A Tribute to Loren Cunningham ~ June 30, 1935⎼October 6, 2023
There is a book entitled, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. This captures my thoughts of Loren over a lifetime of knowing him. Many people’s direction with their giftings has a very defined focus of following through on one project. However, with Loren as a visionary, he sees the big picture and is broad-scoped.
Our mothers were sisters from a large ministry family. Our grandfather on their side was a pioneer preacher who raised all five of his children…instilling in them God’s purposes for their lives. Loren and I went forward the same night at a youth rally in 1948 with other young people committing our lives to full-time ministry. This was in our uncle’s church. My father invited Loren to preach his first sermon in his church at the next mid-week service. If you have read Loren’s book, Is That Really You, God? , more details are given about that story.
When the Lord spoke to Loren through a vision of waves crashing onto the shore turning into young people, this is the vision that launched Youth With A Mission. YWAM is now celebrating 63 years. My wife and I were pastoring on the East Coast of America for about 10 years when we felt the Lord speak to us that we were to shift our focus into global missions. So, we resigned our local pastorate, and Loren allowed us to team up with the ministry of YWAM. What a journey it has been! There have been millions of people who have been touched by the message of Loren.
I must say for every visionary to be effective they must have an implementation team, and God brought Darlene Scratch into Loren’s life to become his wife, and she has certainly been that key implementing partner. Loren felt early on that as a leader of an international mission that had been commissioned to go into all the world to preach the gospel, he should model that leadership by literally traveling to every country. He is one of only a handful of people that have covered every country of the world.
We are excited with the vision he has left to us to get God’s Word within every people group, and even into every person’s mother tongue. And now we all carry on and continue this emphasis. I have recently read his proposal for this project several times through. It is well organized, and I believe that if we as a body of Christ, will rally around this it will not only be effective in reaching every language and people group, but it will make our heavenly Father rejoice. In Zephaniah 3:17, it implies that when people come into the kingdom of God that the Lord rejoices over us, even with singing. Can we imagine how beautiful the voice of the Lord is when He sings? Loren has lived his life to help bring joy to the heart of God.
Loren and Darlene heart's have been filled with joy watching their children, Karen and David, as well as their grandchildren serving the Lord.
Thank you, Loren, for who you are and for your long obedience! We know heaven is rejoicing now and celebrating your permanent home, and we know it won’t be long until we join together with you and our loved ones.
Founder of Youth With A Mission Tyler TX
Full obituary can be found here: https://lorencunningham.com/