Panther, Rev. Dr. J. David


The Rev. Dr. Johnnie David Panther, 56, of Butler, a good and faithful servant, returned to the loving arms of his Father May 26, 2013, while surrounded by his loving family.

Pastor Dave served as senior pastor at Butler First United Methodist Church for 21 years, launching the Crossfire Campus in 1999. He had previously served United Methodist churches in Ambridge, Pa., and Clarion, Pa.

Along with being the senior pastor, David was the chairman of the Episcopacy Committee of the Western Pennsylvania Conference.

David received the Paul Harris Fellow Award while active in the Ambridge Rotary, and the Diversity Award from Slippery Rock University. Dave touched many people's lives and will be greatly missed by so many.

Beloved husband, best friend and soulmate of Jana "Janis" (Reid) Panther for 31 years; loving father of Bethany Leigh (Panther) Raraigh and her husband, Douglas Raraigh, of Butler and Jonathan David Panther of Pittsburgh; proud and adoring grandfather "Spud" of Ella Faith and Keira Hope Raraigh; dear son of Johnnie Lee and Patricia Ann Panther; caring brother of Lisa Ann Pontiere and her husband, Ernest; cherished son-in-law of Estella D. Reid; and brother-in-law of William A. Reid. Devoted uncle of William T. Reid, Travis J. Reid, Alexia M. Pontiere, Brooke A. Reid and Elizabeth A. Pontiere; brother in Christ and friend to the First Church staff and congregation.

Friends and family are invited to a time of fellowship, sharing and love from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 2 at the First United Methodist Church's Crossfire Campus, 1802 N. Main St. Ext., Butler. A celebration of David's life will follow at 3:30 p.m. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Crossfire Faith Promise Appeal. The family would like to use a portion of donations received to place a memorial Good Shepherd Window, duplicating the one in the downtown sanctuary, at the Crossfire Campus. Checks can be made out to First United Methodist Church with Crossfire Fund in the memo line.

Arrangements were entrusted to Jobe Funeral Home, Turtle Creek, Pa. For more information, go to