Mickey Rylant – Cmdr. Rylant was a rather easy-going guy…definitely not the hard charger of some of his predecessors as District Commander. Because of his demeanor, he was able to smooth out various elements of the Royal Rangers ministry. There are always challenges in leadership, but he was the smooth and easy guy to make amends and get along. Some wanted more regimentation, some less. Some wanted less distance and expense; some were just willing to live with it. He was a very good mediator. He was a friend. He was an advocate for anyone with an issue: their camp site, insurance, rules, schedules, activities, new regulations. At this he was indeed the man to see both sides and come to resolution.
He is most likely to be remembered for his peace-making style, but ably carried on the mission, vison and tradition of the ministry. His desire was a quiet place for prayer and reflection. He kept searching and finally decided upon an altar. He built an altar at a very good location around which there were many campfires, sermons, messages, and prayer. As the years were not kind to Cdmr. Rylant’s altar, and it came into disrepair, it was dismantled and the stones incorporated into the fireplace of the Panther Pavillion.
Cmdr. Rylant never did have great health (ergo his own chosen name of Lame Beaver). The doctors told us that the arteries and veins surrounding his heart were too thin to operate on…medically they had no solution to offer. At his point of death, we gathered around his hospital bed and prayed for healing. God did raise him up and he served and ministered for almost 10 years thereafter. It was a healing that we all marveled at. He alone knew the depth of that healing and was so grateful for the love and concern of his fellow Rangers.
Cmdr. Rylant served Alabama as District Commander from 2000-2004.
When it finally came his time to go, he had achieved the hallmarks of his ministry efforts to the joy and thankfulness of all that knew him. God bless you Sir for your service to this ministry.