Tim LaHaye (r) was best known for the hugely successful “Left Behind” book series which he co-authored
The evangelist and author best known for the “Left Behind’ series Tim LaHaye has passed away at the age of 90.
His family announced in a statement on his ministry’s Facebook page that LaHaye had “graduated to heaven” on Monday morning after suffering a stroke.
He was being treated at San Diego hospital and a call for prayer had gone out over the weekend, but he failed to recover.
Earlier, his daughter Linda had said: “He will not recover from this, he will soon be graduated to heaven.”
Jerry B. Jenkins, who co-authored the apocalyptic “Left Behind” book series, paid tribute to LaHaye as a “spiritual giant” with a “pastor’s heart”.
“Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul I don’t expect to fill until I see him again,” he said.
“Left Behind” was a huge hit when it first landed on the fiction scene just over 20 years ago, spending 300 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, according to Christianity Today.
The series imagines the rapture has taken place, plunging the world and those left behind into chaos. The 16-book series gave rise to the movie by the same name starring Kirk Cameron and a reboot in 2014 starring Nicolas Cage.
However, LaHaye was also a prolific non-fiction writer, publishing books on a broad range of issues, including sex, marriage, homosexuality, Bible prophecy, the afterlife, and the power of the cross.
According to his ministry, he also founded two accredited Christian high schools, a school system of 10 Christian schools and what is now San Diego Christian College.
In 2005, Time magazine described LaHaye and his wife Beverly, founder of Concerned Women for America, as a “Christian power couple” and listed them among the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.
He is survived by Beverly and daughter Linda.