Morris Cerullo, the well-known Pentecostal evangelist known to followers around the world as “Papa,” is dead at the age of 88, according to a press release posted to his official Facebook page and website. “Few people have put as much effort, over such a long period of time, into helping those in need, as Dr. Cerullo,” the release said.
“The fruit of his efforts has circulated the globe and will forever be cherished by the millions of lives he has touched.”
Dr. Cerullo’s life “can be summed up in the words of the apostle Paul, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith,'” says the release.
The news that Cerullo has died was also reported by CBN News, which offers news from a Christian perspective.
Cerullo’s official Facebook page has also confirmed the news of his death, offering a tribute quote to him as the cover photo, which gives 2020 as his date of death. “THE CRY OF MY HEART and the driving force of my life and ministry has been: GOD GIVE ME THE ABILITY to take the anointing YOU have placed on my life and TRANSFER IT TO OTHERS,” the quote reads.
The day before his death, the family requested “urgent prayers” for Cerullo. Although the cause of death wasn’t clear, the family said he was suffering from pneumonia in a post that read, “Urgent Prayer Request: Dear Friends, we would appreciate your immediate prayers for Dr. Cerullo who is being treated for Pneumonia at the hospital. Please also pray for (his wife) Theresa who has been working around the clock to assist in his care. She needs your prayers too for extra strength at this time. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for Morris and Theresa!”
Here’s what you need to know:
Cerullo, who Founded Morris Cerullo World Evangelism in San Diego, Died on July 10
The press release posted to his Facebook page said that Cerullo “went home to be with the Lord on July 10, 2020 at the age of 88.”
“Dr. Cerullo, affectionately known as ‘Papa’ to millions across the globe who were touched by his decades of personal ministry, is known for his outreaches to people in more than 400 cities, 150nations, on 6 continents, in over 74 years of ministry,” the release says.
“Dr. Cerullo was born in Passaic, New Jersey, and was orphaned at the age of two. He and his four siblings were placed at the Daughters of Miriam Jewish orphanage in Clifton, New Jersey, where he lived until the age of 15.”
However, while at the orphanage, Morris “learned the Gospel of Jesus Christ from a nurse, and after heavy persecution from the staff and other students, Morris left. Almost immediately he began ministering in local churches, and at the age of 17, he received a scholarship to a Bible college in New York. By age 23, he was holding his first overseas outreach in Greece,” says the release. “By the 1960s, Morris was conducting overseas meetings with hundreds of thousands in attendance. Miracles would break out asthe power of God would sweep over the crowd, and thousands would give their lives to Jesus.”
By the age of 30, the release says, “he had one of the most successful ministries in the world, and soon began conducting Schools of Ministry to teach others how to reach their own nations with the Good News of Jesus Christ. By the time of his passing, Dr. Cerullo had personally trained more than 5 million Christian ministers face to face.”
The release adds: “Millions across the world have been helped by what started as Morris’s simple obedience to God and a passion to help those in need. Known as a Christian statesman, Dr. Cerullo has been presented with the key to San Diego and other cities in America, as well as having received letters of recognition for the work he has done in foreign countries, from mayors, presidents, and other governmental leaders.”
It touts his “humanitarian support,” saying he has “provided aid to Ethiopia, medical assistance in East Africa, and helped build multiple orphanages in Mexico. Morris and his wife, Theresa Cerullo, partnered with Tommy and Matthew Barnett to build several floors of the Los Angeles Dream Center which houses 200 women who have come out of drugs, human trafficking and prostitution.”
According to the release, in 2011, Morris “purchased 18 prime acres on Hotel Circle South in Mission Valley, San Diego, California. After several years of EPA reports, architectural design changes, demolition, and city council meetings, construction began on Dr. Cerullo’s crowning jewel, the $200-million Morris Cerullo Legacy International Center.” It opened in 2019.
Over the years, Cerullo faced some controversies, but a tax evasion case against him was dropped after a judge ruled the grand jury did not get important information in the case. According to the Independent, he also faced lawsuits and questions about his wealth over the years. He took over Jim Bakker’s television network and renamed it The Inspiration Networks, the site reported.
He leaves behind a wife of 68 years, Theresa, and children David Cerullo and Susan Peterson, as well as number grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Tributes Flooded Into Social Media for Morris Cerullo
People offered tributes to Cerullo on social media. Here are some of them:
“Papa’s gone to be with his Lord & Master! He run a great race & impacted a great millions for the Kingdom.”
“Another General in the FAITH, has crossed over into GOD’s heavenly Kingdom!😢❤️.”
“Rest in peace man of God. Was a blessing to many I included. His legacy will live on.”
“Sure Papa Cerullo was a giant of faith in Christ, his impact was felt in Africa. Rest on Sir till we meet to part no more in Paradise.”
“Good night God’s General.”
“A great man of God who by humility and service conquered the world with the gospel of peace. Rest in Christ.”
“Papa… We are glad you came and impact us heavily in this time and generation. Rest On Sir.”