|Born|| April 27, 1926 |
|Died|| July 25, 2016 |
San Diego, California
Timothy Francis LaHaye, known as Tim LaHaye (April 27, 1926 – July 25, 2016), was a Christian pastor and prolific author with a concentration in End Times prophecy. Writing more than eighty-five fiction and non-fiction works in his lifetime, he was best known for his immensely popular Left Behind series, which he wrote with Jerry Jenkins, although he has also been quite prolific in his books on general theology.
LaHaye was born on April 27, 1926, in Detroit. His father, a Ford autoworker, died when he was nine. LaHaye served in Army Air Force during World War II, joining in 1944 and serving in Europe as a machine-gunner.
LaHaye graduated from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1950 with a bachelor's degree, and after that he received a doctorate at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He would also receive a doctorate at Liberty University later.
Pastor and Christian leader
LaHaye served as a pastor in churches in South Carolina and Minnesota until 1956, when he moved to San Diego, California, to pastor the Scott Memorial Baptist Church (now called Shadow Mountain Community Church), which he would do for 25 years.
LaHaye founded Christian Heritage College, now called San Diego Christian College, and helped Henry Morris found the Institute for Creation Research. Ken Ham, the president of Answers in Genesis, a Christian apologetics ministry, has referred to LaHaye as the "third founder" of the modern creation science movement, after Morris and John Whitcomb.
Later in his life, LaHaye became strongly involved with Liberty University: in 2001, he gave $4.5 million to build a new student center and School of Prophecy, which opened in January 2002 and was named after LaHaye. He also served as its president. Later, he provided funds for the LaHaye Ice Center on the campus of Liberty University, which opened in January 2006 and serves as the home arena for Liberty's hockey teams.
LaHaye was very involved in the Christian right and was active in numerous Christian right organizations in the 1970s and 80s, including the Moral Majority. In 1987, he served as honorary national co-chairman for Jack Kemp's campaign for president but left after it was reported the he had written statements in his writings that were deemed by the media—who forget that there are such things as theological disagreements—as "anti-Catholic" and "anti-Jewish". In addition, LaHaye was influential in building Evangelical support for George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and served as a spiritual advisor for Mike Huckabee during his 2008 presidential campaign.
During the first year of Ronald Reagan's Presidency in 1981, LaHaye invited best-selling conservative, libertarian, and anti-Communist author Mr. Cleon Skousen to become the first member of the conservative think tank called the Council for National Policy. LaHaye founded and was active in several other conservative organizations.
In 1980, just before Reagan's first election as president, LaHaye published The Battle for the Mind, A Subtle Warfare, which explains how secular humanists, who reject God instead use their unproven faith in the theory of evolution to justify immoral or amoral behavior while condemning traditional Christians who place faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for what they see as "narrow-mindedness" and "bigotry".
Left Behind series
LaHaye is most famous for his Left Behind novels, which he co-authored with Jerry B. Jenkins. He wrote 16 Left Behind novels, between 1995 and 2007, which sold about 65 million copies and could possibly be considered the most commercially successful Christian fiction work in history. LaHaye's goal of the series was to bring people to faith in Jesus Christ as the sole way to avoid an eternity in Hell. Later he and Jenkins would write 40 short novels under the Left Behind: The Kids title.
LaHaye was named "the most influential American evangelical of the last 25 years" in 2001 by the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, and in 2005, TIME magazine labeled LaHaye and his wife, Beverly, "the Christian Power Couple".
- Hagerty, James R. (July 29, 2016). Evangelist Tim LaHaye Penned Best-Selling Apocalyptic Book Series. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
- McFadden, Robert D. (July 25, 2016). Tim LaHaye Dies at 90; Fundamentalist Leader’s Grisly Novels Sold Millions. The New York Times. Retrieved Septemer 6, 2016.
- Weber, Jeremy (July 25, 2016). Died: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy. Christianity Today. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
- Banks, Adelle M. (July 28, 2016). Tim LaHaye, evangelical leader and ‘Left Behind’ co-author, dead at 90. dispatch.com. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
- Ham, Ken (July 25, 2016). Creationist Pioneer and Popular Author Tim LaHaye Passes Away. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
- Tim LaHaye, The Battle for the Mind: A Subtle Warfare, (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Power Books (Fleming H. Revell Company), 1980), pp. 1-247.