Thousands Gather to Memorialize Myles Munroe

Myles and Ruth Munrie
Dr. Myles Munroe gazes lovingly at his wife, Ruth, in a photo shown at their funeral this week. (Facebook)

Thousands celebrated Dr. Myles Munroe and his wife, Ruth, two influential leaders in Christianity being laid to rest Thursday in a state-recognized funeral in the Bahamas.

The funeral came nearly a month after the couple died in a plane crash along with eight others from their church Bahamas Faith Ministries.

Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie called Dr. Myles Munroe "indisputably one of the most globally recognizable religious figures our nation has ever produced."

The story of that rise to prominence is incredible. He was born to poor parents in 1954 and is one of 11 children.

"I was born to transform followers into leaders. And leaders into agents of change," Myles Munroe said in 2008.

Myles Egbert Munroe discovered his life's purpose at age 13, not long after a school teacher told him he was nothing and he would never amount to anything. It's a story he shared on CBN's Turning Point program.

"And I ran home to that house and fell before my mother and began to cry. And my mother did something that I hope every mother does. She looked at me and she held me very close and she shook me and she said 'First of all don't you ever say that again,'" Munroe said on the show.

"And she gave me her big Bible," he continued. "One verse of scripture, Ephesians, chapter 3, verse 20. And she said, 'You go in that dirty room and you read that.'

"And I went I read the Scripture and my tears were dropping on the page as I remember what the teacher said to me," he recalled. "And that Scripture said one thing, it said 'Now unto him, who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above far beyond you could ever think, ask or imagine according to the power that worketh in you,' and I remember my tears began to turn into laughter."

That 13-year-old grew up and left the Bahamas in the mid-1970s to attend Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Munroe earned bachelor's and master's degrees and a doctorate before returning home to start Bahamas Faith Ministries.

Munroe and his wife Ruth led the church together. But the husband and father of two children didn't really think of himself as a preacher.

"I never desired to be a minister. I desired to help people," Munroe said.

"We are here, sent from our heavenly home to colonize earth with the kingdom of heaven," Munroe said in a 2012 Turning Point episode.

With that mission in mind, Munroe wrote more than a dozen best-selling books.

His message took him around the globe as a motivational speaker and businessman, rubbing shoulders with world leaders. But his true passion was getting ordinary people to see the leader inside of themselves.

When his plane crashed he was headed to his annual leadership conference. 

"My friend, listen to me—you were born to be a leader on earth representing God," Munroe told Turning Point viewers in 2012. "You were born to make a difference and not just to make a living."

"You came to this earth, not just to pay bills but to pay your debt to society and to give them the good news that they can come back to God's country on earth," he said. "God wants you to be an ambassador of the kingdom of heaven to bring His culture back to your city in every area of life."

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