The Rev. George William Bogle, a Michigan-based evangelical pastor who is remembered for his nightly prayer request radio broadcast and is said to have touched countless lives for Christ, died at the age of 86, weeks after undergoing surgery for neck cancer.
Obituaries are pouring in since Bogle died peacefully in his sleep at a rehabilitation center on Feb. 12.
“Because of all the things Dad did, he won the love of people,” the pastor’s eldest son, George Bogle Jr., said, according to Detroit Free Press. “And if you travel the circles of the church community in Detroit, there’s not many, especially if they’re over the age of 25, that have not heard of Pastor Bogle and in some ways touched by him.”
Pastor Bogle hosted “Night Vision,” which began as a 30-minute weekly broadcast in 1967 but turned into a two-hour nightly broadcast 90 days later in which the pastor would answer prayer requests until 2 a.m.
“One call after another, people would call with ‘My mom’s having surgery tomorrow would you pray,’ ‘My son’s on drugs, would you pray,’ ‘My marriage is in rupture, would you pray’ and he took one call after another,” his son added.
Through Evangel Church in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, which opened in 1964, the Bogles engaged in a wide range of outreach ministries. It was there that Bogle developed the idea for his radio ministry, according to his website.
As Bogle’s program grew, he moved his family to Detroit, where he opened the House of Prayer, a ministry that attracted a racially diverse crowd. Bogle’s son told the newspaper that the radio broadcast was the “catalyst” and “glue” that “held a lot of things together” for his father.
In the 1990s, Evangel Ministries expanded by opening two locations — one in East Detroit and another in Taylor, Michigan. Today, Evangel Ministries has one church located in the heart of Detroit.
"Among his many ministries were a church with three locations, two K-12 academies, a Christian restaurant, gym, singles residence, television and radio broadcasts, coffeehouse ministry at Detroit’s legendary Grande Ballroom, an operating farm and kids camp in western Michigan, a community carnival, and various job training ministries for the men of Detroit, including a trucking academy and auto repair shop," his obituary reads.
Those who benefited from Bogle's radio show have written about their experiences in online obituaries.
“To the family of Pastor Bogle, thank you for sharing your dad with us, as far as I can remember I have tuned in to hear him speak, my mom’s household was all God all the time, we grew up in the church,” wrote one person who identified as Patrice Love. “It became a part of our everyday life and I always enjoyed listening to him even when I was made to do it as a child I enjoyed him as an adult and later found out my mother-in-law was a fan also. From labor to reward rest well, sir. Enter into the joy of the lord.”
Another person, Anthony Clark, wrote that Boggle was “one of a kind.”
“[H]is devotion and dedication unmatched by anyone else I know,” Clark wrote.
Yet another person said she could “literally write a book about how Pastor Bogle’s life has impacted (my) life because of his faithful service to the Lord.”
“There are so many intersections from the school on the east side that my friends would play basketball at to keep out of trouble to my mother who was saved at a New Year’s Eve at Second Canaan MBC in 1991,” wrote the woman, who identified herself only as Mrs. Clifton. “My mother went home to be with the Lord 3 years ago and I sure do hope she gets to see Pastor Bogle. I’m sure she would tell him how she was so encouraged to live a saved life after having such a traumatic childhood and messy adulthood (she got saved at 37) when she would be up at night unable to sleep so she’d listen to Night Vision.”