Blackaby wrote more than 70 books in his 88 years, including the internationally acclaimed "Experiencing God: Knowing & Doing the Will of God" and its various study guides. The book has been published in 47 languages and has been used in almost every denomination, according to his ministry's website.
Those who have participated in any study of the material will be familiar with the "Seven Realities" sketch (right) that succinctly summarizes how to experience God – the first step being aware that "God is always at work around you."
Born in British Columbia, Blackaby graduated from seminary in California's Bay Area, but returned to Canada to pastor Faith Baptist Church in Saskatchewan in 1970. From there he planted several churches in the Great White North and more back in California. Friend and colleague Dr. Richard Land says Blackaby was successful from the start.
"I think people sensed that Henry was interested in them – that he cared about them because Jesus cared about them," Land tells AFN.
Blackaby served on both the North American Mission Board and the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as special assistant to the president of Lifeway Christian Resources. He also served as president of Canadian Baptist Theological College for seven years.
"Henry Blackaby was a blessing to Southern Baptists," Land adds. "He was a blessing to evangelical Christianity. And I don't know anybody, personally, who had bad things to say about Henry. [He] walked the walk … there was no serious lapse between his testimony and his life."
Land says if there was a theme to Blackaby's life and writing, it was the simple message of the Gospel: "God loves you. God loves you so much that he sent Jesus Christ who died on the cross for your sins, that you might know what his plan for your life is and you might fulfill it."
Blackaby died on Saturday, February 10. He and his wife Marilynn have five children, including his son, Richard, who co-wrote with him and continues as president of Blackaby Ministries International. (See family photo below)
In addition to giving thanks for Blackaby's spiritual legacy, the ministry's website states: "Now he is experiencing God in ways that surely surpass even his most cherished dreams."
Blackaby Family photo compliments of Blackaby.org