Henry Blackaby, the Southern Baptist author of several books on spiritual renewal including the Experiencing God curriculum, suffered a heart attack while driving near his Atlanta home, became disoriented and was missing 29 hours before police found him in Tifton, Ga., about 150 miles away.
“Doctors say he needs at least four bypass surgeries performed on his heart immediately. …His heart is not in good condition,” an update on the Blackaby Ministries International website said.
The website reported his surgery would likely be Tuesday but might be as early as Monday. It also reported Blackaby was “in good spirits, joking with staff.”
Blackaby, 78, disappeared Thursday afternoon, Sept 19, according to a Twitter post by his son, Richard, president of Blackaby Ministries International. He subsequently added a post to his Twitter feed noting his father’s credit card had been used within six miles of his Atlanta home.
At 8:14 p.m. Friday, Annie’s LInk—an email sent to former personnel of the Southern Baptist Convention Home Mission Board or North American Mission Board—reported: “The Blackaby family would like everyone to know that Henry has been found and is safe. His health concerns are being addressed, and we will keep everyone posted with the news. We wish to express to everyone our appreciation and gratitude for the prayers.”
Earlier in the day, Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, had posted a prayer request on his website. In addition to asking for prayer for his safe return, Rainer asked readers to pray for strength for Blackaby’s wife, Marilyn, and their children and other family members.
Blackaby was on his way to pick up his wife Marilynn from an appointment when he suffered the heart attack, according a posting on the Blackaby International Ministries website.
“He did not have his cell phone with him nor insulin for his diabetes,” the statement said. “As a result, his blood sugar rose and his kidneys began to struggle as well. The family was able to track his movements as he used a credit card to make occasional purchases. The police assigned a detective group to monitor his movements and to track him down. Hundreds of volunteers, many from his church at First Baptist Church Jonesboro, Ga., drove all over the city looking for him.
Blackaby, a native of British Columbia, served as a pastor of churches in California and Canada and was president of Canadian Baptist Theological College seven years, as well as president of the Canadian Southern Baptist Conference.
At one point in his career, he served on staff at the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board while also serving as special assistant to the president of the International Mission Board and LifeWay Christian Resources.