“Can you imagine the joy and confidence — both in death and in life — when you know you already have eternal life?” said longtime PCA pastor and radio show host Ben Haden.

Haden — who didn’t want to wait until death to experience abundant life — passed away early Thursday morning, Oct. 24.

The 88-year-old had just completed his 45th year as a radio broadcaster for “Changed Lives,” a radio and television ministry launched out of First Presbyterian Church (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and aired on hundreds of stations across the country. Before founding the show in 1967, Haden worked as CEO of a daily newspaper in Kingsport, Tenn., and as a lawyer.

Haden became a Christian at age 29 while serving as a CIA operative in the Korean War. Not long afterward, he enrolled as a seminary student at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., later earning his Doctor of Divinity from King College (now King University) in Bristol, Tenn. After being ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA, Haden pastored a church in Key Biscayne, Fla., and later accepted a call to First Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga. In 1974, under Haden’s leadership, the church decided to leave the PC(USA) and join the newly formed Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

Throughout his pastoral career, Haden’s previous legal experience gave way to a preaching style in which he often seemed to be arguing a case for Christianity.

“Ben Haden began his ‘conversations’ with his unforgettable signature line: ‘Let’s talk about it.’ Thus, the millions who tuned in to hear — and see — this remarkable and unique minister would then experience this man on fire with the truth he had encountered in his own life and which he seemed to be presenting, like a skilled trial barrister before a jury (his congregation used to tease him that he wrote his sermon points on his fingernails, which he seemed to inspect as he paused to deliver his next powerful plea),” recalls Dr. Michael Milton, friend and successor to Dr. Haden as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga, and president of the Faith for Living ministry.

Haden also published several books, including “Why Am I at Seminary?”, “Kingsport: A Modern American City,”  “I See Their Faces,” “Rebel to Rebel,” and “Pray!”

He is survived by his daughter Dallas, her husband, and a granddaughter. His wife, Charlyne, passed away in 2009.

Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.

3 Responses to Ben Haden Passes to Glory

  1. Larry Jones says:

    It seems like only yesterday, at age thirty eight, when on a sunday morning in October 1971, I came into the room where the tv was on and there was this man pacing back and forth making a talk. He was talking about modern medicine and how because of it lives were being extended. Question, what good does it do to have your life extended if you have nothing to live for? He then went on to tell about Jesus and how He could and would give you something to live for. A week later I gave my life to Christ and He gave me a new life and truly something to live for.

    I am grateful to that man, Ben Haden, for pointing me to Jesus and for being there for me and my family for all the years .

  2. Louis Hall, Jr. says:

    I starting listening to Pstor Ben Haden in 1974 through the Changed Lives Radio Program. I was reared and ecpoused to church and religion by my grandmother at aearly age, but I had hot accepted Christ as my “personal Savior” with a personal relationship with Him until after lisrening to Changed Lives and message from Pastor Haden. Through written correspondences in October, 1974 and February, 1975, I gave my heart to Jesus Christ. Pastor Haden wrote “Welcome to the family of God! We are strangers to neither sorrow nor hurt nor afflictions—and certainly not to sin. but the wonder of it is that we are no longer strangers to Christ. And in time, none os us wil be strangers to eact other.”
    I loved him!
    With His Love,
    Louis Hall

  3. robert hust says:

    There will never be another like Ben. He was one of a kind, and the genuine article. He once said,” The only thing that puts an end to sinning is death. We are all sinners but we have a great
    saviour. God himself came down to earth to die for sinners. Nobody was expecting that.” I loved
    that man. Few famous people would have their names listed in the phone book, so anyone could
    call them. I called Ben and he took up alot of time to talk to me, a nobody. Most preachers never
    list their phone numbers in the book and he did’nt like to be called reverend.