DEREK PRINCE: 'He Was a Straightforward Teacher'

Derek Prince
(Charisma staff)

Born in 1915 in India to British parents, Derek Prince experienced a supernatural experience with the Holy Spirit during World War II. Afterwards, he devoted his life to teaching and studying the Bible.

Eventually living in the U.S. part-time, after the war Prince also took up residence in Jerusalem. Israel served as the base for his embrace of the Jewish people and is where he launched his worldwide ministry and the radio program that airs to this day.

Although caught up in controversy over the "shepherding movement" in the 1970s and '80s, Prince remained popular in charismatic circles after dissociating himself from its leaders. His ministry career spanned nearly 60 years before his death in 2003.

"I have learned all through my life that God has a plan," Prince told Charisma in 1995. "You don't have to work it out. You just have to be in it."

"He was certainly a respected leader," says Russell Spittler, professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. "He was a straightforward teacher."

Although they lost contact in the early 1980s, former shepherding associate Charles Simpson recalls how Prince's suggestion that he do presentations on "discipleship, fellowship and worship" came to define Simpson's ministry.

"I view Derek as a great man whose influence continues in many lives," says Simpson, who is still involved in ministry. "He took the Bible as God's Word, loved Israel deeply and gave his life to teach what he saw in the holy Word."

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