Founder of Light Records arranged for Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, and Elvis Presley; scored “The Blob”; developed folk musicals; discovered Andraé Crouch; and believed any style could glorify God. Ralph Carmichael, a composer and record producer who shaped the sound of contemporary Christian music, died on October 18 at age 94. A violin prodigy with perfect pitch and a love for jazz chords, Carmichael built his reputation in Los Angeles TV and film studios before turning to Christian music and throwing open the doors for a new generation to use any and every style to sing about Jesus. When…

East German student of Karl Barth and Martin Heidegger believed “God has become speakable.” Eberhard Jüngel, the leading Protestant theologian to emerge out of Stalinist East Germany, died on Tuesday at age 86. Jüngel’s work was never popularized, and he was overshadowed in some ways by his peers and colleagues—notably Jürgen Moltmann, Hans Küng, and the future Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger. As a philosophical theologian, his scholarship could seem “out of joint,” one scholar noted, with contemporary concerns and popular trends. But the theologians who did discover Jüngel were often drawn in by his dense arguments and intense focus…

The passionate storyteller spent nearly a quarter century developing written language and Scripture for a Papua New Guinea village. Marilyn Laszlo always considered herself a “Hoosier farmgirl.” The 88-year-old died last week just a few miles from her family’s nine-acre property outside Valparaiso, Indiana. But the news of her death was felt most deeply in a village on the other side of the world. A missionary and Bible translator known for her bold faith and powerful storytelling, Laszlo spent 24 years living in the Hauna Village in Papua New Guinea. There, she formulated a written language and translated the Bible…

Pastor and author showed “The Anglican Way” to a growing number of evangelicals. Thomas McKenzie, a popular Nashville priest and author of The Anglican Way, died on Monday alongside his 22-year-old child Charlie McKenzie. They were driving from their home in Tennessee to St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the younger McKenzie was set to start their senior year. The car collided with a tractor trailer near Burns, Tennessee, about 20 minutes west of Nashville, a little before 10 a.m. It was the first day of Thomas McKenzie’s sabbatical. He planned to take his eldest to college,…

The ministry leader believed declining US churches could be revitalized by hearing Wesleyans “with a different accent.” H Eddie Fox, who hoped to renew American Methodism through evangelism and increased connections with global Christianity, died on Wednesday at age 83. Fox led World Methodist Evangelism for 25 years, teaching, training, and empowering Methodists and Wesleyans to share their faith, and encouraging churches to make evangelism a priority. He pioneered several new initiatives that were popular in United Methodist Church (UMC) congregations, and he helped American churches connect with fellow Wesleyans outside the United States, especially in formerly communist countries after…

She led a congregation in a denomination that doesn’t believe in women in leadership, fostered more than 1,000 children, and sang the music that God taught her to play. Thelma Battle Buckner learned to play piano in dreams. She took one lesson as a child, but then the teacher left, and she prayed for help. She received visions in her sleep of her practicing—lessons from God, as she understood it—and quickly learned “Jesus Loves Me,” “How Great Thou Art,” and “Just a Closer Walk With Thee.” Later, when she played for her father’s Pentecostal revivals, and later, when she and…

Popular artist professed Jesus and earned five gospel Grammys before turning back to secular music. Christian celebrity didn’t sit well with B. J. Thomas. The famous singer of “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” and “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” personally loved Jesus. It was Christ’s followers that were the problem. Thomas, who died May 29 at age 78, had a spiritual awakening in 1976. After his born-again experience, the pop and country singer with 15 singles in the Top 40 charts got off drugs and reunited with his wife, Gloria. He put out a…

When Jesus died for our sins, everyone forsook Him. His disciples deserted or denied Him. Even His Father forsook Him on the cross. Read our free #BibleStudy article

Ex-gay leader encouraged people to pursue faith in “the darkest corners.” Sy Rogers, an early leader of the ex-gay movement, died from cancer Sunday at the age of 63. Rogers had what he called a “God encounter” in 1980. He had begun to identify as a woman and was preparing for a sex reassignment surgery when Johns Hopkins Hospital shut down its gender identity clinic and stopped offering surgeries. Rogers, in desperation, asked God to change him. He spent the next 40 years testifying that God did. “Sex is a powerful master,” he preached in 2014. “But I can also…

By O.S. Hawkins At some time or another, most of us have been caught in a “Freudian slip,” an inadvertent mistake in speech revealing an unconscious thought of some kind. This is closely akin to the “double entendre,” a particular way of saying something that has a double meaning. [Sign up for the free email devotional, Codes for Christian Living by O. S. Hawkins] Having stripped Jesus naked, beaten him with a whip, and battered his head with a reed, his enemies began to mock and spit upon him. Then a Roman soldier spewed out sarcastically, “Hail, King of the…

In scholarship and ministry, he argued for an expansive and expanding Spirit-filled Christianity across traditions. Vinson Synan, one of the first historians of Pentecostalism and a powerful advocate for the breadth and depth of the Pentecostal movement, died on Sunday. He was 85. Synan was a professionally trained historian with a doctorate from the University of Georgia. He was the son of a Pentecostal pastor who himself became a Pentecostal pastor and eventually the assistant general superintendent of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC). He sometimes experienced a “tug of war” between his scholarly and religious commitments, Synan wrote in…

Every week for more than 30 years, he interpreted headlines in light of prophecy. Jack Van Impe, a popular televangelist and one of the world’s most well-known end times preachers, died at the age of 88. His passing was confirmed Saturday by Jack Van Impe Ministries International. Every week for more than 30 years, Van Impe appeared on TV as the host of his own half-hour show, Van Impe Presents, offering eschatological commentary on current events. Alongside his wife Rexella, Van Impe read the latest headlines and explained how they connected to prophecy about the Antichrist, one-world government, and the…

The following is a Bible Gateway exclusive Sneak Peek and First Listen of No More Holding Back: Emboldening Women to Move Past Barriers, See Their Worth, and Serve God Everywhere (Thomas Nelson, 2019) by Kat Armstrong (@katarmstrong1). Order the book and unabridged audiobook on CD in the Bible Gateway Store. By Kat Armstrong Two chapters into God’s Genesis story of redemption, we find Eve, the first woman, hoodwinked by the serpent. She doesn’t exactly portray us as trustworthy. Since my childhood, I’ve noticed every storybook picture of the fall of mankind placed Eve in the center of the narrative as…

The influential leader kept teaching—and learning—homiletics over his 70-year career. Preacher James Earl Massey, whose pastoral cadence went out over radio waves and across dozens of seminary chapels during his seven decades in ministry, died Sunday at age 88. Massey is remembered as one of the most influential voices in the Church of God movement—a holiness denomination with about a quarter-million adherents in North America—and a gifted communicator who earned the nickname the “prince of preachers.” “The Church of God (and many others) mourn the passing of one of our greatest voices, James Earl Massey,” tweeted Jim Lyon, general director…

Former CEO spent decades building up company’s offerings of Bibles and bestsellers. Longtime Thomas Nelson Publishers CEO Sam Moore, who went from selling Bibles door-to-door to running one of the biggest Bible businesses in the world, died Friday at age 88. Moore led Thomas Nelson—now a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing—for 47 years, expanding it to become the top publisher of Bibles and Christian books. From when he bought the company in 1969 to his retirement over a decade ago, Thomas Nelson and its imprints published more than 300 million Bibles as well as popular titles by Christian leaders such…

The Evangelical Missiological Society founder changed how we think of contextualizing the gospel. David Hesselgrave, the driving force behind the evangelical study of missions in the 20th century, died this week at age 94. Hesselgrave built the missions program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) and cofounded the Evangelical Missiological Society, teaching generations of scholars and missions workers around the world more effective ways to share the gospel across cultures (as referenced in the titles of his popular textbooks: Planting Churches Cross-Culturally; Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally; Counseling Cross-Culturally). “Not just the volume but the significance of the content of his writings…

Meet one of the most influential, but least known, church leaders: Bob Buford. The Church Growth Movement began to lose its mojo. That's not exactly a scholarly word, but you get the point. After a promising start, it began to decline in the 1980s. In 1956, Donald McGavran published a book entitled The Bridges of God. It looked at the strategies that led to an effective missionary process. The Church Growth Movement was birthed and those discussions and practices became mainstream within the church. At that time, most churches didn't see the need to talk about or do much more…