Bishop John Gimenez, a powerful, charismatic, Christian leader and organizer best known for his Washington for Jesus rallies, has passed away. He was 76.
Gimenez was a long-time friend of The Christian Broadcasting Network and its founder Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson.
The Death of a Saint
"My heart is deeply saddened at the passing of my dear friend, John Gimenez. I first met John in 1965 in London, England where he was performing with a Christian singing group called The Addicts," Robertson said in a statement following his friend's death. (Dr. Robertson's full statement on Gimenez's passing is below).
He was also founder of Rock Church International in Virginia Beach, Va., which his wife Anne Gimenez now pastors, and overseer of Rock Ministerial Family Fellowship.
A Life Devoted to Serving God Around the World
Gimenez's Rock Church ministry has planted more than 500 churches internationally, many of them in Africa. In his works, he urged everyone regardless of age, denomination or race to pray for the healing of God's people and the spread of His word.
Gimenez was born in 1931 in Spanish Harlem. A former drug addict and prisoner, he turned his life around in 1963 to serve the Lord wholeheartedly. After hearing God's voice in 1980, he went on to found American for Jesus, Inc., calling the nation to fast, pray and be obedient to the Lord.
Gimenez said the Lord called him to gather America for His purpose, leading to the bishop's development of more than 200 rallies across the U.S.
Three of the most noted ones were Washington for Jesus meetings. They involved millions of believers gathering at the U.S. Capitol and crying out to God on behalf of the nation, her leaders and people.
The Bishop often attacked "spiritual wickedness in high places" and was an avid believer of prayer in schools and teaching of the Ten Commandments.
"Prayer never hurt nobody," he once said.
Pat Robertson's Complete Statement:
"My heart is deeply saddened at the passing of my dear friend, John Gimenez. I first met John in 1965 in London, England where he was performing with a Christian singing group called The Addicts.
"I later invited him to come as a guest on my 700 Club television program, then to a ministry trip to Bogotá, Colombia, and then to a pastorate of what became one of the largest churches in Virginia.
"John and his dear wife, Anne, have been close friends for over 40 years. We served together in the ground-breaking Washington For Jesus in 1980.
"I have seen in John a heart filled with faith, a heart filled with love for America, a heart of compassion for the less fortunate in our society, and a heart of love for all people. Words fail to express the sense of loss that I feel at the knowledge this great gospel light has been extinguished.
"The Bible tells us, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." I know that God's angels have stooped down to welcome into heaven a champion of the faith.
"I was on the telephone talking to John's wife, Ann, when news came that he was dead. I extend to Ann and to John's family my deepest sympathy and prayer that the comfort of the Lord might surround them."
Sources: CBN News, Rock Church International, Publiceye.org
A Prophet in His Land