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Christian mission leader Floyd McClung who led YWAM dies aged 75, Pete Greig pays tribute

by Cara Bentley - Banner image

Christian mission leader and author Floyd McClung has died after five years of illness, with his wife Sally saying: "I’m glad he is no longer suffering. I’ll see him again some day!"

Born in America, Floyd Lee McClung Jr was a global missions leader, author of The Father Heart of God and an international speaker. He died on Saturday 29th May 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa, after an extended illness. He had been ill since 2016 and it had left him incapacitated, hospitalised and unable to speak for over five years.

He worked for Youth With A Mission (YWAM) for 35 years, with eight years as the internatinal executive director. Out of YWAM, he and Sally co-founded All Nations, an international leadership-training and church-planting network. 

The founder of 24/7 prayer Pete Greig wrote on social media: "This morning my mentor and spiritual father Floyd McClung went home to be with Jesus. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest men I have ever known. 

"He was a global statesman, an adventurer, a spiritual (and literal) giant, a best-selling author, a former International Director of YWAM, a friend and a spiritual father to many. 

"At the age of 17, Floyd's book The Father Heart of God changed my life."

Greig went on to say that he spent a year with Floyd and Sally McClung when starting 24/7 prayer in America, which he described as "a formative, restorative and beautiful time for us personally and for the entire 24/7 movement."

He described his impact upon him and 24/7 prayer as "incalculable and will be eternal."

"I will miss his wisdom, his massive smile, his sense of fun, and his contagious apostolic passion. But not for long."

McClung's wife Sally wrote on their website: "My 'gentle giant' Floyd went to be with his beloved Jesus at 1:15 am on Saturday, May 29, 2021. Although I knew this could happen at any time, it still came as a bit of an emotional jolt. I will miss him for the rest of my life. As my children commented, he was 'the love of my life' since I was 16 years old. I'm glad he is no longer suffering. I'll see him again some day!"

The couple met while on mission in Las Vegas in 1965. Because dating was not permitted on outreaches, while in Jamaica Floyd proposed to Sally by handing her a note while standing in line for refreshments after a meeting. She responded with a note the following day. They married the next year and celebrated their honeymoon by leading a mission trip in the Caribbean together. 

In his more than 50 years in ministry, McClung lived in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America and wrote 18 books, including international bestseller The Father Heart of God. 

YWAM co-founders Loren and Darlene Cunningham said, "Floyd McClung was a vital foundational leader, serving for many years in YWAM. He pioneered works in Afghanistan, India, Nepal, the Netherlands, California, Colorado and other locations. His life, his teaching, his books, his leadership and his Godly influence deeply impacted YWAM. He has so much lasting fruit - both inside YWAM and among those who came to Jesus through the initiatives he led. Only eternity will reveal the depth and breadth of his legacy."

As well as his wife Sally, who he was married to for 54 years, he is survived by his daughter Misha Thompson and son Matthew McClung, as well as grandchildren and extended family. 

Due to the pandemic there will be no in-person services but a memorial video tribute will be shared at a later date.

Sally said: "Thousands of people from all over the world can attest to the profound impact Floyd had on their lives. While he has gone to be with the Lord, his voice is not silent. His books and recorded teachings will continue to inspire and challenge. His legacy continues. The day Floyd became ill he spoke to a group of All Nations students. In what turned out to be a prophetic word, he asked them, 'If I can't continue, will you finish the race?' His prayer would be that thousands will heed the call to go to the nations."

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