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George Verwer & Charles Stanley

George Verwer (left) and Charles Stanley Verwer: OMI International; Stanley: In Touch Ministries

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George Verwer

Verwer, a Christian evangelist and ­missionary who took the good news around the world, died April 14 at the age of 84. After he embraced the gospel as a 16-year-old hearing Billy Graham speak in New York, Verwer began passing out copies of the Gospel of John to high school classmates. Over decades of ministry, he never stopped passing out literature: During a Bible smuggling trip to the Soviet Union, he was arrested as a spy and deported. In 1961, he founded Operation Mobilisation, a group initially dedicated to organizing short-term mission trips. Later, Verwer’s organization purchased cruise ships, turning the vessels into what he called “floating Christian bookstores that could go from country to country.”

Charles Stanley

Stanley, a former megachurch pastor, author, and TV and radio broadcaster, died April 18. He was 90. Stanley joined First Baptist Atlanta as an associate minister in 1969 and went on to pastor the congregation for 51 years as it grew to 15,000 members. Stanley also founded the Christian broadcast organization In Touch Ministries, served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1984 to 1986, and wrote many best-selling books, including the devotional Every Day In His Presence. Stanley’s 2000 divorce estranged him from his son, fellow megachurch pastor Andy Stanley, but the two attended counseling together and ultimately reconciled.


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