20 April 2013
The NSW Council of Churches gives thanks to God for the life and ministry of George Beverly Shea, who died on April 16 aged 104 following a brief illness, and expresses its condolences to his extended family.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of George Beverly Shea, and yet we rejoice in the knowledge that he is with the Lord whom he served faithfully for so long,” the President of the NSW Council of Churches, the Reverend Dr Ross Clifford, said.
“Over many decades George witnessed in song to the power of the death and resurrection of Christ in his own life, and wanted others to know Christ and share the experience. His life is a testimony to the goodness of God and what God can do through a life fully devoted to his service,” Dr Clifford said.
“Thousands of Australians will remember George accompanying Billy Graham at evangelistic crusades in Sydney and in other Australian cities, and hearing him on radio and vinyl records, and will have fond memories of his beautiful voice and his humble, gracious spirit.”
George Beverly Shea was a soloist with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, commencing in 1943. He preceded the evangelist Billy Graham in song in every crusade meeting for more than half a century, and is perhaps best known for singing the hymns “How Great Thou Art” and “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” Shea is survived by his wife Karlene and his children from his first marriage, Ronald and Elaine. His first wife, Erma, died in 1976.
Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678