These 13 Christian Leaders Went Home to be with the Lord in 2017

These 13 Christian Leaders Went Home to be with the Lord in 2017
A number of influential Christian figures finished the work God gave them to do and went home to be with the Lord this year. These men and women were authors, evangelists, pastors, teachers, and involved in ministries of all types. They represent an incredible cross-section of who God chooses to be a part of His Kingdom and to bring others into that Kingdom. We can draw much inspiration and encouragement from learning about their lives, but we can also look at their lives as reminders that without Christ, we are lost, but with Him, we can do all things for which He will equip us. We hope that you benefit from reading through this list of 13 influential Christians who faithfully lived out their callings and are now at rest.

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  • 1. R. C. Sproul

    1. R. C. Sproul

    On December 14, 2017, the world lost a man who faithfully followed God's call and influenced the world for Christ in so many ways. Pastor, author, apologist, theologian, and founder of Ligonier Ministries, R. C. Sproul had been hospitalized for a serious respiratory condition and went home to be with the Lord at the age of 78. 

    He influenced many Christian leaders and lay people alike, including Dr. Albert Mohler, who wrote a tribute article to Sproul here.


    Photo courtesy: Facebook/R. C. Sproul

  • 2. Nabeel Qureshi

    2. Nabeel Qureshi

    Nabeel Qureshi was a renowed Muslim-turned-Christian apologist and author. He himself converted from Islam and helped lead many more people to Christ through his testimony and his books, which include "No God But One: Allah or Jesus?: A Fromer Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam & Christianity and Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity.

    Qureshi passed away on September 16, after a battle with stomach cancer. He was only 34 years old. His wife has vowed to continue the ministry he began.


  • 3. Michael Cromartie

    3. Michael Cromartie

    Cromartie was Vice President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and worked at the cross-section of religion and politics. He was also a prominent author and contributed articles to many well-known publications. He even served under President George W. Bush as the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. 

    Cromartie passed away on August 28 at the age of 67.


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  • 4. Haddon Robinson

    4. Haddon Robinson

    Haddon Robinson had a distinguished career as a preacher, teacher, and president of two seminaries. He was a renowened Bible teacher and proponent of expository preaching, arguing that sermons should be based on the text of God's Word, rather than on the preacher's personal authority. Robinson was 86 when he died on July 22.


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  • 5. Helen DeVos

    5. Helen DeVos

    Helen DeVos, the mother-in-law of current Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, was a Christian philanthropist who championed Christian and conservative causes. She was also the wife of Amway Corporation founder Rich DeVos. 

    DeVos supported Christian colleges and organizations, including The Heritage Foundation, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and the National Review Institute.

    DeVos passed away on October 19 at the age of 90.


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  • 6. Frank Broyles

    6. Frank Broyles

    Frank Broyles was the former University of Arkansas footbal coach and athletic director. He was also very involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

    Whether in his sports career or in his advocacy for those with Alzheimer's Disease, Broyles left a lasting legacy. He was beloved by many and his passion for his work, his team, and his causes was clearly seen.

    He passed away on August 14 at the age of 92, from complications of Alzheimer's.


    Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

  • 7. Michael Novak

    7. Michael Novak

    Michael Novak was a Catholic philosopher, journalist, novelist, and diplomat. He was a prolific author, writing over 40 books on the subjects of philosophy, theology, and culture. 

    Novak had a distinguished career. He received the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. He was also involved in politics and brought his faith to bear in whatever field in which he invested his time and energy.

    Novak passed away on February 17 at the age of 83.


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  • 8. Doug Coe

    8. Doug Coe

    Coe was named one of the 25 most influential Evangelicals by Time magazine. He was involved with a faith-based organization that sponsors the National Prayer Breakfast. His influence stretched from the Church to politics, and everywhere in between. 

    Coe was responsible for bringing the National Prayer Breakfast into the national spotlight and for making it an annual event in Washington D.C. He mostly worked behind the scenes, but made a great impact on many influential political and religious figures.

    Coe died on February 21 at the age of 88.


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  • 9. Norma McCorvey

    9. Norma McCorvey

    Norma McCorvey has a fascinating history. She was the woman, known as "Jane Roe," at the heart of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion. 

    Although you may be wondering, then, why McCorvey is on this list of Christian leaders, she is not only known for her role in Roe v. Wade. Years after Roe v. Wade ruled in favor of McCorvey's abortion rights and changed the nation's abortion laws, McCorvey revealed that ambitious lawyers had taken advantage of her and used her case to challenge abortion laws of the day.

    Not only did she express her disapproval of the case's proceedings, but she converted to Christianity and actually became a pro-life advocate. For the rest of her life she championed the pro-life cause and was involved in several pro-life organizations. 

    McCorvey passed away on February 18 at the age of 69.


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  • 10. H. Wilbert Norton

    10. H. Wilbert Norton

    H. Wilbert Norton was the president of Trinity College and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in the 150s and 1960s. He also had a significant influence on Christian higher education when he served as a professor and graduate school dean at Wheaton College.

    But Norton was not only involved in education. He also helped the Gospel reach the world by training missionaries. 

    Norton was blessed with a long life, and passed away on February 20 at the age of 102.


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  • 11. James Reapsome

    11. James Reapsome

    The Rev. James Reapsome was influential in shaping Christian thought on missons and theology. He served as the managing editor of Christianity Today and founded The Evangelical Missions Quarterly. He was also a professor at several Christian schools throughout his career. 

    Additionally, Reapsome was a pastor and an author. His last book was titled The Jesus Paul Knew. Reapsome passed away on June 26 at the age of 88.


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  • 12. John Sherrill

    12. John Sherrill

    John Sherrill, along with his wife, Elizabeth, were Christian authors who founded the Christian publishing company called Chosen Books. They authored such noteworthy books as God's Smuggler, The Hiding Place, and, in collaboration with Pastor David Wilkerson, The Cross and the Switchblade. 

    Sherrill was a prolific writer who also worked as a freelance writer and wrote for the Christian news outlet Guideposts magazine.

    He passed away on August 2 at the age of 94.


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  • 13. Frank Worthen

    13. Frank Worthen

    Frank Worthen made a big impact on society through his ministry to those who came out of the gay community and embraced Christianity. His motto for ministry was "Freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ."

    Worthen's ministry Love in Action was birthed out of his own experience in the gay community. His father died when he was young, and afterward he developed a relationship with a pastor who Worthen later said preyed on him and groomed him to be gay.

    Worthen lived as a gay man for years, but when his life took a turn for the worse and he even contemplated suicide, he turned to Jesus, and then began reaching out to others in the gay community with the Good News.

    Worthen passed away on February 11 at the age of 87.


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