Americas

A Passion for Souls

Remembering D. James Kennedy.

My only personal encounter with D. James Kennedy did not go particularly well. I was still a somewhat wide-eyed marketing and radio writer at Coral Ridge Ministries in Fort Lauderdale in 1987 and 1988. About a year and a half into my job of producing copy for his radio and TV broadcasts, study guides based on his sermons, program notes, product catalogs and the like, I had decided I would go to the very conservative Columbia Biblical Seminary in South Carolina to study world missions.

As Providence would have it, one day I met Dr. Kennedy, who was striding briskly to an appointment with several members of his retinue. Screwing up my courage, I said hello and told him I would be going to Columbia for grad school.

Dr. Kennedy physically recoiled and thundered in his trademark baritone preacher's voice, "Columbia? I wouldn't send my worst enemy to Columbia!"

It felt as if I had been slapped in the face. But recovering quickly, I figured out he was talking about that bastion of liberalism, Columbia ...

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