Jack Van Impe

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Jack Van Impe
Jack Leo Van Impe

(1931-02-09)February 9, 1931
DiedJanuary 18, 2020(2020-01-18) (aged 88)
EducationDetroit Bible Institute
Occupation(s)televangelist and author
Known forFounder of Jack Van Impe Ministries International (JVIM)
Host of the Jack Van Impe Presents syndicated TV program
Rexella Mae Shelton
(m. 1954)

Jack Leo Van Impe (/ˈɪmp/ IM-pee;[1] February 9, 1931 – January 18, 2020) was an American televangelist who had a half-hour weekly television series Jack Van Impe Presents, featuring eschatological commentary on the news of the week through an interpretation of the Bible. The program airs around the world through both religious broadcasters and the purchase of paid programming time on commercial television stations. He was known as the "Walking Bible", having memorized most of the King James Version of the Bible.[2] His wife, Rexella, shared his television ministry as co-host.

Early life and marriage[edit]

Van Impe's parents, Oscar Alphonse Van Impe and Marie Louise, née Piot, immigrated from Belgium to the city of Troy, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, in the United States in 1929. Jack Leo Van Impe was born on February 9, 1931, in Freeport, Michigan.[3][4] He was the couple's only child. Van Impe decided to become an evangelist after he saw his father become a missionary with very strong faith.

According to Van Impe, he and his father Oscar played the accordion at night clubs, and Oscar regularly swore and drank alcohol, and believed that religion was hogwash. At meals, Van Impe would drink alcoholic beverages along with his father, which is a European tradition. Then when Van Impe was twelve years old, Oscar converted to evangelical Christianity, and Oscar and Jack together smashed all of their bottles of alcoholic beverages. Since that event, Van Impe did not consume any alcohol.[citation needed]

Jack Van Impe played accordion duets with his missionary father across Michigan and other states. In 1948, Van Impe graduated from high school and entered Detroit Bible Institute, where he earned his diploma in 1952. It was then that he began his career as a preacher and evangelist and extensive recording career.

While working with the Billy Graham crusades, he was at a Youth For Christ rally with Chuck Ohman (a friend of Jack's who was a trumpeter for Percy Crawford's "Youth on the March" television broadcasts[5]). Here, Jack Van Impe met his future wife, Rexella Mae Shelton, who was an organist with the crusades. Rexella was born in Missouri on November 29, 1932,[6] and was named after her father, Rex Shelton. She had attended Bob Jones University for one year.[7] The couple were married on August 21, 1954, and together started Jack Van Impe Ministries.


Beginning in the 1950s, Van Impe released dozens of Gospel and spoken word recordings. His first album Presenting the Van Impes features Jack on the accordion and Rexella on organ. Subsequent musical recordings featured the accorgan, a type of electronic accordion. Parts of an unknown sermon were used in the 1995 house song "Sex on the Streets" by Pizzaman, although Van Impe talked about the same events in his 1970 album Marked for Death.

Biblical prophecy beliefs[edit]

Van Impe believed that Revelation 13 predicts that a single world political leader (the Beast) and a single world religious leader (the False Prophet) will emerge, but the Rapture will happen before either leader comes to power. He believed that the Bible teaches that the world will be organized into ten political subdivisions, based on the ten-district plan set up by the Club of Rome,[8] and that this ten-division world empire will be jointly ruled by the European Union and the Islamic world, which he believed are represented by the two iron legs of the prophetic dream statue in the Book of Daniel. Van Impe believed in the Prophecy of the Popes, and that according to said prophecy, Pope Francis is Peter the Roman, the predicted pope who will preside during Armageddon.

Van Impe, a dispensational premillennialist,[9] preached a pre-tribulation rapture of "The Body of Christ" and also said a one-world religion will form, named "Chrislam"; the joining of the world's two largest religions (Christianity and Islam). He believed that the Bible states that the world political leader will "come in peaceably" (per Daniel 11:21) and create a seven-year peace deal involving Israel (per Daniel 9:27). Then, three and a half years into the peace, Russia (the interpreted meaning of "Rosh" from Ezekiel 38:2 and 39:1; Van Impe also identified Meshech and Tubal from the same passages as Moscow and Tobolsk respectively), along with its Middle Eastern allies ("Persia, Cush, and Put", from Ezekiel 38:5), will break the peace by invading Israel, according to Ezekiel 38, and the military of Russia and its allies will be decimated by nuclear warfare and pushed back to Siberia. Then China (the interpreted meaning of "kings from the east" from Revelation 16:12) will invade, and the military of China will likewise be decimated when Jesus returns.

Mark 13:9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues." Van Impe at various times in his last decades seemed very urgent that all signs had been fulfilled, but never mentions that Christians were being flogged in synagogues. In the September 3, 2016, episode of Jack Van Impe Presents, a news headline is interpreted as fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah that the city of Damascus would be completely destroyed, increasing Van Impe's insistence that the end of time would happen "very, very soon."

Strangely, Van Impe believed that at any one moment, the 24 time zones on earth would be labeled by three different days. His confusion was stated more than once because he felt it fulfilled the prophecy that no man would know the day of Jesus' return.

Jack Van Impe Presents[edit]

Jack Van Impe Presents is a weekly telecast produced by Van Impe's non-profit organization at the Jack Van Impe Ministries World Outreach Center, in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Van Impe's wife, Rexella, co-hosts.

In June 2011, Trinity Broadcasting Network refused to air an episode of Jack Van Impe Presents that criticized Robert Schuller and Rick Warren for promoting "Chrislam". In response, Van Impe ceased airing his show on TBN.[10]

Health and death[edit]

In one episode of Jack Van Impe Presents, which aired during the week of June 19, 2006, Van Impe informed his audience 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 performed the operation. Subsequent to the problems with his knees, Van Impe suffered from cancer, a severe sepsis attack, and blood loss resulting from stomach ulcers which he attributed to his NSAID arthritis medication. On the episode which aired during the week of May 31, 2015, Jack Van Impe was absent from the program, and Rexella Van Impe explained that he had been hospitalized for triple by-pass heart surgery. Carl Baugh co-hosted the program until Van Impe's return to his weekly show on October 3, 2015.

On January 7, 2017, Rexella Van Impe announced that Jack Van Impe had broken his hip, but was recovering. Carl Baugh co-hosted that program as well.[11] In Jack's absence, Rexella Van Impe co-hosted the program with various guests: Carl Baugh for six episodes, Dave Williams for six episodes, Dr. Robert Jeffress for two episodes, and Walt Sheppard for three episodes. From April to May, 2017, re-runs were aired until the May 27, 2017, broadcast when Jack Van Impe reappeared beside Rexella, and the couple announced that, under doctor's advice, they were ending the TV broadcast. Thereafter, weekly videos were posted on the organization's Web site. In 2018, radio and television broadcasts resumed, with Chuck Ohman serving as their announcer.[12] For the most part currently, weekly episodes on YouTube are again reruns from when Jack Van Impe was alive with news clippings in the beginning tying the episode in question to current events. Rexella anchors solo in a fully new episode very rarely, distinguished by a different type of thumbnail in comparison to the rerun episodes. [13]

Jack Van Impe died on January 18, 2020, at a hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan at the age of 88, three weeks before his 89th birthday.[14][15]


  1. ^ Dias, Elizabeth. "Jack Van Impe, End Times Preacher on TV, Is Dead at 88," The New York Times, Wednesday, January 22, 2020. Retrieved January 23, 2020
  2. ^ Otto, Mary (May 16, 1997). "At the cusp of two millennia, more people believe the Book of Revelation's code will be cracked soon". Knight Ridder. Archived from the original on September 9, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  3. ^ Religious Leaders of America, 2nd ed., Gale Group, 1999
  4. ^ Campbell, Roger F. (1977). They call him The Walking Bible. Nashville: Action Press. pp. 19. ISBN 0840790007.
  5. ^ Douglas Yeo. "An Interview with Bill Pearce". Online Trombone Journal. Archived from the original on January 16, 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  6. ^ "Rexella Van Impe". 98.3 KDAR FM. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  7. ^ Silliman, Daniel (January 19, 2020). "Died: Jack Van Impe, Televangelist Who Saw Signs of End Times". Christianity Today. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  8. ^ Announced in "Regionalized and Adaptive Model of the Global World System", as part of the Strategy for Survival Project. This revealed the Club's goal of dividing the world into ten political/economic regions which would unite the entire world under a single form of government. These regions are: North America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Japan, Rest of Developed World, Latin America, Middle East, Rest of Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and China. The same plan was published in a Club of Rome book called Mankind at the Turning Point: Club of Rome Report, Regionalized and Adaptive Model of the Global World System, Report on the Progress in the Strategy for Survival Project of the Club of Rome, Mihajlo Mesarovic and Eduard Pestel, Directors, "CONFIDENTIAL", September 17, 1973.
  9. ^ Dias, Elizabeth (January 22, 2020). "Jack Van Impe, End Times Preacher on TV, Is Dead at 88". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  10. ^ Banks, Adelle M. "Jack Van Impe Leaves TBN After Criticism Of Rick Warren, Robert Schuller", Huffington Post. June. 2011. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  11. ^ "Jack Van Impe Presents", 7 January 2017
  12. ^ "Jack Van Impe Returns to WATC on September 3" Archived September 9, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, WATC-DT (retrieved September 10, 2018).
  13. ^ "Jack Van Impe Ministries". YouTube. Alphabet. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  14. ^ Dias, Elizabeth (January 22, 2020). "Jack Van Impe, End Times Preacher on TV, Is Dead at 88" – via NYTimes.com.
  15. ^ "Well done, good and faithful servant..." JVIM. October 24, 2020. Archived from the original on February 1, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2020.

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