Mr Ruddock was born in Growell, Co. Down, the son of farming parents, who were both saved and members of the local Presbyterian Church. They had been brought to Christ during meetings conducted by Messrs Campbell and Smith. When Andrew was thirteen years of age he experienced the new birth while gathering potatoes in his fathers field. Although the country was astir with gospel activity, there was much opposition to believers baptism and New Testament church principles, and some of the converts had to pay dearly for their submission to Gods ways. Is it any wonder that, having bought the truth, they would not sell it, and walked in it until the end of life? Many younger folk, more or less "free born" would more easily let things go.
The Ruddock family were soon baptised and were amongst the earliest members of Growell assembly. It was from this assembly that Andrew was commended to the work of the Lord, in which he so loyally and profitably continued until God took him home. With Mr T. Lough as his companion, he visited the Mourne district to seek a site to pitch a tent for meetings. Seeing a place in Mullartown, they enquired of the owner, whose daughter objected, but her objection was overruled and permission was granted. God worked and many were saved, including the objector, Miss Margaret McCracken, who later became Mr Ruddocks wife. After the tent season, a wooden hall was erected and an assembly formed; it is now meeting in a good hall in Annalong.
Mr Ruddock was a weak man physically and often in life was thought to be at the point of death, calling the family around him and saying good-bye, but God had need of him.
He was very sensitive to the conscience of others. Someone gave him a bicycle to journey to a distant assembly on the Lords Day, but a brother was greatly offended; the idea of using such a worldly thing was terrible! Mr Ruddock said he would leave the bicycle and walk, which he did. Probably the dear brother thought he was valiant for truth, when it was only a foolish prejudice, with no principles involved. One wonders what some would say in this day of cars, aeroplanes etc.
For a time he lived at Ballygorian, Rathfriland where for 6 years he laboured diligently and saw Gods blessing. Returning to the Growell district he continued in Orange Halls, tents, barns, and kitchens. He was at times joined by other noble servants of God: Messrs Meharg, Gould, Megaw, Poots, Dr Matthews, and others.
For health reasons he moved to Newcastle where there was no assembly. In his home at Riverside soon a few believers met to try to carry out the mind of God. When World War I war broke out thousands of men were trained in the area and our brother used much of his time and means to see that these men, many soon to make the supreme sacrifice, would hear the gospel. In this work he was helped and encouraged by a sister of Earl Haig, then living there. Moving later to Belfast, he was, for a short time, in Donegall Road assembly, but in 1921 on medical advice he left Ireland and went to live in California, where the heat and sunshine seemed to be beneficial. There he joined with T. Dempsey and W. J. McClure seeing many saved and assemblies formed, and amongst these he spent the closing years of life.
While greatly experienced, he was a quiet retiring man, ever in the background and endeavouring to regulate his life by the Scriptures. At the age of eighty years God called him home, leaving his wife and family, one of whom was a well known missionary in Honduras, John Ruddock.