In his youth, Andrew Risby, born on a homestead in the rural community of Campsie in 1917, was known as a troublemaker who participated in various forms of tomfoolery.
In 1935, Andrew’s outlook on life was drastically altered when Reverend Ralph Horner of the evangelical Standard Church of America came to visit Campsie and hosted a series of revivals. Like other Blacks in attendance, Andrew was mesmerized by the experience and soon converted to the evangelical faith. Hoping to become a preacher, Risby enrolled in correspondence courses through the church and, for the remainder of his life, devoted all of his efforts towards the ministry.
Risby started preaching in the rural community of Amber Valley before moving to Calgary in 1947. That same year, he met his future wife Edie Smith. After moving, he established the Calgary branch of the Standard Church of America in Calgary's Inglewood neighbourhood. For many years, this was the primary church and regular meeting place for the city's Black community, many of whose weddings and funerals were officiated by Minister Risby at the Standard Church of America.
Known as a man of conviction and compassion, Andrew Risby was an important and influential member of Calgary's Black community. A preahcer there for 66 years, he passed away in 2002. He was 84.