The vice president and Second Lady Karen Pence traveled to Atlanta on Friday to attend the Christian leader's memorial service in person

By Sean Neumann
May 29, 2020 04:36 PM
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Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the memorial service for late Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias on Friday morning.
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

Vice President Mike Pence spoke in person at a memorial service Friday morning for Christian apologist and author Ravi Zacharias, who died earlier this month at 74 from sarcoma, a rare form of cancer.

Pence traveled to Atlanta where the prominent evangelist and author's memorial service was held. The service was simultaneously live-streamed to more than 75,000 people, Fox News reported.

"Yesterday, President Trump said by making the intellectual case for Christianity, Ravi Zacharias was instrumental in helping millions of people around the world come to know the love and mercy of Jesus Christ," Pence, 60, said during his eulogy.

Zacharias, renowned in Christian circles, died at his Atlanta home on May 19 after spending the majority of his life defending the faith. He founded Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in 1984 and spent his final 36 years in the U.S., according to an obituary published by the RZIM following his death.

He rose to prominence after the prominent preacher Billy Graham invited him to speak at the the inaugural International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in Amsterdam, a year before Zacharias launched his RZIM faith organization.

By that time in 1983, RZIM said Zacharias was "on his way to becoming one of the foremost defenders of Christianity’s intellectual credibility."

Zacharias moved all across the world while preaching Christianity and defending the faith through intellectual provocation and debate. Born in India, he traveled throughout the world promoting Christianity before settling in Atlanta.

Pence called Zacharias a "godly man" and a friend during his memorial message on Friday, adding that Zacharias' death was a "personal loss" for the vice president and his family.

Pence said his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, was also in attendance for Zacharias' memorial.

The nearly three-hour memorial service was highlighted by the vice president's eulogy, but featured a number of other prominent Christian celebrities and public figures.

Singer Lecrea memorialized Zacharias during Friday morning's service, as did former college football star and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.

"If Ravi touched your life, then let’s honor him by honoring the one that he honored more than anything else: Jesus Christ," Tebow, 32, told the tens of thousands watching online and in person at the Passion City Church in Atlanta.

Zacharias is survived by his wife, Margaret Reynolds Zacharias, as well as his three children: daughters Sarah Zacharias Davis and Naomi Zacharias and son Nathan.