Author, pastor and prophet Tim LaHaye died of a stroke on Monday. He was 90.
LaHaye was perhaps best known for his Left Behind end times series with co-author Jerry B. Jenkins.
"Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul I don't expect to fill until I see him again," Jenkins said. "The Tim LaHaye I got to know had a pastor's heart and lived to share his faith. He listened to and cared about everyone, regardless of age, gender, or social standing. If Tim was missing from the autograph table or the green room of a network television show, he was likely in a corner praying with someone he'd just met—from a reader to a part-time bookstore stock clerk to a TV network anchorman."
LaHaye spent almost 70 years in the pulpit. He wrote more than 60 nonfiction books, including tomes on prophecy.
He led multiple churches, including Shadow Mountain, which is now pastored by David Jeremiah.
"For 35 of those years I have been his pastor. From the very beginning, he has encouraged me, and I have honored him," Jeremiah said. "Tim was one of the most godly men I have ever known. Almost every conversation I had with him ended with his praying with me and for me. He wrote me extended letters of appreciation for what God was doing in our church. We shared long lunches together talking about ministry and praying for our nation. When I look back over Tim LaHaye's life, I am reminded of Paul's words concerning King David: 'He served his own generation by the will of God.'"
According to his obituary:
Joining Dr. LaHaye for most of his journey was the former Beverly Ratcliffe, whom he married on July 5, 1947. Mrs. LaHaye—a powerhouse in her own right—founded Concerned Women for America in 1979, the nation's largest public policy organization for women with 600,000 members.
Their union prompted Time magazine in 2005 to name the LaHayes "The Christian Power Couple." The proclamation came as the magazine named Dr. LaHaye as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.
Early in his ministerial career, Dr. LaHaye pastored churches in South Carolina and Minnesota before moving his family to California. They settled in San Diego County, where he took the reins of Scott Memorial Baptist Church. Under his 25-year leadership, the congregation expanded to three locations, including what is now Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon.
Dr. LaHaye also founded two accredited Christian high schools, a school system of 10 Christian schools and what is now San Diego Christian College (formerly Christian Heritage College). In 1972 he co-founded the Institute for Creation Research with the late Dr. Henry Morris.
As a couple, the LaHayes hosted a radio show and, later, a TV program called "The LaHayes on Family Life." In keeping with their faith, the show promoted Christian values.
During the 1970s Dr. LaHaye was instrumental in gathering a coalition of Southern California pastors together to address a progressive agenda that was undermining traditional family values. Also in the '70s, he encouraged the late Jerry Falwell Sr. to establish the Moral Majority as a way to build a similar coalition nationally. He was also widely credited with garnering evangelical support behind the campaign of George W. Bush.
Besides co-authoring the 16-book "Left Behind" series—which sold more than 80 million copies, topping the best-selling lists of The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Christian Booksellers Association—LaHaye was a prolific non-fiction author, penning 60 different titles that sold 14 million copies in as many as 32 languages. Topics he explored included family life, temperaments, the biblical view of sex and marriage, Bible prophecy, the will of God, Jesus Christ and secular humanism.
Other ministries he either founded or co-founded include Tim LaHaye Ministries, the PreTrib Research Center and the Tim LaHaye School of Prophecy at Liberty University. He also designed the LaHaye Temperament Analysis, a self-improvement tool that has been used by more than 30,000 people.
LaHaye is survived by his wife Beverly, four children; nine grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; a brother, Richard LaHaye; and a sister, Margaret White.
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