Loren Cunningham, the founder of the youth organisation Youth With A Mission (YWAM), died at 88. The evangelist passed away in his sleep at home in Kona, Hawaii.
Earlier this year, Cunningham’s wife, Darlene, shared on Facebook that her husband had been diagnosed with stage four cancer in his lungs.
An obituary published on the YWAM website explained Cunningham’s desire to spread the Gospel worldwide began when he was a 20-year-old Bible college student. While in the Bahamas on a singing tour, he had a powerful vision during prayer, sawing waves on a map transforming into young people carrying the Gospel to every continent.
In 1960, just four years later, Cunningham founded YWAM. Over the past 63+ years, the organisation has grown into one of the largest Christian mission movements globally. By its 50th anniversary in 2010, YWAM had 30,000 full-time volunteers; over five million people had participated in its programs as students, short-term volunteers, and full-time staff.
Cunningham was often known as the “Six Million Man”, as he was the first Christian missionary to visit every nation and all their dependent areas, including over 150 islands and territories.
Loren is survived by his beloved wife, Darlene Joy Scratch-Cunningham; his daughter, Karen Joy Cunningham; his son, David Loren Cunningham (Judith Fitts-Cunningham); and three grandchildren, Madison Grace, Kenna Faith and Liam Reed.