Jack Van Impe, the host of the show Jack Van Impe Presents, has died at the age of 88. As Christianity Today notes, at the height of its popularity, the show reached 25,000 cities weekly and more than 150 countries in the mid-’90s, and continued to run through this month, when it aired its final episode.
Though Van Impe did emphasize evangelism, he was also a somewhat controversial figure in the world of televangelism. The show’s format featured he and his wife Rexella discussing current events and weekly headlines, linking them to end time prophecies and biblical passages.
He and Rexella had been married since 1952.
Van Impe also perpetuated controversial conspiracy theories, particularly those involving former president Obama. In 2011, he split from the Christian TV network TBN after the channel refused to air an episode in which Van Impe claimed that pastors Rick Warren and Robert Schuller were attempting to promote a new religion called “Chrislam.”
A statement this week on his ministry’s website read, “The beloved Dr. Jack Van Impe was welcomed into Heaven by His blessed Savior and Lord who he had so faithfully served in ministry for over 70 years. Please pray for his beloved wife and lifelong ministry partner Rexella and their families as they grieve this immense loss and for wisdom as she and the Board lead the ministry in the days ahead.”