BULLETIN: Tim Keller, Famous Pastor and Author, Died

Famed theologian and best-selling Christian author Tim Keller died Friday, according to his family. He was 72.

The founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City passed away after battling pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed with stage four in 2020.

Keller’s son, Michael, made the announcement on his Twitter account.

“Timothy J. Keller, husband, father, grandfather, mentor, friend, pastor, and scholar died this morning at home. Dad waited until he was alone with Mom. She kissed him on the forehead and he breathed his last breath. We take comfort in some of his last words,” Michael Keller wrote. “‘There is no downside for me leaving, not in the slightest.’ See you soon Dad.”

Bruce Terrell released a statement on behalf of the Redeemer Network Leadership Team.

“It is with a heavy heart that I write today to inform you that Redeemer Presbyterian Church founder and long-time senior pastor, Tim Keller, passed away this morning at age 72, trusting in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection,” said Terrell. “We are forever grateful for his leadership, heart, and dedication to sharing the love of Christ with others. 

“While we will miss his presence here, we know he is rejoicing with his Savior in heaven,” he added. 

The following is an obituary from Keller’s website:

Timothy Keller was the son of William B. Keller and Louise A. Clemente Keller. He was born and grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, receiving his B.A. from Bucknell University, his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Seminary, and both a Doctor of Ministry and a Doctor of Divinity from Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Keller was married to Kathy Louise Kristy of Pittsburgh in January 1975. Together they raised three sons: David Andrew (b. 1978), Michael Stephen (b. 1980), and Jonathan Daniel (b. 1983), each born in Hopewell, Virginia.

As a family, the Kellers planted Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City in 1989, which grew to a weekly attendance of over 5,000 people, and through which God brought many other fruitful ministries, such as Redeemer City to City, Hope for New York, and Redeemer Counseling Services, among others. After stepping down as Senior Pastor of Redeemer in July of 2017, he continued to serve City to City full-time, a ministry that has helped start more than 1,000 churches in over 150 cities, and trained or reached more than 79,000 leaders.  

He was ordained into the Presbyterian Church in America in 1975 and served as pastor of West Hopewell Presbyterian Church from 1975-1984 and as senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City from 1989-2017. From 1984-1989 he taught at Westminster Seminary in the Practical Theology department and served on the staff of Mission to North America as director of Mercy Ministry of the PCA.

Tim authored numerous books, with some of the best known being The Reason for God, The Prodigal God, and The Meaning of Marriage, which he co-authored with Kathy.  Overall, God allowed him to author 31 books that have sold over 6 million copies and have been translated into 29 languages.

Tim is survived by his wife Kathy, his three sons David, Michael and Jonathan, his sister Sharon Johnson of Sorrento, Florida, his daughters-in-law Jennifer, Sara, and Ann-Marie, and seven grandchildren – Lucy, Kate, Charlotte, Miles, William, Eleanor, and Daniel.

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