World Relief and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) honor the life and legacy of Arthur Gay, who died on July 26, by recognizing his years of leadership and contributions to their respective organizations. Over the course of his career, Arthur served as both the president of the National Association of Evangelicals from 1982 to 1984 and World Relief from 1991 to 1996. The positive impact he left at both organizations remains to this day.
“Art Gay was one of the most gracious leaders I have ever known. He was a great encourager, always curious and wanting to learn more,” said Galen Carey, vice president of government relations of the National Association of Evangelicals. “Art was an example of generous orthodoxy, speaking the truth in love.”
While president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Gay served as the organization’s leader and spokesperson. One of the highlights of Gay’s presidency was in 1983 when he introduced President Ronald Reagan at the NAE annual gathering prior to the president’s speech in which he famously referred to the Soviet Communist system as the “Evil Empire.”
Arthur Gay furthered his legacy of service during his time at World Relief by extending the reach of the organization’s international programs. Under his leadership, World Relief expanded its refugee resettlement program in the U.S. and launched new international programs in Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Myanmar, Yugoslavia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Art continued to care and pray for the global ministry of World Relief for decades after his own retirement from this role. He is a model of kingdom leadership who leaves a remarkable legacy,” said Myal Greene, current president and CEO of World Relief.
In addition to his humanitarian work, Arthur Gay was the longtime pastor of South Park Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. After his service with World Relief, he remained involved in the leadership of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference denomination.
“We are so thankful for Art’s faithful leadership and ministry with the NAE, World Relief, South Park Church and so many more,” said Leith Anderson, president emeritus of the NAE.