Spirit-filled Pastor R. Loren Sandford, lead pastor at the nondenominational New Song Church and Ministries in Denver, Colorado, died Friday due to complications from COVID-19. Sandford was 70.
According to the church's Facebook page, Sandford had languished for weeks in the hospital with COVID:
"To all of you who have been praying for Pastor R. Loren Sandford, we wanted to let you know that our dear pastor decided to go home to be with the Father this past Friday. There are no words to express how all of us here on staff and our church body are grieving right now. We all know he is worshipping with the Father. Please continue to keep us all in your prayers. A memorial service is being planned; we will give those details in the next few weeks. Thank you for all your prayers, love and support."
Since receiving his Master of Divinity Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California in 1976, Sandford has served four churches full time, planting two of them himself, including New Song Church and Ministries.
The son of John Loren Sandford, R. Loren Sandford grew up a preacher's son in the Congregational Church in Illinois, Kansas and northern Idaho. As a teenager, he played rock music professionally in three states and two provinces of Canada before leaving to attend the College of Idaho in 1973.
His ministry has been interpreted by the wider body of Christ as prophetic in impact, but his website says recognition as a prophetic voice was "never his ambition. His passion for people and the church, however, led directly to a prophetic calling and the need to hear the voice of God so he could help prepare God's people for the coming days."
In 1979 and 1980, Sandford served as the co-director of Elijah House, the ministry his father and mother founded in 1973, where he did prayer counseling and traveled the world teaching inner healing. Initially ordained in a mainline denomination where he served on the national board for the Charismatic Renewal Group within the denomination, he since served in the Vineyard (1988-1992) and from 1996 to 2013, he was affiliated with Partners in the Harvest, the church affiliation that grew out of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (now known as Catch the Fire). He served a number of years as a regional coordinator in PIH and as a recognized prophetic voice within the movement.
Sandford served on multiple national committees and oversaw and advised multiple pastors internationally. His heart was to father a generation of believers and leaders to walk in integrity and in the power of the kingdom of God.
He served as a worship leader and a songwriter as well as a traveling conference speaker and authored several books, including Understanding Prophetic People, Visions of the Coming Days, The Last Great Outpouring, A Vision of Hope for the End Times and Yes, There's More.
For several years, Sandford was a regular writer and columnist for Charisma online.
Sandford and his wife, Beth, the co-pastor of New Song Church and Ministries, would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2022. Left behind are three grown children and 11 grandchildren.
Linda Henneman Bowers, a member of Sandford's congregation, said this on Facebook after his passing:
"My heart is so saddened with this news. While we rejoice that Pastor Loren is with our Father, his departure leaves a huge void. A day before he passed, as I prayed for him the Lord kept reminding me of II Kings 2 where the prophet Elijah is caught up and his mantle is taken up by Elisha. I believe the Pastor Loren's prophetic mantle is here to be taken up and built upon as Elisha built upon the work of Elijah. As Elisha cried out 'Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" God showed up in a big way. My prayers are with Beth, their family and the New Song family that God will comfort you and show you the way forward. The Lord God of Pastor Loren is there with you."
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