A Spiritual Giant Went Home Today

joe-ruth1In the process of recalibrating life due to colon cancer, I’ve been reflecting on people that have been influential in shaping my life in positive and eternal ways.  These people are not numerous nor ordinary but special unique men and women of God who due to their character, spiritual maturity and accomplishments make the world and the church better.  

One person on the top of my list is Dr. Joseph Aldrich, president emeritus of Multnomah Bible College.  No, I was never a student of his nor did I attend Multnomah, but around 20 years ago Dr. Joe’s vision was to call city and local pastors and leaders together for a four days away from the normal routines of life and ministry to simple pray.  The the very first one occurred with in Salem Oregon February 1989.  In very quick order this type of gathering caught on here in the Pacific Northwest.  They were called Prayer Summits and so far over 2,000 have taken place in 40 states and 30 nations around the world.  

Countless pastors and leaders including myself had our lives spiritual transformed by attending a prayer summit.  We learned  how good and pleasant it is for God’s people to dwell together in unity and pray.  The venue involves gathering at a neutral location far enough away from the norm of ministry that one is less tempted to return to the daily routine.  Participants invite Jesus to be  present while directing and protecting the gathering.  Its an agenda free environment where Holy Spirit is given freedom to operate. 

The monumental impact of Prayer Summits personally and corporately within the Body of Christ cannot be calculated.  As a result, I am a more authentic follower of Jesus, a better husband, father and grandfather and leader.  Knowing and experiencing the power and reality of prayer as a participant has been life changing to say the least.

To my way of thinking and many others, Dr. Joe was a spiritual giant of a man. Whose humility and authenticity God used to change thousands of lives around the globe. 

For the last 15 years Dr. Joe has been gallantly fighting a battle with Parkinson’s disease.  Many of us who have loved this man have watched him move with grace both inwardly and outwardly as he continued living passionately for his Savior despite his debilitation.  Today this same Savior, Jesus Christ welcomed Dr. Joe to his new heavenly home with open arms. I’m sure he is both smiling and crying as he experiences his face to face encounter with his Lord.  

Dr. Joe, thanks for your life and ministry that was marked by great faithfulness. We will never be the same because of what God did through you on our behalf.


3 Responses

  1. […] My Bible Study Blog created an interesting post today on A Spiritual Giant Went Home TodayHere’s a short outlineOne person on the top of my list is Dr. Joseph Aldrich, president emeritus of Multnomah BBible/B College.  No, I was never a student of his nor… […]

  2. Encouraging post, his life calls me on.

  3. Been out of touch but it is a loss for the church here in Portland. My sense of Dr. Joe was that he was a spokesperson for Christ here that went far beyond the normal theological lines.

    RIP Joe and enjoy your eternity with our Lord.


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