28 June 2005

Jon Campbell: Servant of all

Jon Campbell January 11, 1949--June 22, 2005
Jon Campbell
January 11, 1949—June 22, 2005
During the renaissance of Christian radio that flourished from the mid-1970s through the turn of the millennium and beyond, Jon Campbell was one of the most important men in the Christian communications industry. The Lord took him to heaven last Wednesday after a difficult battle with cancer.

You may never have heard of Jon, but you have almost certainly felt the impact of his work. Together with his wife, Peggy, Jon gave direction to Ambassador Advertising Agency, a Fullerton, CA-based company that represents (and gives production and distribution support to) some of the best-known evangelical radio ministries now on the air, including Grace to You (John MacArthur); Breakpoint (Chuck Colson); and Joni & Friends (Joni Eareckson Tada). Ambassador was founded in 1959 by Jon's father-in-law, Al Sanders. Jon went to work there in the early 70s, after graduating from Biola.

In 1989 Jon became President of the agency. Under his leadership, Ambassador helped shape the entire Christian radio industry. Over the past three decades, Jon and Peggy helped launch the radio ministries of Dr. James Dobson, Chuck Swindoll, and many others.

Jon was a true friend, and I am personally very much indebted to him. He began freely sharing his wealth of knowledge about Christian radio with me long before Ambassador became the official agency for Grace to You (the ministry I serve). I knew Jon for more than twenty years and never knew him to say or do anything harsh, inconsiderate, or unchristlike. He was always kind, generous, encouraging, gentle, gracious, thoughtful, and humble. That wasn't an image he cultivated. It's who he really was.

I last saw Jon a few months ago. He and Peggy came from Fullerton (about an hour and a half away) just to serve lunch to our entire staff. Jon knew then that he was seriously ill, but you would hardly have known it. His desire to serve us (even though he himself was weaker than anyone knew) embodied the spirit with which he lived his whole life. Content to serve and to stay in the shadows, he was nonetheless an authentically great man (Mark 10:43). We will miss him badly.

For a full bio of Jon, click here.


peterbh said...

My friendship with Jon Cambell began in September 1969 when I walked into my first chapel service at Biola University and saw him with his (then) fiance Peggy Sanders. (Actually, my friendship with Al, Margaret, Peggy, Sharon, and Jim goes back to the mid-50's at Calvary Church Pacific Palisades, California). Jon and Peggy were my first friends at Biola and they always ministered to the Lord by sharing their lives with me as true servants. I had the great great blessing of rooming with Jon at Biola during my second semester there. The one thing I remember most about those days was our times of prayer together just before we would both retire for the evening. I had the blessing of attending their wedding...and subsequently of having fellowship with them in their home on a number of occasions. And always, they served me in the name of Christ and always directed my attention to Him. Jon was a biblical model of a true servant of our Lord Jesus Christ...a true Christian. That is how I will remember him, to the glory and praise of Christ.

Peter B Hansen
Medford, Oregon

SJ Camp said...

Dear Phil:

Thank you for sharing this news with us. I was very familiar with Jon and he will be greatly missed. His contribution to Christian radio was very profound. I will be praying for his entire family during this season of his homegoing to the Lord.

Phil. 1:21, "For me to live is Christ and die is gain."

Grace and peace,

Joe said...

I did not know Jon personally, but have used Ambassador's services for many years with great satisfaction. His was a meaningful contribution to our ministry at Kingdom FM.Would that I could have spent as much of my Christian walk influencing others for Christ as he did. I won't see Jon here, but I'll see him over there.
In His Name