RALPH W. CANTY, SR., the youngest son of the late Reverend Benjamin F. and Rena Smith Canty, Sr. was born in Sumter, South Carolina. He is married to the former Toye J. Richburg, the father of four children and the grandfather of six children.
DR. CANTY, a 1963 graduate of Lincoln High School, matriculated at Morris College where he received the Bachelor of Arts degree and the Bachelor of Divinity degree. He also earned the Doctor of Ministry degree from Hood Theological Seminary. Morris College and Benedict College awarded him the Doctor of Divinity degree and the Doctor of Law degree, respectively.
He acknowledged his call to the ministry in 1963 and was licensed to the Gospel Ministry by First Baptist Missionary Church, the Reverend Dr. William S. Randolph, pastor; a year later he was ordained through the Wateree Baptist Association, Lower Division, the Reverend Dr. L. W. Williams, moderator.
CANTY was extended the pastorate of Savannah Grove Baptist Church (Effingham, SC) in November of 1968. Prior to this protracted service history, he served Mt. Rona Baptist Church, Effingham; Second Baptist Church, Hartsville, and Silent Grove Baptist Church, Loris, South Carolina for brief periods.
DR. CANTY is the moderator of the Pee Dee Baptist Association, board member, Sumter School District #17, local advisory board for the Salvation Army, the Manning Avenue Free Studio Board of Directors, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., the NAACP (Life Member) and the Goodfellows Social Club.
He is a past president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the South Carolina Congress of Christian Education and the South Carolina Morticians Association. A former legislator and member of the Legislative Black Caucus, he served on the Medical, Municipal and Military Committee, the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee and the Joint Judicial Screening Commission. He is a former member of the General Council of the World and National Council of Churches of Christ and the Baptist World Alliance, the Morris College Board of Trustees and the Community Immediate Care Facility.
Listed among the l00 Most Influential African Americans by Ebony Magazine in 1981 and 1982 he is the recipient of the Sumter County ML King Observance, Civil Rights Award, 1989; and Citizen of the Year, 1979 and Man of the Year, 1984 for Gamma Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.