Legends of the Faith: The Spiritual Giants Who Left Us in 2023

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CBN News

In 2023, we lost some giants of the Christian faith: CBN founder Pat Robertson as well as ministers like Jack Hayford, Charles Stanley, Tim Keller and Loren Cunningham.

What was it about these men that made them legends in their own time? We spoke with Focus on the Family Chief of Staff Joel Vaughan about their lives and legacies.

“They were all leaders of leaders,” Vaughan told CBN News. “Not only did people come to them to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but other leaders looked to them and said, ‘Help me, help me guide my organization, help me lead my sheep, help me be a better Christian myself.'”

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Vaughan calls them legends—men who had an enormous impact on the church and the world.

Pastor Jack Hayford, a Pentecostal preacher who led the Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, was the first to leave in January at the age of 88.

“He was the most transparent minister of the Gospel I think I’ve ever seen,” said Vaughan. “We don’t realize they are just men; we don’t realize they have temptation. And Pastor Jack would put all of that out there. He didn’t hide anything.”

Pastor Charles Stanley, known for his soothing southern accent, was the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta for 49 years and founder and president of In Touch Ministries, which broadcast his sermons around the world. He passed away in April at the age of 90.


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Reprinted with permission from CBN.com. Copyright ©2024 The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. All rights reserved.

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