About the Founder
Ravi Zacharias spent 48 years commending the Christian faith and addressing life’s great existential questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny with eloquence and grace.
When former skeptic and seventeen-year-old Ravi Zacharias heard the words of Jesus in John 14:19, “Because I live, you also will live,” the trajectory of his life changed forever. In a time of helplessness and unbelief—when he was on a bed of suicide—the truth of Scripture brought hope to Zacharias, and he committed his life to Christ, promising, “I will leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of truth.” Earlier in John 14, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” This verse became the cornerstone of Zacharias’s ultimate mission as a Christian apologist and evangelist: to present and defend the truth of Jesus Christ that others might find life in Him.
Zacharias’s calling to preach was first confirmed when he was awarded the Asian Youth Preacher Award at the international Youth Congress in Hyderabad at the age of nineteen. Years later, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association invited Zacharias to be a plenary speaker at the inaugural International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists (“Amsterdam ‘83”) to address a gathering of nearly 4,000 other speakers. It would be another turning point for him, as he began to seriously consider the critical need of apologetics to remove the intellectual and existential barriers that kept many skeptics from considering the truth claims of Christ. A year later, in 1984, he founded Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM).
Throughout his life, he remained committed to his calling to represent the gospel of Jesus Christ through historical, philosophical, and moral foundations and to defend it against objectors with grace, clarity, and coherency. He laid the framework of the truth of the gospel to millions of people in more than 70 countries, including on the campuses of some of the world’s leading universities.
RZIM exists to reach and challenge those who shape culture with the credibility of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In 2017, Zacharias’s vision to establish an apologetics training center in the United States with global reach was realized with the launch of the Zacharias Institute in Atlanta.
RZIM has 17 legal entities globally including offices in the US, Canada, Peru, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Austria, Spain, Romania, Macedonia, Turkey, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, India and the Middle East. Through its global team of nearly 100 speakers and more than 250 employees worldwide, RZIM seeks to impact the heart and intellect of society’s thinkers and influencers through:
- Evangelism: RZIM shares the gospel through its global team of nearly 100 speakers and experts as well as its radio and television programs, podcasts, and publications that reach listeners and readers around the world.
- Apologetics: A team of evangelists and trained RZIM speakers participate in open forums, speaking engagements, panels, and debates to answer objections to Christianity with gentleness and respect.
- Spiritual Disciplines: RZIM strives to model and build Christ-like character through our books, group studies, and biblical resources.
- Training: RZIM hosts a range of programs and courses in the US, UK, India, Singapore, and online, which are designed to instruct and equip all who desire to effectively contend for the Christian worldview.
- Humanitarian Support: RZIM’s humanitarian arm, Wellspring International, identifies and financially equips existing organizations aiding women and children at risk and provides individual scholarships to support education, healthcare, and basic living needs.
Zacharias spent 48 years commending the Christian faith and addressing life’s great existential questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny with eloquence and grace. He fully believed the truth of Jesus Christ can endure the toughest critiques and philosophical attacks. He authored or edited over 25 books in the fields of theology, apologetics, comparative religion, and philosophy.
On May 19, 2020, Zacharias died at the age of 74 following a brief battle with sarcoma. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Margie; daughters, Sarah and Naomi; son, Nathan; and five grandchildren.
Updated May 21, 2020.
Please note that this bio may not be distributed or edited without the express written permission of RZIM. Thank you.