Prominent New Jersey Pastor Ron Christian Found Dead Inside Church

Pastor Ron Christian.
Pastor Ron Christian. | (Photo: Facebook)

Friends and family members gathered to mourn the loss of Pastor Ron Christian at the Christian Love Baptist megachurch in Irvington, New Jersey, after authorities confirmed they found the 51-year-old dead inside his office Friday morning.

"Nobody can say anything bad about my pastor. Not one bad word," a grieving member stated shortly after noon inside the church where shocked mourners shared memories of their deceased pastor.

Anthony Ambrose, chief of detectives for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, told that Christian was discovered unresponsive around 6 a.m. at the Lyons Avenue parish. They did not suspect any foul play and will know the exact cause of death once an autopsy report is complete.

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Christian is a former heroin addict and convict who turned to Christ after he was released from prison in 1997. His energetic style and compassionate approach to ministry reportedly help grow the church from a dozen members in 2,000 when he took over to more than 6,000 members.

As news spread of his death Friday many flocked to the church's Facebook page to share memories of the beloved pastor.

Pastor Ron Christian.
Pastor Ron Christian. | (Photo: Facebook)

"I can't believe this! Yesterday Rev. Ron encouraged me to do the eulogy at my dad's funeral at Christian Love Baptist Church. He told me after the service that he was proud of me. He spoke on behalf of himself and the church. I can't believe this! Known him since childhood! I'm in total disbelief!! May he rest in peace in God's unchanging hands," wrote a shocked Valerie Crump.

Nigel Wyatte added: "Just woke up to some heart breaking news this morning. One of my three spiritual fathers and great friend Rev. Ron Christian has passed away. For those that knew him, knows the type of man he was. He didn't dress the conventional way a pastor would dress, nor would he act 'holier than thou.' He always hugged on people and welcomed them. At the beginning of many services you wouldn't even know he was the pastor as he sat in the back with a hoody on, as he went around hugging everyone before he changed his clothes."

Another parishioner, Jasmin Wise, revealed on Facebook that she was heartbroken over her pastor's death.

"This morning, I received news that my pastor, Rev. Ron Christian, fulfilled his calling on Earth successfully and was called home by God. Although extremely disheartened and of ill feeling toward our angel on Earth being sent back to his Father, I appreciate all of the lessons ever taught and will not take them for granted. I will take no one for granted. I will live in the moment and get on my hands and knees and speak with God each and every day regarding what is required of me," she wrote.

Wise added that on Sunday, Christian preached about "having patience regarding the timing of your blessings; and also of being blessed simply because of affiliation."

"I pondered about the meaning of the message in my own circumstances and stood in agreement. It was preached that someone in Heaven is often guiding you to push harder in the interim as you await. Once again in agreement I stood," she said.

It's just shocking," Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss told of Christian's death.


Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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