MEMORIUM: Anne Kennedy, Wife of EE Founder was Lamplighter for Christ
John Sorensen, staff writer for Evangelism Explosion, shares from the depths of his heart on the passing of a great woman of the faith, Anne Lewis Kennedy.
Anne Lewis Kennedy went home Tuesday afternoon, May 16, to the Savior she loved and served for more than 60 years. Her home-going was all the sweeter for her, I believe, because it reunited her with her late husband, Jim Kennedy, the man who led her to Christ and the founder of Evangelism Explosion.
And, I am sure she also encountered hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people she personally led to Jesus during her lifetime. Anne meticulously kept a record of each one’s profession of faith and her follow-up efforts in her famous “black books.” I liked to kid her about her conscientious and expert record-keeping–something I could not do. It testifies to a lifetime of fruitful service beside her late husband.
Anne was one of the very first to be trained in EE in 1962 and almost certainly had the record for longevity as a trainer, having done so for some 50 years. We called her the “First Lady” of Evangelism Explosion, a title she richly deserved. With her husband, she led by personal example and lived out, from the very beginning, active obedience to Christ’s command: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
She personally reached a point in her life where sharing the gospel through EE was her reason for living. It was what she loved to do. “Knowing how to witness,” Anne said, “is the most important thing I have ever learned.”