Upon the September 5 passing of veteran broadcaster and Christian statesman, Dr. D. James Kennedy (1930-2007), the Christian community lost another key leader as Dr. Kennedy labored tirelessly to transform individual lives and a nation through the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dr. Kennedy’s ongoing legacy includes Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, “The Coral Ridge Hour” television program, the “Truths That Transform” radio program, Evangelism Explosion and the Center for Christian Statesmanship.
Paul Edwards, host of “The Paul Edwards Program” on WLQV in Detroit, interviewed longtime co-laborer with Dr. Kennedy and current President of the National Religious Broadcasters, Frank Wright.
Paul Edwards: This has to be a sad day for you?
Frank Wright: It is indeed. One of the great lions of our faith has left the scene of battle and yet left behind him a great heritage and reminder that it is for us to pick up that mantle that Dr. Kennedy and so many others like him have carried for so many years and continued to advance the gospel of Christ and the transforming power of that gospel message.
Edwards: In the eight months since Dr. Kennedy suffered that cardiac arrest, was there an expectation that he could recover? Was his death this morning at all a surprise to you and those who knew him?
Wright: It was a surprise, Paul, from one standpoint. Let me just say that I visited him in the hospital after his cardiac arrest: he recognized me, we conversed, we prayed together and I thought there were some real clear signs that he had a great recovery ahead of him. And he did make enormous progress since then, but he came to realize that his recovery would be far more protracted and likely more than he thought was fair to leave the church without leadership. So he felt it was right to step down and retire. He was actually doing well the last month or so from a personal health standpoint and so, yes, it was a surprise. But on the other hand, when someone has a significant cardiac arrest, passing away in your sleep like this is in many ways not a terrible surprise for a heart patient.
Edwards: Was he at all able to return to any of his duties at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and with the broadcast ministries during the last eight months?