The Christian world is mourning, yet celebrating, the home-going of theologian R.C. Sproul, 78, who passed away Thursday at a Florida hospital. He was hospitalized several days ago due to severe respiratory difficulties.
Born in 1939 in Pittsburgh, Sproul was the author of more than 90 books and was founder of Ligonier Ministries. He "died peacefully after being hospitalized 12 days ago due to severe respiratory difficulties exacerbated by the flu and complicated by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease," Ligonier Ministries CEO Chris Larson said.
"We are all grieving our loss," said Ligonier chairman Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, "but we are comforted by the promises of Christ's gospel – promises that R.C. believed and taught with clarity and power."
Tim Wildmon, president of American Family Association, said in a statement: "R.C. Sproul introduced countless believers to a real and ever-present God, helped them dive deeply into His Word, and stood with families. His passing saddens us here on Earth, but He is undoubtedly rejoicing with the Lord His Savior today."
"This popular teacher is now with the One who loves him most, and we both rejoice for Dr. Sproul and mourn for all who will miss him," said Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, president and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB).
"For more than five decades, the Lord has used Dr. Sproul to spread the life-changing truths of biblical Christianity and to expose people to the grace and the knowledge of the Lord. From the inquiring skeptic to the growing Christian, Dr. Sproul has impacted countless lives. And so, today, we give thanks to God for his life and for his ministry."
In February 2016, Sproul was inducted into the NRB Hall of Fame – NRB's most prestigious award. The Hall of Fame award is presented to an individual NRB member for invaluable contribution to the field of Christian communications, exhibition of the highest standards, and evidence of faithfulness in Christ.
Sproul was ordained as a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. He founded Ligonier Ministries in 1971 "to equip Christians to articulate what they believe, why they believe it, how to live it, and how to share it." Since 1994, he had hosted the daily radio broadcast "Renewing Your Mind," an outreach of Ligonier Ministries heard on hundreds of stations in the U.S., Philippines, Guam, and New Zealand, and on XM Radio. He also co-pastored St. Andrew's Chapel in Sanford, Florida.
Dr. Sproul is survived by his wife of 57 years, Vesta Ann, two children and their spouses, 11 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.