The VP Mike Pence delivered remarks at the emotional memorial service for Ravi Zacharias, the evangelist who honed a reputation as a vigorous defender of Christianity as he traveled the globe to make the case for the religion.
Pence said he had forged a deep personal friendship with Zacharias and that “God put him at my side at just the right time, with a word of wisdom, and kindness and encouragement that I’ll never forget.”
“His passing comes at a time when so many families around the world are grieving the loss of loved ones,” said Pence, adding that Zacharias’ wisdom and comforting voice will be missed as “the nation begins the process of healing and recovering” from the pandemic.
He called Zacharias “the greatest Christian apologist of this century” and “the C.S. Lewis of our day” before pledging that his work would go on.
The ceremony was held at Passion City Church in Atlanta, a megachurch on the site of a former PGA Tour Superstore near the city’s Buckhead district.
Among the people in the audience, sitting in staggered socially-distant seating, were Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary Sonny Perdue, Secretary Ben Carson and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Each were wearing masks.
As the ceremony started, Zacharias’ aides took visitors on a virtual trek of his treasured belongings, like the cracked Blackberry he used to tap out drafts of his articles and the luggage he brought on his last trip before cancer took his life.
Just before Pence spoke, Zacharias’ daughter, Sarah Davis, read Psalm 37:1-9 from her father’s Bible. Then the vice president took the stage, speaking at a podium with his office’s insignia.
“He spoke truth, he spoke it with kindness and a deep and abiding care for every person that would listen,” said Pence.
Pool is headed to next stop, a meeting with small business owners.