.- Renowned Presbyterian minister and pro-life advocate James Kennedy died Wednesday at the age of 76.
Kennedy was the longtime pastor of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He arrived at the modest mission church of 45 people in 1959 and proceeded to transform it into 10,000-member Christian mega-church. He incorporated media into his ministry and broadcasted his church services to three million Americans and 200 nations.
He founded several organizations focused on training Christians to carry the Gospel into all parts of society.
Messages of sympathy and gratitude for Kennedy’s ministry poured in from numerous Christian leaders.
"America has lost a strong and consistent voice for the most helpless in society," said Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. "The unborn and the physically impaired had a great advocate in Rev. D. James Kennedy, who always pleaded for the vulnerable with love.”
Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, described Kenney as “a true Christian leader for our time.”
“We are grateful for his example, wisdom, and uncompromising commitment to spreading the Kingdom of God. He was an outspoken foe of the ACLU and activist judges who were de-Christianizing our nation,” he said.
Beverly LaHaye, founder Concerned Women for America, said Kennedy “left a legacy of profound spiritual leadership and effective evangelism.”
Kennedy preached his last sermon on Christmas Eve 2006. Four days later, he suffered cardiac arrest and had been unable to return to the pulpit. He only retired as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Ministries in August. James Kennedy passed away in his sleep from cardiac complications on Wednesday.