Internationally known pastor and author Henry Blackaby, 78, has been found and is safe after missing for more than 24 hours in the Atlanta area, his family announced on its ministry website late Friday evening.
Blackaby was found alone in Tifton after police tracked his credit card activity, according to Sgt. Joey Smith with Henry County police, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
His family had sent out an urgent prayer request earlier in the day, followed by reports that "hundreds and hundreds" of church members joined in the search. The request included serious concern that Blackaby is "a Type 2 diabetic and may be disoriented and unable to find his way home."
Some time after 9 pm on Friday, family members posted on the Blackaby Ministries International website:
"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 and concern over the last 29 hours. Henry has taught us that we can experience God in the good and the bad times. We thank God that we have experienced his grace, peace, and faithfulness in these times."
The internationally known ministry leader and author of Experiencing God had been missing since 4 pm on Thursday and last seen in the South Atlanta area.
Blackaby's grandson, Daniel, posted at 6:15 pm ET Friday on Twitter: "I've just heard that Henry Blackaby has been seen! Police on his trail right now. Pray hard!" Earlier in the day, the make, model, and year of the car he was driving, including the license plate number, and family contact information were posted on the ministry website and re-posted by thousands of people using social media.
Earlier in the day, Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, also posted a prayer request on his blog about the emergency situation.
"This morning we learned of an urgent prayer request for noted author and pastor Henry Blackaby," Rainer states. "Dr. Blackaby lives in the Atlanta area and has been missing since yesterday. His son Richard tweeted this morning: 'Please pray. Henry Blackaby has been missing since 4 p.m. Thursday. He is in black Lincoln without his diabetic medicine in Atlanta area.'"
Christian leaders from around the nation were making prayer requests online as news spread Friday morning about the missing Blackaby, who is the founder and president emeritus of Blackaby Ministries International. Blackaby is scheduled to attend a conference in Hawaii next week for a speaking engagement.
As the search was still ongoing, Glenn Howe, an associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Ga., told Fox News Radio that there "are lot of eyes looking and lots of folks praying." Members of his church gathered for a prayer vigil while others assisted police in the search.
Blackaby's book, Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, sold 7 million copies and was translated into more than 45 languages.
On the web: http://www.blackaby.net/