Tributes are being paid to Stuart Epperson, an evangelical Christian and pioneer of Christian radio in the United States.
Epperson, who was 86, founded Salem Communications, now Salem Media Group in 1986, along with his brother-in-law Edward Atsinger. Together they built a high profile in Christian and politically conservative radio stations, as well as other media assets across the United States. Their work paved the way for a generation of influential talk-shows, which had a conservative perspective.
Announcing the news, Salem Media Group Executive Chairman Ed Atsinger said:
“Stuart will be greatly missed by many... but I take comfort in realizing that he is already receiving his reward for a life well-lived. A life that personifies the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 ‘I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.’”
Listed by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in the US, Epperson was a member of the Directors for the National Religious Broadcasters Association, and served on its board of directors. He was also a former President of the Council for National Policy and an advocate for preserving Judeo-Christian values. He attempted to get into politics himself, running for Congress as the Republican nominee in North Carolina’s 5th Congressional district on two occasions, in 1984 and 1986.
Stuart Epperson leaves behind his wife, Nancy, their four children, 21 grandchildren, one great-grandchild and two forthcoming great-grandchildren, as well as his sister, Mary Lee King.
Writing on Twitter Mike Gallagher said :
"Anyone lucky enough to know Stu received a great blessing. Praying for God’s comfort and peace for Nancy, and all the kids who love him so much. Stuart definitely fought the good fight. And did it well."