Several prominent Anglicans have praised the Rev. Canon Michael Green, former senior evangelism adviser to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, who died Feb. 8 at age 88.
“His passing was peaceful and he was surrounded by [his wife] Rosemary and his immediate family,” said Greg Downes, director of ministerial training at Wycliffe Hall, in a statement. “I’ve just spoken to Rosemary on the phone and prayed with her, and she is feeling at peace and grateful for the many messages of support and love that she has received from around the world.”
Archbishop Justin Welby said the Church of England still feels the effects of Green’s legacy.
“Later this month the General Synod of the Church of England are meeting at what has been subtitled a ‘Synod for Evangelism,’” he said. “That evangelism is now being established as a prime priority for every church is partly due to the life and ministry of Michael Green.
“I’m told that from his hospital bed Michael had let his close friends know that, whilst things were complicated medically, God was giving him ‘lots of opportunities’ to share the gospel.
“Michael was a compelling and consummate evangelist, an example and model to all of the joy and energy that living and loving the gospel bring to proclaimer and listener. He served the church locally, nationally, and internationally through his ministry of communication in speech and writing.
“As the church we are deeply grateful for his tenacious ministry. Beyond telling, however, will be the gratitude of all those that Michael introduced to Jesus Christ — the Lord in whose presence he now knows joy beyond our imagination.”
“Michael was a giant of his generation, known and loved by many around the world and an evangelist to the last,” said the Rt. Rev. Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford. “He inspired and encouraged several generations of clergy and bishops — including me.”
Green “led a life that was so innovative, varied and dynamic that it’s hard to summarize what he did. He was — often at the same time — vicar, evangelist, writer, and theologian,” said Canon J. John, who practices evangelism at a similar global scale.
“Particularly important was the way that, in two key areas, Michael was able to dispel prejudices. One was the belief, widely held until into the ’70s, that you couldn’t be a scholar and an evangelical, and certainly not one who was passionate for evangelism. Michael had an extraordinarily sharp mind and accumulated academic honors — indeed, had he chosen to be purely a scholar he could have been a professor in any of the great universities — but he remained openly and enthusiastically committed to sharing the good news of Jesus.”
“Michael’s gift of distilling the complex into the memorable made him one of the most exceptional and accessible evangelists of the last 60 years, evangelist Matthew Fearon of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries wrote for Premier Christianity.
Adapted from ACNS