Worldwide Evangelist and Spiritual Warrior Morris Cerullo Dies at 88

(Facebook/Morris Cerullo)

Worldwide evangelist and spiritual warrior Morris Cerullo died July 11 of natural causes after hospitalization due to pneumonia, according to a ministry spokesperson. He was 88.

On Saturday morning, the official Morris Cerullo Facebook cover photo was changed to a graphic reading "Morris Cerullo 1931-2020," featuring a quote from the evangelist: "The cry of my heart and the driving force of my life and ministry has been: God give me the ability to take the anointing You have placed on my life and transfer it to others." Two independent sources confirmed Cerullo's death to Charisma News.

In an official statement, Morris Cerullo World Evangelism wrote Saturday afternoon, "Few people have put as much effort, over such a long period of time, into helping those in need, as Dr. Cerullo. The fruit of his efforts has circulated the globe and will forever be cherished by the millions of lives he has touched. Morris was a compassionate, loving, caring man of God. ... He is survived by his precious wife, Theresa, of 69 years, his son and daughter-in-law, David and Barbara Cerullo, daughter Susan Peterson, seven grandchildren, Benjamin and Jessica Cerullo, Rebecca and Chip Henderson, Michael Cerullo, Marissa and Jay Deiboldt, Teresa and Mike Mellusi, Joe Cerullo and Roseanne and Mike Hoerter, as well as nine great-grandchildren. Only Heaven will be able to measure the impact of the life of Morris Cerullo in the lives of untold millions around the world."

On Thursday, Cerullo's ministry posted to Facebook that he was being treated for pneumonia in the hospital. Greg Mauro, vice president of Morris Cerullo Ministries, and Marc Mason, vice president of international ministries, also led a live prayer session Friday for Cerullo from the International Legacy Center.

Cerullo ministered in 150 nations in over 400 cities on six continents, where he has personally trained 5 million Christian leaders and ministered to millions more, according to his ministry website. He dedicated his life to helping hurting people and traveled more than 250,000 miles every year to minister healing and salvation to the world, even into his old age.

Cerullo accepted Christ when he was 14. By age 20, he pastored a small church. At 23, he began to preach the gospel around the world, starting in Greece.

Cerullo founded Morris Cerullo World Evangelism in 1961, which has since led to hundreds of Spirit-filled revivals from the depths of South America to the jungles of Africa.

Cerullo told Charisma that in 1962, God gave him a specific call in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He was commanded to train up international ministers who could reach their communities for Christ. Cerullo realized the key to building a lasting legacy was not bolstering his own resume; building a legacy meant training people who would carry on his mission long after his own death.

"The key is not you sacrificing your life, going from nation to nation, and having these big crusades," Cerullo said. "The key to a closing world is when you're gone, what is there?"

Through Cerullo and his crusades, ministries sprung forth in Indonesia, Malaysia, Israel and the entire Middle East, the Far East, Africa, Mexico, Central and South America, and virtually every nation on earth.

Jim Penner, the executive director of the Morris Cerullo Legacy Center, told Charisma that Cerullo's legacy was worldwide.

"Travel the world and you'd be hard pressed not to find hundreds and hundreds of churches that have been birthed by Dr. Cerullo going there, just finding somebody who's never been a church leader or a business leader, and training them in ministry," Penner said. "A result of that was just phenomenal churches that are now in their third and fourth generations in these many nations. I went to Africa with Dr. Cerullo two years ago. We went to three different cities, and the smallest church I was in sat 5,000 people. You don't realize the size of the churches that have been birthed overseas as a result of Dr. Cerullo's ministry."

In 2016, Cerullo was healed of a severe case of vasculitis, which left him nearly crippled and on bed rest for eight months. His miraculous recovery was hailed as "the greatest miracle of the century."

His ministry shared the following accomplishments:

  • In 1974, the Helpline TV program was developed and telecast to 80 of America's largest cities. It was not uncommon for celebrities, such as Dale Evans and Pat Boone, to help answer the phone lines and pray for those in need. In the years that followed, other television programs were launched that reached global audiences.
  • In 1976, during the height of apartheid, Dr. Cerullo was the only white minister who would dare to step foot on the platform for a meeting in which 80,000 (mostly black South Africans) showed up to witness the miracle-working power of God. Countless people were physically healed, and there was a supernatural blending that took place between blacks and whites.
  • In 1977 in Cochin, India, approximately 30% of the entire population of 500,000, poured onto the field, where countless people were healed and saved by the all-powerful Word of God.
  • In 1987, an estimated 300,000 French-speaking Africans attended a crusade where more than 50 deaf people were healed and 3,500 nationals were trained. (A national is a Christian who is trained to teach, preach and train disciples in his/her own country.)
  • In 1999, Dr. Cerullo trained 40,000 nationals from over 32 African nations who attended a meeting in Lagos, Nigeria. Approximately 85% of the nationals were pastors who took the teachings back to their churches, where they trained thousands more.
  • In 2002, Dr. Cerullo established the World Prayer Center in San Diego. This prayer hotline is staffed with a trained team that prays for thousands every year. Reports flood the ministry every week with tremendous answers to prayer.
  • In 2011, Victory Today television program was launched. Responses come in daily, reporting alcohol and drug addictions broken, marriages healed, supernatural financial provisions and many more wonderful testimonies. This cutting-edge television program can be seen worldwide, six days a week, by millions of viewers. The programs offer practical information on topics such as finances, as well as Bible lessons and a healing ministry.
  • In 2014, Dr. Cerullo embarked on a 20-day journey to six European countries where he conducted 20 meetings, mobilized 2,000 churches and trained 18,000 nationals.

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