When the late Rev. Myles Munroe came to Philadelphia earlier this year it was to visit True United Church in West Oak Lane. Bishop Shawn Bartley, senior pastor of the church located at 6201 Old York Rd., was devastated to learn that Munroe and his wife, Ruth, were killed when their personal jet crashed in the Bahamas, where they lived, on Sunday, Nov. 9.
Bartley is making plans to attend funeral services for Munroe. He said that he is usually rather calm and centered, but the shock of the news that Munroe passed during the late hours of Sunday was too much.
“I must say it was so unexpected I literally got emotional,” Bartley said. “My eyes filled with tears, because it was a tragic loss. He just was at our church less than six months ago for a few days. I believe this was his only major appearance in Philadelphia during 2014.
“The reason we invited him to do the three-day conference was because he is the foremost international expert on leadership development and on God’s kingdom. By bringing him here he was able to bring both the spiritual and the secular,” Bartley said.
The “Kingdom Culture Bible Conference 2014” was held at True United from May 8 to 10 this year. The conference host was the Rev. Leonard Robinson. During the course of the three days Munroe gave lectures to the entire church body as well as workshops held during the morning. More than 2,000 True United members, pastors of other churches, and ordinary citizens came out to hear the late televangelist.
“Our church has forever been changed by his presence here,” Bartley said. “He showed us how everything we do is connected to the kingdom. He said that the kingdom is global. As members of the church we are kingdom citizens. With that comes rights and responsibilities. He was an example of someone who did both.”
Bartley said that as a result of last May’s conference many in the church have started businesses. The bishop added that Munroe made them aware that they should “affect the culture” by starting ventures that would have impact. “I think his greatest legacy is that he leaves us with a [blueprint] of how leadership is done while being kingdom citizens. Though he is no longer here his message will always be relevant about our true responsibilities,” Bartley said.
Robinson, the senior pastor of the Kingdom Vision Ministry International Church in Cheltenham Square Mall in Wyncote, agreed. He said though Munroe is no longer here, his legacy will continue. “Dr. Munroe always said you are not a success until you have developed successors,” Robinson said.
“Since he passed, I have been in contact with his [proteges] from Australia, Barbados and Kiev and we all agree that we have continue his legacy. He was a visionary leader among the people and he understood that leaders are not in this for themselves. So while we are saddened and heartbroken, we are aware of our responsibility. We’ve stated this publicly that we are resolved to continue what he established,” Robinson said.
The Rev. Douglas A. Powell, educational consultant and former vice principal of the Mennonite High School, also fondly remembers the international evangelist. “Dr. Myles Munroe a profound impact on my life and provided great inspiration in the completion of my doctoral work in education,” Powell said. “He pastored a church that had only one divorce, mended countless relationships, consulted more than 30 governments, lectured at Harvard University, and was a devoted husband and father.
“He was a model of holy living, a diplomat, master administrator and mentor to thousands. He took precious moments from his busy schedule, to encourage graduating students, administration and faculty of Philadelphia Mennonite High School. Myles