Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dr. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church is retiring!

Evangelical stalwart Dr. D. James Kennedy was very influential on me in the years leading up to my decision to go to seminary. This must be the year for the old guys to all be retiring I guess.


DR. D. JAMES KENNEDY RETIRES:
Founder and Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
Steps Down from Pulpit with Rich Legacy of Faith

Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (CRPC) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., today announced the retirement of Dr. D. James Kennedy, senior pastor, assuring the congregation and international broadcast audience that the church and related ministries will continue moving forward in the direction set by this visionary leader after founding the church more than 48 years ago in 1959.

“We thank the Lord for His faithfulness to my father over nearly one-half century, through the impact this church has made in the lives of people in this congregation and community and the influence he has had on countless individuals around the world through radio and television,” said daughter Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy.

“From the beginning, this has been the Lord’s ministry, and we are confident He will raise up other godly men equally committed to proclaiming biblical truth and applying the transforming message of the Gospel in our lives, our families and our culture,” Mrs. Cassidy continued. “The long-range planning committee and denominational session have been developing next steps and working to ensure the church continues to grow and thrive.”

Dr. Kennedy, 76, preached his last sermon from the pulpit of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church on Christmas Eve 2006. He suffered a cardiac arrest four days later and has since been unable to return to the pulpit. A tribute worship service honoring the extensive ministry of Dr. Kennedy will be held in the main sanctuary of the church at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday, Sept. 23.

Dr. Kennedy started the church and began his pastorate on June 21, 1959, and had from the outset a vision for global impact for Christ. An author of more than 65 books, moral leader and widely quoted champion for righteousness in American life, he is one of the founding board members of the Alliance Defense Fund. In 1995, he opened the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Christian Statesmanship to offer spiritual counsel to members of Congress and their staffs.

Dr. James C. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, called Dr. Kennedy one of the Church’s “truly significant figures.” In a statement to Dr. Kennedy, Dobson said, “For decades now, you have stood strong in defense of faith, family, and most importantly, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Believers around the world are indebted to you for your vision and leadership.”

For the full article see the News Release.

(HT: Justin Taylor)


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3 comments:

Jason said...

Aw, man. That's too bad. He was such a commanding, authoritative, passionate, knowledgeable, spiritual, and wise preacher with an incredibly wry wit. I always looked forward to his new sermons on the Coral Ridge Hour, as well as his special presentations. His presence will be missed.

Perhaps he will still be able to write books. I've enjoyed those, too.

Bill Reichart said...

I do think we are witnesses a significant "changing of the guard" in evangelicalism. Jerry Falwell's death, Billy Grahams' age and ill health, Dr. Bill Bright's death....

These men and others cast a large shadow over the last century...

The question is, who is filling the gap?

I guess the answer to the question depends on who you ask?

mrclm said...

Bill,
I think there are some who are stepping into these roles, though not quite in the same mold. Mark Driscoll comes to mind as a young evangelical who is taking things forward. Josh Harris of SGM might also fit, though not quite as well. One thing I think we will continue to see is more movement toward a larger pool of "leaders" rather than a handful of big name guys. A sort of decentralization of Evangelicalism that is probably needed.

Big Chris