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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...

Monday, December 30, 2013

20 Christians Who Died in 2013

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. Howard Hendricks died on February 20, 2013, at the age of 88. He had been a professor for over 60 years at Dallas Theological Seminary. Dallas Theological Seminary wrote a tribute to him at www.dts.edu/read/howard-hendricks-prof.

2. Cleotha Staples died on February 21, 2013, at the age of 78. She was the eldest sibling in the Staple Singers who were a leading Gospel group in the 1960's and 1970's, singing such songs as "On My Way to Heaven". You can read her Obituary from the New York Times at this Link.

3. Dr. C. Everett Koop died on February 25, 2013, at the age of 96. Dr. C. Everett Koop had served as the Surgeon General of the United States from 1982-1989. He was one of the top pediatric surgeons and was known for his pro-life and anti-euthanasia positions.  As Surgeon General he was also concerned with the health issues of smoking and AIDS.

4. Gordon Cosby died on March 20, 2013, at the age of 95. He was the founder of the Church of the Saviour in Washington D.C. and a Christian minister who focused on social change of fighting poverty, racism, addiction, and sickness (Washington Post, 3/21/2013).

5. Edith Schaeffer died on March 30, 2013, at 98 years of age in Gyron, Switzerland. Edith Schaeffer was the wife of the late Francis Schaeffer. She was a Christian author and co-founder of L'Abri Retreat and the L'Abri Fellowship International, a Christian organization which hosts guests.

6. Dave Hunt died on April 5, 2013, at the age of 86. He was a Christian apologist, speaker, radio commentator, and author. His work is highlighted on the website called The Berean Call.

7. John David Kuo died on April 5, 2013, at 44 years of age of brain cancer. He was an American author and evangelical Christian. John Kuo authored Good Morning America and Tempting Faith. Kuo was a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (The New York Times, 4/6/2013).

8. Margaret Thatcher died on April 8, 2013, at the age of 87. She was the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century (1979-1990) and the only woman to have served in this role. Margaret Thatcher said in a speech to the Church of Scotland in 1988, "We must not profess Christian faith and go to Church simply because we want social reforms and benefits or a better standard of behaviour, but because we accept the sanctity of life, the responsibility that comes with freedom and the supreme sacrifice of Christ (Christianity Today, Margaret Thatcher Obits Overlook Her Devout Christian Faith, 4/8/2013 )."

9. George Beverly Shea died on April 16, 2013, at the age of 104. He was a beloved Gospel singer in the United States. His famous voice was the lead vocalist for almost every one of the Billy Graham Crusades for 50 years. You can read his Obituary from the New York Times at this link.

10. George Jones died on April 26, 2013, at 81 years of age. Jones was a popular country music singer whose cherished songs included the Gospel genre. He wandered at times in his life from the his Christian faith but would return to his religious roots later in his life. Christianity Today reported that, "Although he felt that parts of his life had been wasted, Jones said God kept him alive for a purpose. His main goal in life became to 'try to get closer and closer to him (Christianity Today, 4/26/2013).'"

11. Dallas Willard died on May 8, 2013, at 77 years of age, from cancer. He was the author of the following Christian books: The Divine Conspiracy, The Spirt of the Disciplines, Hearing God, and Renovation of the Heart. He was a philosophy professor at the University of Southern California. His longtime friend Richard Foster said, "For us, a great light has gone out. Heaven today is brighter (Christianity Today, 5/8/2013).

12. Samuel Lamb died on August 3, 2013, at 88 years of age. He was a well respected leader of a Chinese House Church. The house church he started in 1979 is still in existence today but unregistered (World Watch Monitor, 8/6/2013).

13. Bishop D. Rayford Bell died on September 29, 2013, at the age of 90 while preaching his Sunday Sermon at Christ Temple Church in Chicago. He had pastored his church since 1958 (ABC7 News, 9/30/2013).

14. Nobandla Mangisa died on September 29, 2013, at age 37, in an automobile accident on her way home from a prayer service. She was a South African gospel singer  (SABC News).

15. Chuck Smith died on October 3, 2013, at the age of 86, from cancer (Christianity Today, 10/3/2013). He was the pastor of the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (California) since 1965.  Chuck Smith was known for his expository preaching and for breaking down barriers in church to reach the culture for Jesus. About 1,600 churches around the world comprise the Calvary Church Association.

16. Paul Franklin Crouch, Sr. died on November 30, 2013, at 79 years of age from heart disease (CBN News, 12/2/2013). He was the President and Founder of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the largest Christian television network in the world.

17. Paul Walker died on November 30, 2013, at the age of 40, from injuries sustained in an autombile accident. He was an actor who professed his faith in Christianity and had said to IMDb, "I'm a Christian now. The things that drove me crazy growing up was how everyone works at fault-finding with different religions. The people I don't understand are atheists. I go surfing and snow boarding and I'm always around nature. I look at everything and think, 'Who couldn't believe there's a God? Is all this a mistake?' It just blows me away (Christian Post, Paul Walker on Christian Faith, 12/1/2013).

18. Bev Lowry died on December 2, 2013, at the age of 79. She was the mother of Christian singer/comedian Mark Lowry. Her obituary is available online.  She was a Christian songwriter whose penned such songs as, "I Thirst" (Cathedrals), "When They Found Nothing" (Legacy Five), "Across the River" (Triumphant Quartet), "The Ground is Level" (Ernie Haase), and "Monuments" (Legacy Five).

19. Nelson Mandela died on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95. He was the President of South Africa from 1994-1999. Nelson Mandela religion is listed as Methodist, a Protestant Denomination in the Christian relgion. The following is a news story on Nelson Mandela's faith.

20. Iraq Christians (26): At least 26 Christians in Iraq were killed on December 25, 2013, as they left a Christmas Mass in the Baghdad suburb of Dora (The Scotsman, 12/26/2013). These unnamed Christians represent many others in diverse countries around the world, who died in 2013, just because they were a Christian.  When asked about the number of Christian martyrs each year, author John Allen said,
The truth is two thirds of the 2.3 billion Christians in the world today live… in dangerous neighbourhoods. They are often poor. They often belong to ethnic, linguistic and cultural minorities. And they are often at risk. And ultimately I think making that point is more important than being precise about the death toll (John Allen, BBC, 11/11/2013).

Dedication: This post is dedicated to some personal Christian friends who passed away in 2013. James "Mike Orrick" of Nashville, Tennessee (April 12, 2013)
Dorothy Trease of Hermitage, Tennessee (November 27, 2013)
Major Ralph E. Ashcraft, Jr. of Kokomo, Indiana (December 7, 2013)

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

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Gospel Singers Incognito

Grace Sight #30 is the Gospel Singers Icognito.

Here is a video of the Gospel Singers Icognito performing at Britian's Got Talent in 2013.

There is a lot of symbolism in this performance. It illustrates a Christian (in this case Pastor Patrick) getting mocked and then being victorious at the end. It also illustrates that Christians are not alone even if they seem to be at first (there are other Christians around just perhaps incognito).

Monday, September 2, 2013

Does God Exist?

Grace Sight #29 is the Does God Exist? Video.

The following video has a simple way of answering those that do not believe in God. It uses an analogy of the conversation of a dentist and his patient to explain that it is as absurd to disbelieve God because of evil as it would be to not believe in dentists because people don't take care of their teeth. It is featured by visionfudge on YouTube and has been going viral on social media.

This video could be very helpful in providing a resource to explain faith in God to those who have doubts.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Chris Norman

Grace Sight #28 is Chris Norman.

Chris Norman is from Detroit, Michigan. He was a Defensive Linebacker for the Michigan State University Spartans Football team from 2009-2012.  Chris Norman is a Grace Sight because his faith commitment to Christ was so genuine that after college he gave up a promising career in the NFL to enter Seminary to prepare for the ministry.

Chris Norman was a 4 year letterman in Michigan State Football. He was injured in the 2011 Capital One Bowl against Alabama and the injury led him to reexamine his spiritual life. On May 24, 2011, Chris Norman gave his life over to Jesus Christ (Source). In this a video of Chris Norman's testimony made by Desiring God, Chris Norman reveals how God has provided for his needs after he made the decision to go to seminary instead of the NFL.

Drafted: Why Chris Norman Said No to the NFL from Desiring God on Vimeo.

Chris Norman has interwoven Matthew 13:44 into his testimony when speaking about his faith :
In the Gospel there's a story about somebody that stumbles across a field and then they found a treasure hidden in that field. As a result of finding that treasure, they sold everything they had so they can buy that field. That's pretty much what happened to me when I found Christ. So once I met him and fell absolutely in love with him, everything else was not as attractive in comparison (Source).
As a Christian, I look forward to hearing what Chris Norman does in his ministry in the future. His ministry will be much more important than any play he could have made on the football field.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Freddy Vest

Grace Sight #27 is Freddy Vest.

Freddy Vest is a calf roper from Pilot Point, Texas. On July 28, 2008, Freddy was calf roping in Graham, Texas and he had a cardiac arrest and fell of his horse. Friends administered CPR for 45 minutes while an ambulance came and his heart had to be restarted twice as medical personnel pursued treatment for him. When Freddy miraculously regained consciousness he shared the testimony of having been with His Lord in the time after he had the heart attack when he was seemingly dead to the world.

Here is a video of Freddy Vest's testimony of his experience.

Freddy Vest said this about his experience:
There's a Bible verse that says, "Absent from the body is present with the Lord." And when I fell of that horse, I was dead before I hit the ground. I was with the Lord. And He didn't allow me to see what heaven was like, but he let me experience what it felt like to be in heaven. He showed me the love that's there. And there's more love than you can imagine. And the peace that you have, it's a perfect peace. The only thing I can relate it to is when I was four years old I'd be out playing real hard all day and just be exhausted when I would come in. And I'd crawl up in my mother's lap and she would cradle me and hold me and rock me. And that was the most peaceful, safe, loving place. And that feeling if--you could multiply it times a thousand, you still wouldn't be close to what it really feels like when you're there with the Lord (Source).
Freddy Vest's testimony is a reminder that the Christian life doesn't end at death, but it is just beginning.

Monday, February 18, 2013

John Calvin's Institutes 2.16.19

Grace Sight #26 is John Calvin's Institutes 2.16.19

Photo of John Calvin

When I was at the University Reformed Church's Men's Retreat on Feb. 15-17, 2013, the speaker Jason Helopoulos read this meaningful paragraph from John Calvin's Institutes. It is a powerful paragraph located in  2.16.19 of the Institutes that is worthy of reading and meditating on again and again because of it's powerful words about Christ.
“We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ (Acts 4:12). We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else. If we seek salvation we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is ‘of him’ (1 Cor 1.13). If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in his anointing. If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects (Heb 2:17) that he might learn to feel our pain (Heb 5:2). If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross (Gal 3:13); if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent into hell; if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurrection; if immortality, in the same; if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven; if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgement, in the power given to him to judge. In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from this fountain and from no other” (Institutes 2.16.19).

John Calvin (1509-1564) was a French theologian and reformer.  Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion are described this way on Wikipedia:
The Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin's seminal work on Protestant systematic theology. Highly influential in the Western world and still widely read by theological students today, it was published in Latin in 1536 (at the same time as the English King Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries) and in his native French in 1541, with the definitive editions appearing in 1559 (Latin) and in 1560 (French) (Source).
You can read the entire contents of the Institutes of the Christian Religion online at the Reformed.org Website.

To read other posts on the blog about John Calvin search for the John Calvin Label.

The photo of John Calvin is in the Public Domain as the copyright has expired.