Prominent Pastor and Author Tim Keller Has Pancreatic Cancer

Author and church planter Tim Keller. Photo courtesy of Tim Keller

Timothy Keller, founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and a bestselling author and church planter, announced on Sunday (June 7) that he has pancreatic cancer and will soon begin chemotherapy treatment.

“I feel great and have no symptoms,” Keller, 69, wrote on Facebook and other social media posts. “It was what doctors call an “‘incidental pickup.'” After testing at the National Institutes of Health, he added, he would receive chemotherapy in New York, where he has made his home since 1989.

In 2017, Keller retired as senior pastor of Redeemer, the 5,000-member megachurch with three sites across New York City, to focus on Redeemer City to City, a leadership training program for pastors trying to replicate his success with establishing vibrant churches in urban environments.

Much of his work in the last decade has been focused on vocational training and helping Christians find both meaning and calling in their jobs, whether secular or sacred. In 2014, he co-wrote “Every Good Endeavor” with Katherine Leary Alsdorf, who also helped found Redeemer’s Center for Faith and Work, which includes the Gotham fellowship, a year-long vocational training ministry.

Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to diagnose, and as a result many cases are not identified until it has already spread, making it one of the most lethal cancers. But if caught early, survival rates can be comparable to other forms of the disease.

Keller, in his Facebook post, wrote that his doctors discovered his cancer three weeks ago in what he described as “providential intervention.” He said he has already undergone surgery since that time.

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Source: Religion News Service