Renowned Megachurch Pastor Rick Seaward Dies in Car Accident

Rick Seaward
Rick Seaward |

Rick Seaward, a Charismatic church planter who helped plant thousands of churches around the world and the founder of Singapore's first megachurch, was killed in a car accident last Saturday while in Brazil for a missions conference.

"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our founder, Reverend Doctor Rick Seaward, on 24th March 2018, in a car accident in Brazil," Victory Family Centre Singapore announced on Monday.

According to the church, the 63-year-old evangelist arrived in Brazil for the conference last Friday. The fatal accident happened in the town of Três Pontas in the Minas Gerais state as Seaward was driving to his hotel after the Saturday conference.

A memorial service will be held on April 13 at The Star Performing Arts Center in Singapore.

Seaward founded Victory Family Centre along with his wife, Diane, in 1977 when it was known as the Calvary Charismatic Centre.

According to a memorial webpage, the church's first service was held in a hotel. It would eventually blossom to plant over 10,000 churches in 90 nations around the world under Seaward's leadership.

"A man of great faith and vision, he was well known around the world for his firm conviction that every local church has a part to play in world missions," the memorial page reads. "Pastor Seaward was renowned for his revolutionary strategies in planting churches that would in turn plant more churches."

Other Christian leaders have expressed their sorrows after learning of Seaward's death.

"I have lost a very dear brother and a faithful fellow pastor," Bishop Rennis Ponniah of the Anglican Archdiocese of Singapore said in a statement. "Rick Seaward embodied two values that have left an indelible mark on pastors in Singapore: a tireless sharing of the Good News of Jesus Christ with others; and a commitment to promote unity among churches."

Pastor Lawrence Khong of Faith Community Baptist Church and chairman of LoveSingapore, an organization that Seaward chaired from 2002 to 2008, called Seaward a "modern-day apostle."

"He was God's visionary spokesman for our neighbour, Timor-Leste," Khong explained in a statement. "This led to the Love Timor initiative which united churches and missions organisations to bless Timor village-by-village in practical ways with no strings attached. Today, many good things are happening on the ground in Timor simply because there was a Rick Seaward who loved her and championed her cause."

Dorothy Lim, a longtime member of Victory Family Centre, shared how her life has been impacted by Seaward.

"Pastor Seaward taught us that as followers of Christ, there is no way to live other than a life of absolute obedience to God," Lim wrote in a Facebook post. "He was never shy about teaching the uncompromising truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may make us. Like houses built on the rock, our lives benefited from strong, balanced teaching applicable to daily life."

One Facebook commenter suggested that there might be some significance to the fact that Seaward passed away in the same year as iconic evangelist Billy Graham.

"What a man of God. I've never been under your ministry but your influence is everywhere," ‎Peter Leong‎ of Auckland, New Zealand, wrote. "And to leave the earth on the same year as Billy Graham? May it signifies revival for the nation's that he had impacted."

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