.

Royal D. Blue