Maude Aimee, Wife of 'World's First Televangelist,' Dead at 89

Maude Aimee Humbard, wife of late broadcasting pioneer and the world's first televangelist Rex Humbard, passed away Monday at age 89.

Aimee Humbard was a "vital part of this outreach for Christ. Her anointed gift of song and ministry touched the lives of countless thousands around the world. In addition, God gave her a gift to personally help those in need; feeding, clothing and serving lost and searching souls," her family said in a statement Tuesday.

Aimee Humbard, born in Dallas, Texas in 1922, married Rex Humbard, her childhood sweet heart, in 1942.

In 1954, the couple settled in Akron, where they built the famous Cathedral of Tomorrow in 1958, named after their television and radio ministry of the same name in 1952. "Cathedral of Tomorrow" aired for more than 37 years and was the first known televangelical broadcast.

By the 1970s, the "Cathedral of Tomorrow" appeared on more TV stations in America than any other program, Rex Humbard used to claim. At the show's peak, weekly Sunday audiences reportedly averaged eight million viewers in the U.S. and up to 20 million worldwide. The show went out to more than 2,000 television stations around the world in 77 different languages.

The Humbards' ministry flourished alongside those of Billy Graham's and Oral Roberts'. One of Mr. Humbard's regular viewers was Elvis Presley. Humbard spoke at Presley's funeral in 1977. Humbard passed away in 2007 at the age of 88.

"Maude Aimee Humbard was truly a child of God and dedicated to His service throughout her entire life," her relatives shared the a statement. "She served faithfully by the side of her husband, as the original Humbard Family traveled across the United States and Canada during the 1930s and 1940s in Gospel Tent Crusades."

Humbard is survived by her four children, Rex Jr., Don, Elizabeth and Charles; 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. She will be laid to rest next to her late husband in Akron, Ohio, at Rose Hill Cemetery, relatives said.