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100 Christians Who Died in 2017

In Memoriam (Listed by Date of Death) Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.  Blessed indeed, that they may rest from t...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

20 Christians Who Died in 2012

In Memoriam (Listed by Date of Death)
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Blessed indeed, that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!" (Rev. 14:13)

1. R.W. Schambach died on January 17, 2012, at the age of 85 from heart failure. He was a Pentecostal Christian Evangelist/Preacher for 60 years. His work lives on in the Schambach Foundation.

2. Rev. Kang Young-Sup died on January 21, 2012, at the age of 80. Rev. Kang Young-Sup was the chairman of the Central Committee of the Korean Christian Federation (KCF). He was a North Korean Christian leader who was working for the reunification of North and South Korea (Presbyterian Church USA, January 23, 2012).

3. Gary Carter died on February 16, 2012, at the age of 57 from a brain tumor. He was a Hall of Fame Major League Baseball catcher in the 1970's and 80's. "Gary Carter said he became a Christian after reading a book by former basketball coach John Wooden, a man he respected. He said the Bible has all the answers to man's problems, including the greatest problem, the forgiveness of sins through Christ's death on the cross ."

4. Pope Shenouda III died on March 17, 2012. Pope Shenouda III was the leader of the Coptic Christians in Egypt for 40 years. Christianity Today said, "Pope Shenouda was extremely popular among millions of everyday Christians. A charismatic reformer and an advocate of Christian rights and interests in a predominantly Muslim country, many considered him to be just like a father (Christianity Today, March 17, 2012)." For more information on his death read the News Article from the Coptic Orthodox Church Network

5. Edmond Perret died on March 24, 2012, at the age of 87. Edmond Perret was a Swiss pastor who served as the General Secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) from 1970 to 1989. After merging with the Reformed Ecumenical Council the organization is now known as the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC).

6. Charles Colson died on April 21, 2012, at age 80.  He was the founder of Prison Fellowship and a prolific author of Christian thought. He was referred to as "America's best-known Christian leader after Billy Graham (Christianity Today, April 21, 2012)." For more information on Charles Colson on the Light Blogs you can read his Autism Light post that was written to honor his inspirational role as a Grandfather of a young man with autism.

7. Andy Griffith died on July 3, 2012, at the age of 86. He was an actor who starred in the Andy Griffith Show and Matlock and recorded albums of hymns. His wife Cindi Griffith said, "Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord."  

8. Kitty Wells died at her home in Madison, Tennessee on July 16, 2012, at the age of 92. Kitty Wells was known as the "Queen of Country Music" and broke ground for women to be headliners in the country music industry. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976. Kitty Wells was a member of the Church of Christ in Tennessee.

9. Stephen Hill died on August 5, 2012, at the age of 55 of a massive heart attack.  He was a Gospel singer known for his tenor voice. Over three decades in music, he collaborated with notables including Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Vern Gosdin, Charlie Louvin, Dottie Rambo, Sam Moore, Marie Osmond, and Nancy Sinatra."

10. Willa Ward Royster died on August 13, 2012, at the age of 92.  She was a gospel singer from Philadelphia and founder of the famous Willa Ward Singers. She sang the song "Surely God is Able" which was the first Gospel Song to sell 1 million copies (Philly.com, August 15, 2012).

11. Neil Armstrong died on August 25, 2012, at the age of 82. Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon and said the famous words in 1969, when he stepped on the moon, "That's one step for (a) man and one giant step for mankind."  During a trip to Israel, Neil Armstrong had the opportunity to walk on the steps that Jesus walked on at the Hulda Gate leading to the Temple Mount, and he said to his guide Israeli archaeologist Meir Ben-Dov, "I have to tell you, I am more excited stepping on these stones than when I was stepping on the moon (Christian Diarist, August 27, 2012)."

12. Dr. Sun Yi-yin (Freddie Sun) died on August 29, 2012, at the age of 76. Freddie Sun was a Christian Chinese leader who worked with Christian Aid. Bill Bray, of Christian Aid said, "When we look back at the history of China, we will see that Freddie Sun is probably one of the two or three greatest Chinese leaders (Christian Post)."

13. John Chapman died on November 16, 2012, at the age of 82. John Chapman ("Chappo") was a Christian Evangelist and author from Sydney, Australia. Wikipedia says,"He wrote several books including "A Fresh Start", "Know and Tell the Gospel", "Setting Hearts on Fire", "A Sinner's Guide to Holiness", and "Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life", all published by Matthias Media (Wikipedia: John Chapman - evangelist)."

14. Bishop K.H. Ting died on November 22, 2012, at the age of 97. Rev. K.H. Ting was an Anglican Bishop who provided visionary leadership for the church in China ((Episcopal Digital Network, November 26, 2012)). 

15. Zig Ziglar died on November 28, 2012, at the age of 86. Zig Ziglar was a motivational speaker and author. He became a Christian in 1972, and his faith informed his career as a motivational speaker.

16. General John Gowans was promoted to glory on December 8, 2012, at the age of 78. He served as General and the International Leader of The Salvation Army from 1999-2002 and during his life wrote over 200 songs. A story on his death is available from The Salvation Army International News

17. Frank Pastore died on December 18, 2012, at age 55 from injuries in a motorcycle accident. He was a Major League Baseball pitcher for 8 years. Frank Pastore was converted from atheism and became one of the top Christian Radio hosts in America with a passion for Christian apologetics.

18. Inez Andrews died on December 20, 2012, at the age of 83 from cancer. Anthony Heilbut said, "She was the last great female vocalist of gospel's golden age." More on her life and career can be found on her New York Times Obituary.

19. Dr. William J. Prince died on December 27, 2012, at age 82. Dr. William Prince was a General Superintendent and one of the International Leaders in the Church of the Nazarene from 1989-2001. He also served as the President of Mt. Vernon Nazarene University from 1980-1989.

20. Dr. Millard Reed died on December 27, 2012, at the age of 79. Dr. Millard Reed was a pastor in the Church of the Nazarene, serving many years at Nashville First Church of the Nazarene. Most recently he served as the President of Trevecca Nazarene University from 1991-2005.

Dedication: This post is dedicated to some personal Christian friends who passed away in 2012.

This feature is part of an annual series. All the years of the series can be viewed at these links.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

God Help Americans

Much has been writen in the post-mortems on the 2012 General election in which Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney. Here are some of my favorite online articles and quotes about the results of the United States Presidential Election in 2012 that speak to Christians. You may find them encouraging in putting things into perspective and giving some thoughts for going forward. I am happy to be in unity with much (but of coure not all) of what is being said by this group of Christian writers and leaders who have put love, peace, sharing one's faith, prayer, honoring the President, and proceeding with their faith's work at the forefront of their reaction. 

Billy Graham Responds to Obama Victory with New Evangelism Campaign by Stoyan Zaimov at The Christian Post
Now with the votes counted, it is important to remember that whether we are personally pleased with the outcome or not, God wants us to pray for those chosen to be our leaders – at the national, state, and local levels. The Bible urges us to do so with both respect and thanksgiving (see 1 Peter 2:17; 1 Timothy 2:1–3)--Billy Graham.

My 'Foolish' Reaction to President Obama's Re-Election by Jim Daly at Christian Post.
But here is a fact, the most important calling of my life - and yours - continues.
It may feel like everything has changed and that the way forward has been dashed. But the reality is quite the opposite.

A Prayer for Our President by Kevin DeYoung at Deyoung, Restless, Reformed blog.
Our good, gracious, and sovereign God, we pray for the President of the United States.

Aftermath: Lessons from the 2012 Election by Dr. Albert Mohler at albertmohler.com.
We should eagerly and urgently pray for our President. We should pray for his health and his family, for his stamina and his character. We should even pray that he and his administration will be remembered as one of the greatest of our nation’s history, measured even by the convictions that are most important to us.

Christians, Lets Honor the President by Dr. Russell Moore at Moore to the Point blog.
Christians, above all people, should pray for and show respect for our President and all of our elected officials. After all, unlike those who see politics as ultimate, we recognize that our political structures are important, but temporal, before an inbreaking kingdom of Christ. We don’t then need to be fomented into the kind of faux outrage that passes for much of contemporary political discourse. And, unlike those who see history as impersonal or capricious, we see behind everything a God who is sovereign over his universe.

Five Christian Responses to the 2012 Election by Rick Phillips at Reformation 21 blog.
I would urge that alarm over the moral catastrophe of this recent election should be expressed not in the Christian political posture but in the way actual Christians relate to the culture and to non-Christian people we know.

Goodbye, Christian America; Hello, True Christianity by Richard Stearns at Huffington Post.
Instead, we need to go back to the basics of living as disciples of Christ, living missionally for Christ and demonstrating the Gospel in tangible ways within our schools, workplaces and communities.  

The People Have Spoken, What Should Christians Do Now? by Ed Stetzer at Lifeway Research
Once the election was "called," I prayed for the President again. I asked God to guide him and give him wisdom as I will continue to do for the next four years.

Our country faces some tremendous challenges socially, economically and in foreign affairs. We may disagree on how we would rank the issues and what role we can have in making a difference after our votes have been cast, but we unite around the truth that our Father is the Creator of the Universe and ultimtely nothing will happen without his sovereign hand permitting it. And that includes the results of the election on Nov. 6, 2012 election.

More than ever we need to pray for the political leaders who are given the power and responsibility to lead our country.  It is inevitable that a crisis will happen in the next four years. We need to pray for our leadership as they navigate rough waters ahead. However, we need to realize that our leaders are only human and neither 4 repeat years of Obama or 4 new years of Romney would have turned either man into superman.

Elections have consequences and let's hope that for the Christian the consequence is a revival to live our faith with a determination of the song that said, "I have decided to follow Jesus, though no one join me, still I will follow."  As much as I love America, my hope is in God alone and not dependent on the greatness or even future existence of America. In that light I can live at peace with changing my prayer from "God Bless America" to "God Help Americans".

Monday, July 9, 2012

Christian Heroes Website

Grace Sight #25 is the Christian Heroes Website.

The Christian Heroes website is a Grace Light because they are sharing information about heroes of the Christian heritage. If you are interested in learning about men and women who furthered the cause of Christianity visit this website at www.christianheroes.com.

The Christian Heroes website lists this as their purpose:
This web site exists because far too few Christians know of their true heritage. They know very little about the men and women of faith who were obedient to the call of God. These men and women are heroes, Christian heroes, who laid down their lives (often literally) and gave us the rich Christian heritage that we have today (Source).
The structure of the website includes the following sections of links to biographies:
  • People Index
  • Missionaries
  • Evangelists
  • Reformation
The Christian Heroes website is an inspiring Grace light in an Internet that is often bent on glorifying sin and pride.  Check the website out and learn about the heritage of Christian heroes. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Michelle Aguilar

Grace Sight #24 is Michelle Aguilar. 

Michelle Aguilar is from Dallas, Texas. Michelle had a weight problem because she turned to food after her parents got divorced. She joined The Biggest Loser competition in Season 6 with her mother Renee (who she hadn't spoken to in 6 years). Michelle credits God for helping her stay in the competition when she was tempted to be the first person in The Biggest Loser history to voluntary leave the show. She stayed and would go on to narrowly become the winner of The Biggest Loser competition in Season 6 (Fall, 2008), losing 110 pounds.

Her website says, "Michelle credits her faith in God for her ability to emerge a stronger woman, forever changed by the circumstances of her life, but not defined by them (Source)." The following is a video created with Michelle Aguilar as part of the I Am Second  series in the Spring of 2009.

Family: Michelle's husband is Micah and the couple was married in 2009.

Book: In 2011, Michelle Aguilar published her book called Becoming Fearless.  You may purchase a Kindle version of the book at Amazon.com. Here is a trailer of the book.

Michele Aguilar was a featured speaker on the Women of Faith Tour in 2010. She advocates for charitable causes, including the American Heart Association.

Social Media:  You can follow Michelle Aguilar's Facebook Page to learn about her through social media.

Special thanks to Michelle Aguilar for being a Grace Light. She is an inspiration to others needing to renew their Christian faith and can relate especially to those who struggle with weight problems and the divorce of one's parents. You can find out more about Michelle Aguilar at her website at www.michelleaguilar.me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tim Tebow

Grace Sight #23 is Tim Tebow.

Tim Tebow is an NFL quarterback with the New England Patriots. Tim Tebow had tremendous success in college football for the University of Florida before being the Number 1 draft pick for the Denver Broncos in 2010. Tim Tebow is a Grace Light because of how he shares his Christian faith and dedicates time and personal resources to helping orphans, prisoners and other needy people in the name of Christ.

College Career:  Tim Tebow played four years for the University of Florida. Florida won the national championship in 2006 and 2008 thanks to his leadership.  In 2007, Tim Tebow became the first college Sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.

NFL Career: Tim Tebow was drafted Number 1 by the Denver Broncos in 2010. In the 2011 NFL Playoffs he led the Denver Broncos to a thrilling overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first game of the NFL playoffs. In March, 2012 Tim Tebow was traded by the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets (Source).

Christian Testimony: Tim Tebow shares his faith and Christian testimony in a variety of settings to small and large crowds in prisons, rural areas, and cities. Most recently he spoke on April 9, 2012 to 20,000 people at a mega Easter Service in Georgetown, Texas with Pastor Joe Champion of the Celebration Church (Source). In his message Tim Tebow said, "When you have a relationship with Christ and you know He has a plan for your life it gives you peace in everything (Source)."

Expressions of Faith on the Field: There have been specific ways in which Tim Tebow has shared his faith on the field through his sports career.  Here are two of them.
  1. Eye Black. Tebow frequently put Bible Verses in his eye black he wore at games. A complete list of the verses he wore at specific games in college can be found at  http://timtebowquotes.com/tim-tebow-christian.htm.
  2. Tebowing. Tim Tebow's practice of praying in the middle of sporting events created a term Tebowing that refers to someone praying on their hands and knees even though others are doing something diferent. It has it's own website at http://tebowing.com.
Tim Tebow Foundation: Tim Tebow gives to others off the field through the Tim Tebow Foundation.  According to the Tim Tebow Foundation website there are four areas of outreach of the foundation.
  • The W15H program
  • Partnering with CURE on an International Children's Hospital Construction Project
  • Timmy's Playrooms
  • Financial Support for Uncle Dick's Orphanage
Make a Wish: Tim Tebow impacted the life of Adam Hobbs through the Make a Wish Foundation. The video of his visit with the sick boy is at http://youtu.be/HZkpPsn2IKc.

Prison Fellowship Speaker: Here is a speech that Tim Tebow gave for Prison Fellowship about his passion for prisoners and some of his other projects.

Super Bowl Commercial: On February 7, 2010 Tim Tebow and his mother appeared in a Super Bowl advertisement in partnership with Focus on the Family to celebrate life. The advertisement can be seen in the YouTube video at http://youtu.be/sw7qX1TpdNQ. The story behind the advertisement is that Tim Tebow's mother Pam Tebow was advised to have an abortion because of complications with the pregnancy, but her beliefs would not allow her to get an abortion. And when Tim Tebow was born he was hanging on by the tiniest of placentas (Source).

Author: Tim Tebow wrote the book Through My Eyes that was published on May 31, 2011. The book is his life memoir up until the date it was written.

Social Media: You can follow Tim Tebow at the following social media pages.
You can learn more about Tim Tebow on his official website at www.timtebow.com or at his Wikipedia Page. Special thanks to Tim Tebow for all he does to witness to his faith as a star athlete. We wish him the best in he continues to be a Grace Light.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Keith Green

Grace Sight #22 is Keith Green.

In Memoriam

Keith Green
Keith Green was a popular Christian musician during the years of my youth. He died on July 28, 1982 at the age of 29 in a plane accident. He was survived by his wife Melody who continues to run their ministry known as Last Days Ministries. One of the themes of Keith's ministry was evangelism and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through his music.

Keith Green gave the Christian world many cherished and upbeat songs such as Your Love Broke Through, You Put This Love in My Heart, and Asleep in The Light.  Keith Green's music can be purchased conveniently from his iTunes page.  One of the most beloved songs of Keith Green that is especially meaningful today is his work called Easter Song. It is here for viewing with the lyrics.

Here is a video of the full story of Keith Green's life. Here you will find inspirational glimpses at what made Keith Green a Grace Light.

For more information on Keith Green visit his Wikipedia page. There is also a very extensive amount of content on Keith Green on his page at the Last Days Ministries website.

The world experienced a great loss when Keith Green left this earth at such a young age. We know though that God had a plan to share Keith's light in death as well as life.

Photo: The photo in this post is in the Creative Commons of Wikipedia and courtesy of Last Days Ministries.