In Memoriam: C. Peter Wagner


Fuller Theological Seminary celebrates the life of C. Peter Wagner, who passed away on Friday, October 21. He was 86. Dr. Wagner served as Vice President of the Charles E. Fuller Institute for Evangelism and Church Growth from 1971 to 1979, and as Professor of Church Growth in the School of World Mission, now the School of Intercultural Studies, from 1971 to 2001.

“The Great Commission has been central to my life,“ Wagner wrote in a 2012 article. “I committed myself to missions the night I was saved when I was 19. I spent my first 16 years of ministry as a field missionary and the next 30 years as a professor of missions.”

Dr. Wagner and his wife Doris served as missionaries in Bolivia under the South American Mission and Andes Evangelical Mission (now SIM International) from 1956 to 1971. He then served for 30 years as Professor of Church Growth at Fuller Seminary until his retirement in 2001. He authored more than 70 books, including Leading Your Church to Growth, The Third Wave, Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow, and Radical Holiness for Radical Living.

In addition, Dr. Wagner served as the founding president of Global Harvest Ministries, a nonprofit mission organization, and was the founder and chancellor emeritus of the Wagner Leadership Institute, an institute for training women and men in practical ministry.

A Celebration of Life Service honoring Dr. Wagner took place October 25, officiated by Chuck Pierce.

In lieu of flowers, Doris Wagner has requested that donations be made in Dr. Wagner's memory to the church plant of Lake Effect Church. Gifts can be designated online at or made payable to Lake Effect Church and mailed to PO Box 2623, Grand Rapids, MI 49501. The prayers of the Fuller Seminary community go out to Dr. Wagner's family.

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