Home News NYC Pastor, Apologist, and Church Planter Tim Keller Has Died

NYC Pastor, Apologist, and Church Planter Tim Keller Has Died


By Tom Campisi

Dr. Tim Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and a thoughtful and winsome author who impacted millions of people across the globe with his writing and preaching, died today (May 19, 2023).

“It is with a heavy heart that I write today to inform you that Redeemer City to City’s co-founder, Tim Keller, passed away this morning at age 72, trusting in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection,” said Steve Shackelford, Chief Executive Officer, Redeemer City to City, in a newsletter email. “We are forever grateful for his leadership, heart, and dedication to sharing the love of Christ with others. While we will miss his presence here, we know he is rejoicing with his Savior in heaven.”

Keller was remembered by Sandy Willson, interim president of The Gospel Coalition, an organization he co-founded.

“Today the Christian world is in mourning, for one of our great leaders has departed this life,” said Willson. “He will be remembered among this generation’s most effective Christian pastors, apologists, and evangelists. Tim not only made the most articulate arguments for the Christian faith; he also demonstrated our faith with his humble and gracious spirit and his relentless passion to see the lost come to know the Lord he so loved.”

Keller had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer over the last three years.

On May 18, his son Michael Keller shared this update on his father’s Twitter page: “Today, Dad is being discharged from the hospital to receive hospice care at home. Over the past few days, he has asked us to pray with him often. He expressed many times through prayer his desire to go home to be with Jesus. His family is very sad because we all wanted more time, but we know he has very little at this point.”

In 1989, Keller, a native of Pennsylvania, launched Redeemer Presbyterian Church with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons. For 28 years, he led a diverse congregation of young professionals that grew to a weekly attendance of over 5,000. He also served as Chairman & Co-Founder of Redeemer City to City (CTC), which starts new churches in New York and other global cities, and publishes books and resources for ministry in an urban environment. Dr. Keller’s books, including the New York Times bestselling The Reason for God and The Prodigal God, have sold over 2 million copies and been translated into 25 languages.

Dr. Tim Keller is survived by his wife Kathy, his three sons and their wives, a sister, and seven grandchildren.

“There will never be another Tim Keller and I will miss him,” Shackelford said. “We ask for your continued prayers for the Keller family and all of us here at Redeemer City to City.”

A worship service followed by a memorial will be held in New York City in the coming weeks.

RELATED: A Conversation with Tim Keller – On Cancer, Forgiveness, Mentorship, and Legacy