A memorial service for pastor and author of the best-selling book series 'Left Behind' Tim LaHaye took place on August 12. The service, which was called a 'Celebration of Life,' was held at Shadow Community Church in San Diego, CA.
He passed away at the age of 90 on July 25. His family, including his wife Beverly who formed the conservative Christian group 'Concerned Women of America,' four children, nine grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren came together for the service which was also attended by church leader David Jeremiah and 'Left Behind' co-author Jerry Jenkins.
LaHaye ministered to churches in South Carolina and Minnesota in his early years as a pastor, but later he moved on to California where he led Scott Memorial Baptist Church, which expanded to three locations including Shadow Mountain Community Church.
He retired from the church in 1981 after which he undertook fictional and non-fictional writing on subjects ranging from family life, will of God, to the biblical perspective of marriage and sex.
His 16-book "Left Behind" series was inspired from the eulogy which he heard at his father's funeral, who died when LaHaye was 9 years old.
"This is not the end of Frank LaHaye," he recalled the minister saying. "Because he accepted Jesus, the day will come when the Lord will shout from heaven and descend, and the dead in Christ will rise first and then we'll be caught up together to meet him in the air."
"All of a sudden, there was hope in my heart I'd see my father again," he told Christian Science Monitor in a 2004 interview.
Jenkins said that though he is happy that LaHaye went to be with the Lord, the separation from him left a "void" in his soul.
"Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul I don't expect to fill until I see him again," Jenkins said.
"The Tim LaHaye I got to know had a pastor's heart and lived to share his faith," he continued. "He listened to and cared about everyone, regardless of age, gender, or social standing."
Senior pastor at Shadow Mountain Community Church, David Jeremiah, said that meeting LaHaye would always be an inspirational experience.
"I would leave always wanting to do better," he shared.
"Almost every conversation I had with him ended with his praying with me and for me. We shared long lunches together talking about ministry and praying for our nation," Jeremiah said.