Robert William Schambach, the legendary American evangelist who brought “countless thousands” to personal faith in Jesus Christ has died of heart failure, his organization and daughter said in comments monitored by BosNewsLife Saturday, January 28. He was 85.
“Legendary father of faith, R.W. Schambach, was received by the Lord to his reward Tuesday, January 17, when his heart failed,” said his Schambach Ministries organization. No more details were provided.
Schambach preached in more than 200 countries, often in circus tents, boldly proclaiming “You don’t have any trouble … all you need is faith in God,” the organization added.
Born on April 3, 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Schambach “accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior” when he heard an evangelist, C.M. Ward preaching on a street corner, Christian friends said.
He began his evangelical six-decades journey as a navy boiler technician on board a destroyer in the South Pacific and Asia during World War Two. His daughter, Donna Schambach, said in published comments that he discovered that “in every port, God was still there.”
When he witnessed “the joy of prisoners of war being released,” he finally said “yes” to God, she added, quoting her father.
“He felt the Spirit of God tell him, ‘this is what freedom is,’” his daughter recounted. “He said he knelt on that ship and said ‘I give up; I’ll give you my life to preach the freedom of the Gospel.’ That was his initiation into the ministry.”
Soon after, Schambach and his wife began traveling the world to often difficult areas with international “crusades”, as their evangelistic meetings were called, and inner-city tent meetings.
He and his wife, Mary Winifred, were “bringing countless thousands to the saving knowledge of Jesus for over six decades,” Schambach Ministries explained.
Schambach was also regularly and posthumously seen, in addition to his syndicated television programs, on Christian broadcasters such as Trinity Broadcasting Network’s (TBN) as well as the DayStar and INSP networks.
After his wife of 62 years passed away in 2010, he continued preaching the Gospel.
Donna Schambach was expected to continue her parents’ Texas-based Schambach Ministries, in which she has played a key role as an associate pastor and evangelist since the 1980s. She said preaching is in her DNA. The couple also have two sons, Bobby and Bruce.
In a statement seen by BosNewsLife, Donna Schambach urged supporters to “in lieu of flowers” also “consider making a financial contribution to the ongoing work of Schambach Ministries.”
“We thank you for your love, prayers, and support during this time,” she said.