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20 Christians Who Died in 2016

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...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

20 Christians Who Died in 2014


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. Maria von Trapp died on February 18, 2014, at age 99 in Vermont. She was the last surviving sibling of the von Trapp children who were featured in the musical, The Sound of Music. Maria von Trapp had served as a missionary to Papua New Guinea and her spiritual life was told in 2009 through the book Yesterday, Today, and Forever For more information read the Associated Press News Release on February 22, 2014.

2. Monsignor Stephen Hrynuck died on March 6, 2014, at age 102. Msgr. Stephen Hrynuck was a priest in the Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia and shepherded the Ss Cyril and Methodius Ukranian Catholic Church in Olyphant, Pennsylvania for 57 years. At the time he retired in 2008 at the age of 97, he was the oldest active priest in the Catholic Church in the United States. Archbishop Soroka described him as, "a priest with great integrity, straightforward honesty, faithfulness, devotion and love for those he was blessed to serve and care for  (Times-tribune, March 12, 2014)." For more information on Msgr. Stephen Hrynuck read the Catholic Herald News Release on March 11, 2014..

3. Mickey Rooney died on April 6, 2014, at age 93. Mickey Rooney was a famous Hollywood actor who was a born again Christian. He had appeared in over 200 movies and has been referred to as the "first child actor".  Mickey Rooney said in a 2011 interview, "Take your children to church. And teach them about Jesus Christ and God who makes the sunshine and moon glow and gives so many blessings. And if you go with God, and [if] Jesus Christ is your personal savior, and [you] leave [your] troubles and everything to God, everything will work out for you (Gospel Herald, April 7, 2014)."





4. Glen H. Stassen died on April 26, 2014, at age 78 from cancer at his home in Pasadena, California. Glen Stassen was an ethicist and the director of the 'Just Peacemaking Initiative' at Fuller Theological Seminary (Christianity Today, April 26, 2014). He coauthored the book Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context (2003) and is also known for his valuable Biblical insights on the Sermon on the Mount.

5. J. Dwight Pentecost died on April 28, 2014, at age 99. J. Dwight Pentecost had been a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary where he served for over 50 years.  J. Dwight Pentecost authored 19 books, including the popular book on the end times in 1965 called Things to Come. Dallas Theological Seminary has a tribute page dedicated to Dr. Pentecost on their website.


6. Ann B. Davis died on June 1, 2014, at age 88. She fell in her bathroom and developed subdural hematoma. She was best known for her role as the housekeeper "Alice" in the television sitcom The Brady Bunch. Ann was a born-again Christian who was active in her Episcopalian faith community. She lived in San Antonio, Texas and shared a home with Bishop William Frey and his wife Barbara. In 1992, Anne B. Davis passionately told People Magazine, "I'm convinced we all have a God-shaped space in us, and until we fill that space with God, we'll never know what it is to be whole (Christian Post, June 2, 2014)."




7. Tony Gwynn died on June 16, 2014, at age 54 from oral cancer. Tony Gwynn played his outstanding professional baseball career of 20 seasons with the San Diego Padres organization and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011. It was said of Tony Gwynn that, "He had an infectious laugh, he spoke with an unmistakable southern drawl and he was dedicated to being a family man and his Christian faith (Baseball on the Island, June 17, 2014)."

8. Christian Fuehrer died on July 1, 2014, at age 71 from a lung disease. He was a pastor in Leipzig who organized peaceful protests against injustices in East Germany. German President Joachim Gauck wrote, "Christian Fuehrer was a bearer of hope to many people, both in his profession as a pastor and as one of the defining figures of the peace prayers in the Church of St. Nicholas as well as the Monday demonstrations in Leipzig that led to the peaceful revolution in East Germany (As Quoted in Bloomberg News, July 2, 2014)." In an interview in 2009, Christian Fuehrer said, "The special experience that we had during the years of peace prayers and then with this massive number of non-Christians in the church, which was exceptional, was that they accepted the message of Jesus (Religion and Ethics, November 6, 2009)."

9. Jeff Powers died on July 10, 2014, at age 50. He had battled cancer for a year. Jeff Powers was a International Missions Board missionary for 16 years as a church planter in Botswana and Zambia (Baptist Press, July 14, 2014). His style as a missionary was to be a storyteller in order to reach different cultures with the Gospel.

10. Christopher Mitchell died unexpectedly on July 10, 2014, at age 63. He was a nationally recognized C.S. Lewis scholar. For 19 years Christopher Mitchell had served as the Director of the Wade Center at Wheaton College. In his final assignment of his life, he was serving as a professor at the Torrey Honor Institute at Biola University. David  Nystrom, senior vice president of Biola University, said, "A careful and imaginative scholar, Chris was a person of deep faith, authentic humility, generous spirit, and resonant compassion. He will be missed (Biola University News, July 11, 2014 ."

11. James Hertel died on July 20, 2014, at age 99 in Greenwood, Indiana. He served as the President of the former Frankfort Pilgrim College from 1959-1966 and had served in many ministry roles in the South Indiana District of the Wesleyan Church. For more information see the Wesleyan.org News Release.

12. David Pierce died on July 22, 2014, at age 54 from complications of hemophragic bleeding of the brain. He was the husband of Christian comedian Chonda Pierce and lived in Ashland City, Tennessee. David Pierce was an author who wrote the books Salvage, To Kill a Zombie, and Don't Let Me Go. See the Singing News and the Tennessean for his obituary. You may also read the text of his Funeral Message at Dr. Mike Kourtney's Branches Blog.

13. Edward Gooding died on August 30, 2014, at age 94 from congestive heart failure. Edward Gooding was a sergeant major in The Salvation Army in the Roxbury/Boston, Massachusetts area. The Boston Globe said, "Through the decades, he rang bells at holiday time and worked with the Roxbury outpost of the Salvation Army. In 1980, he was awarded the Order of the Founder, a rarely given honor that recognizes a Salvationist's 'meritorious Christian example, witness, and service,' according to the organization's website (Boston Globe, October 6, 2014)."

14. Wolfhart Pannenberg died on September 5, 2014, at age 85 at his home near Munich, Germany. He was a theologian who was a professor at the University of Munich from 1968-1993. Pannenberg's books include Jesus: God and Man (1968), Theology and the Kingdom of God (1969), Theology and the Philosophy of Science (1976), and the three-volume Systematic Theology (1988-1994). [See The Christian Century, September 16, 2014]

15. Pastor Ji-ll Bang died on October 10, 2014, at age 103. He was South Korea's oldest Christian pastor and had led the Yeongdeungpo Church, which is part of the Presbyterian Church of Korea. Ji-Il Bang said, "When we, as the people saved in Christ by God's grace, place the Gospel at the heart of our individual lives, as well as the foundation of all our gatherings as Christ's Church, we can enjoy and experience the blessings of the power of the Gospel, the power of the Holy Spirit in our midst (Christian Post, October 10, 2014)."

16. Dr. Myles Munroe died on November 9, 2014, at age 60 in a small plane crash on his way to a leadership conference. Also perishing in the crash were his wife Ruth Munroe and seven others. Myles Munroe was the senior pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries International Fellowship and a best-selling author. Read his obituary on CBN News.



17. Dr. Martin Salia died of Ebola on November, 16, 2014, at age 44. Dr. Martin Salia was a surgeon who caught Ebola while treating patients as a Christian missionary in Africa. Dr. Salia worked at the United Methodist Kissy Hospital in Sierra Leone and according to the video below believed that God had called him to his assignment as a missionary surgeon.




18. Alice Lee died on November 17, 2014, at age 103. Alice Lee was the older sister of Harper Lee who wrote the famed book To Kill a Mockingbird. "For years, Alice Lee was active as a leader in the United Methodist Church, which has an award named in her honor that is given to women in ministry. She was the first and still only female to lead the Alabama-West Florida Conference delegation to the church's general conference (NPR, November 19, 2014)."  Her law partner Tonja Carter said, "Miss Alice's Christian faith was her foundation, and she lived it in example to us all (ABA Journal, November 19, 2014)."

19. Pastor David Landrith died on November 18, 2014, from cancer at age 51. David Landrith was the pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee, a congregation with about 7,500 members. You can read more information about Pastor David's passing at the Christian Examiner.




20. Rafael Ramos died on December 20, 2014, at age 40.  He was a police officer in the New York City Police Department and was shot and killed while on duty. Rafael Ramos was a Christian and had recently completed training to be a police chaplain.  He had studied at Faith Evangelical College and Seminary in Tacoma, Washington. Rafael Ramos was an usher and part of the marriage and life group ministry at his church the Christ Tabernacle Church in New York (CNN.Com, 12/25/2014). The following quote was on the cover photo of Rafael Ramos' Facebook page, "If your way isn't working, try God's way."


Further Research: Pause to Say Goodbye: Christians Who Died in 2014 (Charima News, December 31, 2014) has a different list of 10 Christians who left us during the year 2014. A few are shared with this list.



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

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