NEW YORK — Christian pastor and author Timothy J. Keller died this morning at age 72.
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 in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Seminary in S. Hamilton, Massachusetts, and both a Doctor of Ministry and a Doctor of Divinity from Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia.
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 out of which God brought many fruitful ministries, such as Redeemer City to City, Hope for New York, and Redeemer Counseling Services, among others.
In 2001, Keller co-founded Redeemer City to City, a nonprofit that recruits, trains, coaches, and resources leaders to start and strengthen churches and renew city life in urban areas throughout Africa, Asia, India, Australia, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, and Europe. After transitioning out of his position as senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in 2017, Keller moved into a full-time role with City to City, focusing on teaching, mentoring and ministering in global cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town, Seoul, Taipei, London, Paris, Krakow, Hong Kong, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, and New York. City to City has helped start more than 1,000 churches in over 150 cities, and trained or reached more than 79,000 leaders.
“Fifty years from now, if evangelical Christians are widely known for their love of cities, their commitment to mercy and justice, and their love of their neighbors, Tim Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians,” said Christianity Today about Keller in a May 2006 article.
Keller became a Christian at Bucknell University through the ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, where he later served as an associate staff member. He was ordained into the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in 1975 and served as pastor of West Hopewell Presbyterian Church from 1975-1984, during which time he served as chairman of the committee for church planting in the Mid-Atlantic presbytery of the PCA. From 1984 to 1989 he taught at Westminster Seminary of Philadelphia in the Practical Theology department and served on the staff of Mission to North America as director of Mercy Ministry of the PCA. From 1989 to the end of his life, he lived in New York City, first as senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (1989 – 2017) and then as a staff member of City to City.
Keller 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.
Keller 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.
The Keller family has asked that in lieu of flowers, gifts be made to Gospel in Life.
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Source: Christian News Wire, Timothy J. Keller Dies at Age 72