Derek Prince 1915-2003

princederekDerek Prince (1915-2003) was one of the most prominent Bible teachers of the 20th century and his ministry touched millions of people across the globe. His books and tapes continue to be a source of inspiration and insight to Christians today. Derek was the author of more than 45 books, some of which have been translated into 60 languages, and his radio broadcasts, ‘Keys To Successful Living,’ and ‘Today With Derek Prince,’ have been heard in more than 60 languages, reaching every part of the world. These include translations into all major Chinese dialects: Amoy, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Swatow. Millions of Chinese who knew Derek as Ye Guang-Ming (Clear Light) assume him to be Oriental. Other broadcasts go out in Mongolian, Arabic, Malagasy, Russian, Samoan, Tongan, Spanish, and English. More than 100 Spanish-language radio stations in Spain and Latin America dispatch his message to 15 nations. In the U.S., his broadcast is carried by some 115 stations. Millions of Derek's teaching cassettes, books, videos, have been given away free of charge to spiritually-hungry people around the world.

Derek Prince is well known as one of the founders of the charismatic movement and his wide influence has brought healing, deliverance, empowerment and maturity to countless thousands in every continent.

Derek Prince was born in India of British parents. He was educated in Britain as a scholar of Greek and Latin at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge. He held a Fellowship there in Ancient and Modern Philosophy. He also studied Hebrew and Aramaic at Cambridge University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. As a student he was a philosopher and self-proclaimed atheist.

While serving with the British Medical Corps (1940-41) in World War II, he began to study the Bible and experienced a powerful, life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. Two weeks later he was baptised in the Holy Spirit. The power of those encounters with God decided the all-important issue of his career: Scripture--not philosophy--had the answers he sought. With that assurance, he gave up the opportunity to return to Cambridge and plunged himself into a pursuit of the Word of God. Since then, he has devoted his life to studying and teaching the Bible.

He was discharged from the army in Jerusalem in 1946 and he married Lydia Christiansen, founder of a Danish home for orphaned girls. Overnight, he became the father of eight daughters; six were Jewish, one was Palestinian-Arab, and the other, English.

In 1949 he founded a Pentecostal Church in London which he pastured until 1956. Moving to Kenya he served as principal of the African Teacher Training  College.  (1957-1961)He and Lydia adopted another black daughter during their residence in Kenya.

In 1962 he went to Canada itinerating for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada promoting missions work. In 1964 he moved to Seattle, USA where  he pastored a church and was thrust into a deliverance ministry.

He served God in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from 1968 and established the Good News Church with Don Basham and Bob Mumford. Together with Ern Baxter and Charles Simpson they began what became known as the ‘Shepherding’ or ‘Discipling’ Movement which resulted in considerable debate and controversy. Derek separated from the movement in 1984, though he maintained close relationships with it’s leaders.

On September 24, 2003 Derek died in his sleep at his home in Jerusalem of heart failure following a prolonged period of declining health.

Bibliography: Charles Carrin article; Stephen Strang, Article in Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, 1988.

Tony Cauchi
March 2009

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