Heaven’s doors opened on January 5, 2018, to receive AWANA Cofounder, Art Rorheim. He was 99 at the time of his passing.
Rorheim collaborated with Lance Latham to create and establish the AWANA as a youth and children’s ministry in a Chicago church in 1950. The ministry concept was based on a paraphrase of II Timothy 2:15, “Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed.” When the unique program began attracting upwards of 500 kids each week, other area churches began to inquire about the possibility of using the materials Rorheim and Latham had produced.
Today, AWANA impacts and shapes the lives of millions of kids and adults worldwide by equipping leaders to reach them with the Gospel and engage them in long-term discipleship.
Although Rorheim “never know that AWANA would grow into an international ministry,” the program transformed into a ministry that reaches millions of kids across six continents.
“When we founded Awana as a resource to other churches, we had no idea that the Lord would expand the ministry around the world. We just tried to build a ministry that other churches could use to help them reach the kids in their own neighborhoods with the gospel. God chose to work through an ordinary, untrained man like me to do extraordinary things. All I ever did was say, ‘Lord, I’m willing to do whatever You ask me to do. I want to be faithful to Your call.’ I was merely motivated by love for a God who saved someone like me who deserves hell on my best day, and love for boys and girls, and their families, that urgently need our Savior.”
AWANA ministers to 2.3 million kids in more than 100 countries. No longer limited to an in-church program, AWANA ministers to kids in slums, refugee camps, and other hard- to-reach places around the globe.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2018, at Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church, 60 Quentin Road, Lake Zurich, Illinois.
AWANA: Organization Website
Art Rorheim: Personal Website