Missionary, church planter and preacher Michael Landon passes

mike-landonGROTON, Conn. (BNC) —Preacher Michael Landon died Oct. 4 of a rare and aggressive disease surrounded by his wife and children.

Michael was born in Oklahoma to Christian parents, so he was privileged to grow up attending church and gave his life to Jesus through baptism at the young age of eight.

Mike attended Oklahoma Christian College where he met and married Susan. They both graduated there. Mike later graduated from Harding University Graduate School of Religion with an MA and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with a PhD.

Mike and Susan worked in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for eight years and were blessed with three children.

They planted a new congregation, but he also taught in the leadership training school and led an organization working with children of low income families.

Mike preached for congregations in Louisiana and Kansas before beginning to teach missions and Bible fulltime. He taught at Barclay College, Southwestern Christian College and the Center for Christian Education before moving to Groton.

Mike published a book with University Press of America on poverty, several articles on the Bible in Restoration Quarterly, and presented scholarly papers on the Bible and missions at numerous professional meetings.

I first met Mike in 1977 at the World Missions Worship, hosted that year by Oklahoma Christian College. Mike was the student leader in charge of the event. The next year it was to be held at Freed-Hardeman College, and I was the student leader. So I stayed in Mike’s dorm room at his invitation, and when he caught a free moment, he shared tips and ideas for the next year.

Mike and Susan invited my wife and me to go with them to São Paulo, Brazil, but we already had formed our mission team to another city. Still, we kept in touch and enjoyed our contact with them.

After their move to the U.S., the Landons returned to Brazil periodically, and in one of their more recent visits Mike came to São José dos Campos and taught a seminar on the DaVinci Code.

Mike wasn’t afraid to stand against the tide, question assumptions, and challenge traditions. He was committed to the Scriptures and the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was thoughtful in his statements, rigorous in his research, and kind in his interactions.

The brotherhood is poorer in his absence.

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