Jack Van Impe

Jack Van Impe

Jack Leo Van Impe (born February 9, 1931 [Religious Leaders of America", 2nd ed., Gale Group, 1999] ) is a televangelist who appears on his weekly television show "Jack Van Impe Presents". Van Impe's website claims that he is known as the "Walking Bible" because of his extensive memorization of Bible verses.


Originally from Troy, Michigan, Van Impe was an accordion player as a child, performing duets with his missionary father across Michigan and other states. In 1948, Van Impe graduated from high school and entered Detroit Bible College, earning his diploma in 1952 and beginning his career as a preacher and evangelist as well as an extensive recording career. In an episode of "Jack Van Impe Presents", Jack notes that during his years working with the Billy Graham crusades, Van Impe met his future wife, Rexella (b. 1932), who was an organist with the crusades. The couple were later married and started their own joint ministry.

Since the 1950s, Van Impe has released dozens of Gospel and spoken word recordings. His first album "Presenting the Van Impes" features Van Impe on the accordion as well as Rexella's organ playing. Subsequent musical recordings featured the accorgan, a type of electronic accordion.

Jack Van Impe Ministries

"Jack Van Impe Presents" is video-taped at the Jack Van Impe Ministries World Outreach Center, located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. His wife, Rexella, co-hosts the telecast with him. On a typical show, Rexella begins by reading a recent news headline. Van Impe then applies his memorization of Bible verses to interpret the news story, generally in an attempt to show that they are a manifestation of biblically-predicted signs of the end of the world.

Van Impe also interprets Bible prophecies, quoting Bible verses throughout his commentary. At the close of every program, Van Impe extends an invitation for viewers to become born again, followed by Rexella announcing the featured fundraising item of the week (usually one of Van Impe's books or videos) and announcer Chuck Ohman asking viewers to purchase one of Van Impe's books, video tapes, or other media products.

Over the years, Van Impe has set many specific years and dates for the second coming of Jesus, but has continued to move his prediction later. Many of these dates have already passed, and he recently pointed to 2012 as a possible date for the second coming. Van Impe no longer claims to know the exact date of the Second Coming of Christ, but quotes verses which imply that humankind should know when the second coming is near. Prior to January 1, 2000, Van Impe frequently predicted widespread catastrophe resulting from the Y2K problem, which he believed was a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. His predictions, however, proved inaccurate.

In November 2005, Van Impe told viewers of his show that when reviewing television ratings and viewership of "Jack Van Impe Presents", he had discovered that in markets where the show airs from midnight to 0600 local time, ratings for his own show were significantly higher than in markets where the show aired at any other time of the day; subsequently, he asked viewers for donations to buy post-midnight airtime in the 210 television markets around the U.S.

In episodes aired the last week of December 2005, Van Impe thanked viewers for their donations and announced that the last contracts had been signed that week to officially make "Jack Van Impe Presents" available in all 210 U.S. television markets, with over half of them showing after midnight. In episodes airing the week of June 12 2006, Van Impe announced that the new contracts had enabled the show to double its previous viewership levels, levels that had remained relatively steady over the show's 20-year history.

In 2001, Jack Van Impe Ministries "won" the humorous/mock Ig Nobel Prize for astrophysics for its assertion that "black holes fulfill all the technical requirements to be the location of Hell." [http://improbable.com/ig/winners/#ig2001]

filename = JackVanImpe-MarkedForDeath.ogg
title = Jack Van Impe - Marked For Death
description = Excerpt from Jack Van Impe's Sermon at Landmark Baptist Temple circa 1972|


For much of his life, Van Impe was a fierce proponent of the fundamentalist doctrine of Biblical separation, which advocates the isolation of individuals believed to be in doctrinal error. However, beginning in late 1970s Van Impe made a marked shift towards the inclusiveness of Ecumenism and Evangelicalism. His outright break with the fundamental church came in 1984 with the publication of "Heart Disease in Christ’s Body".

In "Heart Disease in Christ's Body", Van Impe bemoans "an appalling lack of love and unity among so many of the brothers and sisters in Christ." Van Impe's remedy for this was the relaxing of the fundamentalist definition of a Christian. Specifically, he called for the acceptance as a "true Christian" of anyone who believed in
* the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture,
* the Deity of Christ,
* the Virgin Birth,
* the Substitutionary atonement,
* and the physical resurrection of Christ and His personal, bodily return to earth.

Furthermore, Van Impe sought to redefine the very concept of Biblical separation. In his new formulation, anyone who disagreed that the conditions above fully defined a "true Christian" was himself in doctrinal error and thus subject to isolation.Fact|date=March 2008 The five points Van Impe uses to define a "true Christian" are in line with several other Christian denominations and with most Christian Apologists as wellcite web| title ="Chart of the Essential Doctrines of Christianity"| publisher =Hudson, Anton; Hein-Hudson, Janet| url =http://www.apologeticsindex.org/159-chart-of-essential-doctrines-of-christianity| accessdate =2008-03-03] . However, Van Impe has come under fire from some Christian Apologetics groups regarding his increasingly vocal support of Catholicism since the mid-1990s, beginning with an article for the October-December 1995 issue of "Foundation Magazine", in which Van Impe offered praise to Pope John Paul II and commendations for the Pope's plan for unity among all "Christians" and the establishment of a "world church"cite web| title ="The Who's Who of Prophecy: Jack Van Impe"| publisher =Strandberg, Todd; James, Terry| url =http://www.raptureready.com/who/Jack_Van_Impe.html| accessdate =2008-03-03] .

Personal views

On August 30 2005, Van Impe said of Pat Robertson, "We do not need an Osama bin Laden" leading us and called for Robertson to recant his positions calling for assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez and the death of a Supreme Court Justice. [cite news |last=Blumenthal |first=Max |url=http://mediamatters.org/items/200508300007 |title=Televangelist Jack Van Impe called Robertson "an Osami bin Laden" |publisher=MediaMatters.org |date=2005-08-30 |accessdate= ]

Van Impe's show does not feature a "Word of Faith" or prosperity gospel, but rather an end-times philosophy heavily based on the Book of Revelation. Van Impe is often critical on his television show of his fellow television pastors who spend too much time on fundraising and not enough time on "preaching the gospel of Jesus". He also believes the European Union to be the "Revived Roman Empire", which will one day be headed by the Antichrist, which he has centered as a plot in some of his sponsored videos.

Health problems

In early 2006, Rexella reported on their TV show that Van Impe had gone into remission after being diagnosed with cancer in 2005. The specific type of cancer that he had been diagnosed with was not disclosed. On the same episode, Van Impe added that the radiation treatments that he had been undergoing as part of his fight against cancer were what had led to the bout of sepsis that he had previously disclosed in mid-2005, an illness so severe that it nearly took his life.

In an episode of "Jack Van Impe Presents" aired the week of June 19, 2006, Van Impe disclosed that he had undergone two total knee replacements in early 2006. He gave thanks to God for his recovery and for leading him to the "wonderful surgeon" who did the operation. On 25 July 2007, he stated that the knees clicked as he walked around the house.


* "Presenting the Van Impes" Crown Records CV-1003
* "Accorgan Artisty"
* "Singing And Making Melody With The Accorgan"
* "Marked For Death: Can America Survive?" (1969)
* "From Nightclubs to Christ" (1970)
* "The Coming War With Russia"


External links

* [http://jvim.com Jack Van Impe Ministries] World Outreach
* [http://tbn.org/index.php/2/4/p/140.html Jack Van-Impe Presents] at TBN
* [http://raptureready.com/who/Jack_Van_Impe.html Jack Van Impe] at Rapture Ready
* [http://bible.crosswalk.com/Dictionaries/JVIProphecyDictionary/ Jack Van Impe's Dictionary of Prophecy Terms] Crosswalk.com, 2005
* Jack Van Impe - [http://www.thegospel.org/Pages/JVIM.asp Streaming Media] Thegospel.org
* [http://www.preteristarchive.com/StudyArchive/v/van-impe_jack-rexella_televangelists.html Jack Van Impe (And Rexella)] : Premillennial Dispenationalist Preterist Study Archive, preteristarchive.com
* [http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/separate/heartdi.htm Heart Disease in Christ's Body] Book review from Middle Town Bible Church
* [http://www.prettygoodnews.com/form_990/hagee_spreadsheet.pdf Chart of Executive Salaries paid to leading Christian Ministries]
* [http://www.bizarrerecords.com/galleries/vanimp/vanimp.html Gallery of Van Impe album covers]
* [http://www.ministrywatch.com/mw2.1/F_SumRpt.asp?EIN=381956052 MinistryWatch.com]

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