Ted W. Engstrom, former leader of several major evangelical institutions, including World Vision and Youth for Christ, died last Friday, July 14, in his home in Bradbury, California. Engstrom was 90.
As executive vice president, president, and chief executive officer of World Vision, Engstrom turned the fledgling and debt-ridden orphan agency into a major relief and development organization. Engstrom also served as editorial director and general manager of Zondervan Publishing House, executive director of Youth for Christ International, and interim president of Azusa Pacific University.
"Engstrom was best known for his uncompromising commitment to serving the poor and for helping others grasp God's perfect and immeasurable love," said Rich Stearns, president of World Vision U.S. "He also upheld a profound sense of stewardship and brought a business and managerial savvy to World Vision during his more than 20-year tenure."
Two major contributions "Dr. Ted" gave to evangelicalism, said World Vision acting vice president for communication, John McCoy, was his promotion of standard business practices in ministries and churches, which had often neglected balanced budgets as they focused on ministry, and his combination of "social outreach with evangelism."
"His ability to integrate the gospel with everyday life was absolutely inspiring," said Dean R. Hirsch, head of World Vision International. "Dr. Ted made work and faith walk together."
Building evangelicalism's institutions Born in Cleveland, Engstrom became a Christian during his freshman year at Taylor University. He recalled, "It was 10:30 in the morning, April 1, 1935, when I responded to the claims of Christ. I was released, and I rejoiced in the grace that God gave me that ...1