Canadian pastor and author Henry Blackaby, whose Experiencing God Bible study sold millions of copies, died Saturday. He was 88.
Blackaby’s best-selling book helped millions know and do the will of God with the simple message: “Watch to see where God is working and join him.” It has guided countless people, churches, and ministries to join God’s work.
Blackaby’s teaching and influence crossed denominational lines as well as cultural and geographic boundaries, according to his publisher Lifeway Christian Resources.
“We are deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Henry Blackaby,” Lifeway President and CEO Ben Mandrell said in a statement. “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.”
“Millions of people around the globe have been impacted by his Bible study Experiencing God,” Mandrell said. “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 was the founder and president emeritus of Blackaby Ministries International (BMI), an organization built to help people experience God. His other books include Spiritual Leadership, Fresh Encounter, and A God-Centered Church.
Since it was first published 34 years ago, the Experiencing God Bible study has sold more than 8 million copies in English and is available in more than 75 languages, according to Lifeway. Co-authored by Claude King, the study 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. We often make plans and ask God to bless them, but God is the One who has the plan,” King said in a statement. “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.”
Blackaby’s eldest son, Dr. Richard Blackaby, the president of BMI, announced his father’s death in a Facebook post Saturday morning.
“Early this morning, our dad went to be with his Lord. He helped countless people experience God. Now he is experiencing God in ways that surely surpass even his most cherished dreams,” he wrote. “We were privileged to have a spiritual giant for a father. Hopefully we will honor mom and dad for the spiritual legacy they faithfully handed down to us.Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.”
Born on April 15, 1935, in British Columbia, Henry Blackaby was pastoring a church in California in 1970 when he was approached about taking over a small struggling church in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, according to BMI’s website.
Over the years, he and his wife Marilyn served the Faith Baptist Church in Saskatoon. It grew from 10 people to a bustling congregation that started 38 mission churches and the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College.
Blackaby was preceded in death by his wife Marilynn and is survived by their five children and 14 grandchildren.