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OM International Founder, Evangelist George Verwer Dies at 84

Milton Quintanilla | Crosswalk Headlines Contributor | Updated: Apr 18, 2023
OM International Founder, Evangelist George Verwer Dies at 84

OM International Founder, Evangelist George Verwer Dies at 84

Author and evangelist George Verwer, the founder of the Christian missions organization, OM International, passed away last week at the age of 84. 

“Through our tears, we give thanks for all George has meant to us and take comfort that he is with Jesus, whom he loved and served faithfully,” stated OM International on Facebook on Saturday.

“From the early days of leading college mission trips to Mexico, to dreaming of a ship to spread the Good News along the world’s coasts; through his passion for books, real relationships and holistic care for the least reached, George challenged and inspired those he met to share God’s love; truly practicing what he preached with his own radical life.”

The ministry noted that Verwer passed away on April 14, and asked for prayers for his family. 

In an article published by The Christian Post, Archbishop Joseph D’Souza of the Anglican Good Shepherd Church of India expressed his condolences.

“George also always paid attention to where the winds of the spirit were blowing, and as a maturing church emerged in the Global South, he put his efforts into helping the church become sustainable,” wrote D’Souza.

“George was one of the first white missions leaders to fully empower nationals to lead the efforts he initiated in the majority world. George was not only incapable of racism but he never treated anyone less than him.”

D’Souza further noted that Verwer’s mission work in India “was more extensive than all the rest of OM’s considerable work in the rest of the world combined.”

“From the very beginning, George’s spirit-led gut instincts led him to construct the Indian work in a different way than what was done in the West,” D’Souza added.

“From the very inception, the leadership was handed over to the Indians, and from the beginning, he gave complete freedom to develop the strategies and missiology at the local level.”

According to The Christian Post, Verwer was born in 1938 in New Jersey and converted to Christianity during his teenage years following a rally led by late evangelist Billy Graham in New York City. 

According to OM International’s official biography, he started to focus on international evangelism in 1957 while in college. He also traveled that year to Mexico to distribute 20,000 Spanish-language Christian tracts and 10,000 Gospel booklets.

Verwer founded Operation Mobilisation, which later became OM International while living in Europe. He led the ministry until 2003, when he stepped down to focus on additional projects. 

“Under George’s exuberant leadership and fueled by the passion of believers from many nations to reach those who had never heard the Good News, OM expanded in the '60s, '70s and '80s,” OM International’s official biography explained.

“His authentic lifestyle and zeal for the spread of the Gospel has motivated countless individuals and churches into more intentional mission involvement.”

Verwer also wrote multiple books, including Confessions of a Toxic Perfectionist, Messiology, Out of the Comfort Zone and Revolution of Love.

He is survived by his wife, Drena, whom he met in 1960 while enrolled at Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Illinois. The couple later had three children together.

Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Javier_Art_Photography

Milton QuintanillaMilton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for CrosswalkHeadlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

OM International Founder, Evangelist George Verwer Dies at 84