Goodbye, Rick Love

December 29, 2019


We’ve lost a good man last night. Rick Love, founder and president of Peace Catalyst International — which fostered reconciliation between Christians and Muslims — died at 67 after a long battle with cancer.

I never met Rick in person, but I came in contact with him while I was pumping both fists amid my disillusionment with evangelical leaders and the movement as a whole. Rick was far more gracious than I. We often e-mailed each other, and a little of his grace rubbed off on me as my anger ebbed. That can only be good. We need more grace and less rage even as we object to sullied Christianity.

Rick established Peace Catalyst after decades of missionary work and years as a Vineyard pastor (he obtained a doctorate along the way). The following video captures his vibe as he explains the organization:

His daughter, Kaleen Love-Witherington, shared news of his death on Facebook:

Beloved friends, last night my father’s journey on this earth came to an end. He was officially declared at 12:02am on December 29th. My mom and I were with him in the ICU, along with two of his oldest dearest friends. We were able to hug and kiss him one last time. We are utterly heartbroken, and in shock. It was both long-coming and incredibly sudden.

We are grateful for tender mercies. That we were all together here in California with my mom: all three daughters, all six grandkids. That after a long and valiant struggle, he went quickly and without pain. That my dad had the chance to know how tremendously loved he was, in those last months. For the incredible outpouring of stories in his final hours, of the man he was and the tremendous love and power he showed in this life. We would invite you to continue sharing these stories. I will convert this page to be a place where we can remember my dad and the impact he had on so many.

The coming days and months and years will be difficult. My father leaves a void that cannot be filled. So it is up to all of us, now, to commit to carry on the work. To put on the mantle of peacemaking. To stand for truth and justice, but to do so with humility and embrace. To love those around us so deeply and profoundly it changes their lives, for good.

Goodbye Dad. I will love you forever. I’m so honored to have been your daughter.

About Charles Redfern

Charles Redfern is a writer, activist, and clergyman living in Connecticut with his wife and family. He's currently writing two books, with more in his head.

View all posts by Charles Redfern


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