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Union University leaders praise Kennedy for his leadership among evangelicals

JACKSON, Tenn.Sept. 5, 2007 – D. James Kennedy was a “great Christian leader for this generation,” Union University President David S. Dockery said Sept. 5 following Kennedy’s death at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Kennedy was the founding pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, which grew from a church of 45 members in 1959 to a church of nearly 10,000.

“A powerful preacher, Dr. Kennedy was used of God to build a great church in Ft. Lauderdale that has touched the world for Christ,” Dockery said. “He will forever be remembered for the development of the tool, Evangelism Explosion, which has been one of the most amazing and effective instruments in the history of Christianity for helping people share their faith in Christ. We give thanks for the faithful life and ministry of D. James Kennedy.”

Jerry Tidwell, senior vice president of church relations at Union, said Evangelism Explosion “may be the single greatest ‘tool’ ever developed for soul-winning.”

Greg Thornbury, dean of Union’s School of Christian Studies, said Kennedy “played an instrumental role in helping evangelicals reclaim their great intellectual tradition.”

“With a Ph.D. from New York University, Kennedy stood behind his pulpit and preached with the confidence that there were no ‘no go’ areas for the gospel -- whether the subject was economics, politics, history or the state of American education,” Thornbury said. “All areas of life were brought to bear from a biblical perspective in Dr. Kennedy’s ministry.”

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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