Henry Blackaby’s Funeral To Celebrate Legacy of Joining God at Work

Henry Blackaby’s Funeral To Celebrate Legacy of Joining God at Work

Funeral arrangements for Henry Blackaby, author of the best-selling Experiencing God Bible study, have been scheduled for 3 p.m. on Feb. 25 at First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Georgia where his son, Mel, serves as senior pastor. People can also pay their respects during a visitation scheduled from 5-7 p.m. on Feb. 24 at Ford-Stewart Funeral Home in Jonesboro.

Blackaby, who served as founder and president emeritus of Blackaby Ministries International, died Feb. 10, 2024. He was 88.

“He will be greatly missed, but his influence on the lives of untold numbers of people through his Bible teaching will live on,” Franklin Graham stated in a social media post.

Blackaby’s famous summary of how to know and do the will of God—“watch to see where God is working and join Him”—has inspired and guided many people, churches and ministries to join God’s work. Blackaby’s teaching and influence crossed denominational lines as well as cultural and geographic boundaries.

Blackaby was serving as a pastor in Southern California when a fellow pastor approached him about returning to his native Canada to be pastor at Faith Baptist Church, a small, dying congregation in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

After Blackaby and his wife, Marilynn, answered the call to serve there, the 10 member-church grew to a thriving congregation. And over 12 years, the church launched 38 mission congregations as well as the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College.

Experiencing God has helped transform millions of lives and thousands of churches around the globe. Since 1990, the study has sold more than 8 million copies in English and is available in more than 75 languages. The study, published by Lifeway and co-authored by Claude King, promotes a God-centered way of life that helps people know God intimately, recognize His voice and understand His will for their lives.

“Our human tendency is to think and act from a human-centered perspective,” King stated in a Lifeway press release. “We often make plans and ask God to bless them, but God is the One who has the plan. Henry taught me to find where God is working and join Him. God has a plan, and He’s working in places we wouldn’t know. When we recognize where He’s working and join Him, He does amazing things.”

Lifeway President and CEO Ben Mandrell, whose company served as the publisher for Blackaby, released a statement on Saturday expressing his condolences.

“He was a great man of God and minister to the Body of Christ, beginning with his time as a local church pastor and continuing through his ministry as an author and Bible teacher,” Mandrell said.

“Millions of people around the globe have been impacted by his Bible study Experiencing God. … He loved his Lord, his family and his local church. Lifeway sends the Blackaby family our sincere condolences as they remember the life and ministry of this godly man.”

Blackaby’s son Richard described his father as a spiritual giant. “He helped countless people experience God,” Richard said in The Christian Index. “Now he is experiencing God in ways that surely surpass even his most cherished dreams.”

“I just arrived home from South Africa with lots of people in Africa wanting me to tell Dad how his life and work had changed their lives,” Mel wrote on Facebook “I hear that same sentiment all around the world.”

Scores of tributes to Blackaby’s missional legacy have flooded social media in the wake of his passing. Southern Baptist evangelist and author Jay Strack called Blackaby one of the most significant leaders of his generation. “Henry Blackaby was a man who experienced God,” Strack told The Christian Index. “He was a man who saw a revival. He was a man who was a leader to leaders.”

“He was a humble, quiet messenger who spoke powerful words,” said Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board.

Richard now leads Blackaby Ministries International and writes and speaks on spiritual awakening, experiencing God and the Christian life. In 2022 Lifeway re-released the Bible study with new video content that includes Richard and Mike Blackaby, the son and grandson of Henry Blackaby.

Reflecting on the legacy of his father’s work on the original Experiencing God study, Richard Blackaby said there was no way to know how dramatically the study’s message would be received or how it would spawn a multigenerational movement of people seeking to recognize God’s voice. “My dad always said there is a deep longing in people’s hearts to know and experience God,” he said. “Many people knew there had to be more to the Christian life than what they were experiencing.”

After pastoring Faith Baptist Church, Henry Blackaby served as director of missions in Vancouver for two years before moving to the United States to become the director of prayer and spiritual awakening at the North American Mission Board. He later served as special assistant to the presidents of the Southern Baptist International and North American mission boards and Lifeway.

Blackaby was born April 15, 1935, in British Columbia. He was preceded in death by his wife Marilynn and survived by their five children and 14 grandchildren.

Photo: Courtesy of Lifeway Christian Resources

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