“The passing of the Rev. Dr. D. John Richard – past general secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India and co-founder of the Asia Evangelical Fellowship (AEF) – reminds us all of the enormous gift of leadership this man of faith was to his country and the world,” said Bp Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).
“He had a personal imprint in my life as the first continental evangelical leader I have interacted with when he was the General Secretary of the AEF,” Bp Tendero added. “He modeled servant and caring leadership to a young leader that I was then. And he raised a godly heritage in the person of Dr. Ramesh Richard, who established the Trainers of Pastors International Coalition and built the evangelism and training ministry of RREACH, both of which focus on serving the Church globally.”
John Richard was born and raised, until in his mid-teens, in Yangon, Myanmar, formerly known as Rangoon Burma. Until he was 42 years old he worked for the Indian Airlines as a radio operator at which time he entered vocational Christian ministry. For 53 years he served the church in India, Asia and the world.
He served as general secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), WEA’s national member body that represents evangelical churches, organizations and believers in India. Furthermore, he was co-founder of the Evangelical Fellowship of Asia (today called Asia Evangelical Alliance) that serves some 17 national Alliances in the region.
His preaching and teaching ministry took him throughout the subcontinent of India, into Asia and into many parts of the world. His energetic vision and enormous interpersonal skills enabled him as he helped in the founding of the Indian Evangelical Mission and the EFI Committee on (Emergency) Relief. As well he was critical to the founding of the India Missions Association, which in time would become the largest association of mission agencies in the world.
Globally he led in the holding of the first Asian Mission Congress; he was involved in the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) now named the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA); he was active in the holding of the 1974 Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (LCWE) and in sponsoring the AD2000 movement.
Brother John’s gracious spirit enfolded all he met. His profound love for the Gospel inspired anyone who heard his words of faith. His life stands as a model of faithful servanthood, inspired holiness and a willful choice to live in service to the King of Kings.
His wife of 64 years, Manorama, preceded him in 2014 to the home they both aspired. John leaves four children, eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on February 17 in Dallas, Texas.