John Edmund Haggai, Who Helped Contribute to Globalization of Christianity, Dies at 96

Courtesy of Haggai International

John Edmund Haggai, who went to be with his Lord on 18 November 2020, played a significant role in the demographic shift and globalization of Christianity. Dr. Haggai, whose personality was zealous and magnetic, was nevertheless, by his own intention, an often-unheralded contributor to the explosion of Christian faith worldwide — especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

John Haggai was born on 27 February 1924 in Louisville, Kentucky, son of Waddy Haggai, a Syrian immigrant, and Mildred Steere, a New Englander whose English ancestors settled in America in the 1600s. An alumnus of Moody Bible Institute and Furman University, he received numerous awards and honorary doctorates on both sides of the Pacific.

Haggai was a prolific author. His book, How to Win Over Worry, has sold millions. In Be Careful What You Call Impossible, he expounded on one of his primary principles: “Attempt something so great for God it’s doomed to failure unless God be in it.” That’s exactly what Haggai did in 1969, when he launched the ministry that would be known as Haggai International. Some doubted his vision of equipping indigenous leaders in developing nations to become evangelists and missionaries to their own people. However, the global impact shows that God was in the vision that would have been “doomed to failure” otherwise.

Dr. Haggai married Christine Barker, an accomplished vocalist, on August 3, 1945. Their son, Johnny, was born November 27, 1950. The physician who delivered the child was inebriated and caused brain injury. Nevertheless, Johnny Haggai, though severely restricted physically, lived 24 years, and was an example of dedication, patience, courage, and intercession. Later in his life, Dr. Haggai said he had learned through Johnny’s experience a lesson that stood out to him more than any other: “God allows no need in our lives for which He does not provide adequate supply.” That philosophy and attitude would be important to John Edmund Haggai as he stepped into a ministry that would contribute greatly to the transformation of the map of global Christianity.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Wallace B. Henley