Home Christian News Pastor Tim Keller Dies at 72 After Battling Pancreatic Cancer

Pastor Tim Keller Dies at 72 After Battling Pancreatic Cancer

tim keller
Frank Licorice, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, died at the age of 72 the morning of Friday, May 19, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

“Timothy J. Keller, husband, father, grandfather, mentor, friend, pastor, and scholar died this morning at home,” said Keller’s son, Michael, in a tweet Friday morning. “Dad waited until he was alone with Mom. She kissed him on the forehead and he breathed his last breath.”

“We take comfort in some of his last words,” Michael said. “‘There is no downside for me leaving, not in the slightest.’ See you soon Dad.”

In a statement sent to church members, Redeemer announced that Keller “passed away this morning at age 72, trusting in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection. We are forever grateful for his leadership, heart, and dedication to sharing the love of Christ with others. While we will miss his presence here, we know he is rejoicing with his Savior in heaven.”

The statement continued:

Tim loved what he did. He loved interacting with Redeemer congregants and global ministry leaders alike. He delighted in communicating the profound wonder and transforming power of the gospel of grace. He would quickly disarm you and brush away your addressing him as Dr. Keller. “Just Tim, please.’”

Tim Keller’s Passing and Legacy

Keller announced he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer on June 7, 2020, and immediately started treatment. In June 2021, Keller gave an encouraging update, sharing that he had been using a less aggressive form of chemotherapy and that his scans were showing no cancer growth.

On Sept. 5, 2021, Keller informed his followers that a “mystery lump” that doctors removed underneath his surgical scar “proved to be cancerous” and that his chemotherapy had to be increased.

In May 2022, Keller said, “This month, I am celebrating the 2-year anniversary of my diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. I can call it a celebration with justification as the chemotherapies have reduced the stage 4 cancer that was found and God has seen it fit to give me more time.”

RELATED: Tim Keller on Spiritual Life After Terminal Diagnosis: ‘I’m Closer to Where I Should Have Been Most of My Life’

The influential pastor then shared that he would be starting an “immunotherapy trial at the National Cancer Center in Bethesda, MD.” Keller said that the month-long trial had shown great promise in potentially curing cancer and described it as both “rigorous and demanding.”

A month later (June 2022), Keller’s son Michael tweeted about a “scary” moment his father experienced due to complications resulting from his cancer treatment.

Earlier this March, Keller asked for prayers after doctors discovered new tumors. “Unfortunately,” he said, they were “in some fairly inconvenient places, so the doctors encouraged us to go through the treatment again, this time targeting a different genetic marker of the cancer.”