Pastor and Christian Leadership Resources

10 Things You Should Know about Dr. David Jeremiah

10 Things You Should Know about Dr. David Jeremiah

Dr. David Jeremiah is one of America’s most influential evangelical Christian leaders. He has lived out his calling through various ministries for over half a century to “deliver the unchanging Word of God to an ever-changing world.” Well known for relaying Biblical truth in relatable ways that make the Word come alive, Jeremiah continues impacting millions for Christ through his international broadcast ministry, articles, and books.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Ldula

road sign saying "what next?"

10 Important Events in Dr. David Jeremiah’s Ministry

David Jeremiah was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1941, where he enjoyed a blessed upbringing by parents who were deeply involved in ministry. In his youth, he rejected the idea of becoming a pastor like his father. But during his senior year of college, God “got ahold of his heart,” and he could no longer resist the calling on his life.

1. 1963: During his senior year at Cedarville College, Jeremiah made two pivotal decisions that would forever impact his future—he said “yes” to the Lord’s prompting to enter full-time ministry. He also said “I do” to his college sweetheart, Donna Thompson, who would become his partner in ministry and life. After Jeremiah received his Bachelor of Arts degree that year, the newlywed couple moved to Dallas, Texas, where he would later receive an MD in Theology through Dallas Theological Seminary.

2. 1969: With eager anticipation of what God had in store for them, the Jeremiahs moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and planted Blackhawk Baptist Church. Dr. Jeremiah served as pastor, janitor, office manager, and visitation committee to a seven-family congregation until God added to the church’s numbers. Meanwhile, the young pastor’s ministry expanded to include the role of fatherhood, with the birth of each of his and Donna’s four children.

During their time at Blackhawk Baptist, Jeremiah learned the importance of setting priorities. God showed him that his first priority should always be his relationship with the Lord, then Donna and his children, and finally, his congregation. These priorities became his schedule’s guardrails, his prayer life’s focus, and his ministry’s mainstay.

3. 1973-1980: By the end of the Jeremiahs’ 12-year mission in Indiana, the tiny church grew to over 1300 members, and a K-12 Christian school was established. God also opened the door to launch The Bible Hour, an evangelical television program that would serve as the training ground for bigger future opportunities.

4. 1981: While hosting a Family Life Seminar at Blackhawk church, Jeremiah met a California pastor named Dr. Tim LaHaye. The divine appointment led to a lifelong friendship between the two and paved the way for Jeremiah’s next steps in ministry. In 1981, upon completing additional graduate work at Grace Seminary, he received his Doctor of Divinity degree from Cedarville College. He then became LaHaye’s successor at Scott Memorial Church in San Diego—now called Shadow Mountain Community Church, where he still serves as Senior Pastor today.

5. 1982: After settling into their new lives and roles in California, the Jeremiahs were inspired to pick up where The Bible Hour left off and start a new television ministry. With a desire to “deliver the unchanging Word of God to an ever-changing world,” they started Turning Point for God, a local television program that featured Jeremiah’s relevant and powerful Bible teaching. Much to their shock and surprise, God took the little program and quickly grew it into a thriving international broadcast ministry.

Today, Turning Point is a multi-media network that features Jeremiah’s messages through print, online, television, and radio mediums that reach millions of households in multiple languages worldwide.

6. 1992: One of Jeremiah’s first sermon series in his new role as a megachurch pastor was a series centered on the book of Daniel. A woman named Carol Carlson approached him at a Bible conference after hearing his teachings and offered to help Jeremiah put his messages into book form. A few years later, The Handwriting on the Wall became one of the first of over fifty books published by Jeremiah and sold around the globe. When asked about his wildly successful writing career, he explains, “It’s just another way to reach out with the truth of the Word of God.”

7. 1994: On September 26, 1994, Jeremiah’s ministry journey hit a “bend in the road” that would leave him and Donna clinging to the hope that only Christ can provide: he was diagnosed with lymphoma. As the couple faced the most challenging season of their marriage and ministry, they were not alone. God was faithful to surround them with the support they needed and fill them with His perfect peace through every appointment, treatment, and surgery.

8. 2004: Through his five-year battle with cancer, Jeremiah experienced the sufficiency of God’s grace and saw first-hand God’s strength revealed through his own weakness. In 2004 he wrote When Your World Falls Apart to share the spiritual treasure gained through his suffering. The book has since become a valuable source of encouragement for millions who face their own challenges.

9. 2020: Among his many awards and honors, Jeremiah received the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame Award and NRB’s President’s award in 2020. His acceptance speech reflected a continued passion for God’s word and his ministry:

“We’re so grateful to be a part of this organization and to be involved in the wonderful calling of taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every corner of the world.”

10. Current: Since his stem cell transplant in 1999, Jeremiah has been cancer free, and he hasn’t taken that gift lightly. When people ask the now 81-year-old why he continues to work so hard in ministry, his reply echoes the surrender of his original calling:

“When God gave me my life back, He didn’t do it so I’d go sit on a beach somewhere. He gave me my life back to serve Him. I feel such great joy in being able to do what I do at this stage of my life and know that I have been preserved and granted these extra days by a gracious, loving God and I’m so thankful.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images/gustavofrazao

wooden lectern, david jeremiah key teaching themes

What Are Dr. David Jeremiah’s Key Teaching Themes?

Although his teachings emphasize Biblical content—rather than focusing on trends, causes, current events, or politics, Jeremiah uses innovative resources to provide listeners with a real-world understanding of Scripture as it applies to everyday life.

- Some of his most popular teaching themes include

- the importance of prayer

- the need to be good stewards of God’s truth

- the reality and hope of Heaven

- living a life of purpose while awaiting Christ’s return

end time prophecy

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Two ancient books in candlelight

10 Quotes by Dr. David Jeremiah

1. “We cannot understand where we are now if we don’t understand where we are going.” – “4 Things Every Christian Should Know about the Rapture”

2. “Darkness does something to a place, doesn’t it? It distorts. It becomes a canvas for the imagination. The good news is that shadows are only the deflection of light. They can frighten, but they can do no harm.” – What Are You Afraid Of?

3. “We are not saved by good works, but we are saved for good works, and the Gospel is a transforming agent in our lives.” – “5 Birthmarks of the Born Again Christian”

4. “This is a time when all of God’s people need to keep their eyes and their Bibles wide open. We must ask God for discernment as never before.” – Until Christ Returns

5. “If you’ve ever gotten through a crisis, recovered from a failure, or overcome a period of prolonged temptation, it’s because of your Intercessor in the heavens. He is there pleading on your behalf before the very throne of God.” – “4 Ways to Find Hope for Your Prodigal”

6. “Prayer is the way you defeat the devil, reach the lost, restore a backslider, strengthen the saints, send missionaries out, cure the sick, accomplish the impossible, and know the will of God.” – Prayer the Great Adventure

7. “The mind is the most critical part of spiritual warfare. Without the active engagement of the mind—learning, thinking, discerning, understanding, deciding, committing—we are doomed to spiritual defeat by Satan. That is why the Bible speaks of the mind and thinking so often (nearly 150 times).” – “Our Most Important Weapon in the Fight against Spiritual Warfare”

8. “Few of us ever fully grasp the simple but painful biblical truth—the heat of suffering is a refiner’s fire, purifying the gold of godly character and wisdom.” –When Your World Falls Apart

9. “Prayer does not come naturally to any of us. In our more honest moments, we all admit it’s a struggle to pray as we’d like. And yet there is no avoiding the fact that Scripture insists God has hard-wired the universe in such a way that He works primarily through prayer.” – “Why You are Too Busy Not to Pray”

10. “To accomplish anything extraordinary you must blend desire for the goal with the will to take action to achieve it. This is how you commit to making yourself do what’s right, whether you feel like it or not. The key is self-control.” – Everything You Need

To learn more about Dr. David Jeremiah and his ministry, check out these helpful resource links:

For current articles and insights by Dr. David Jeremiah, check out his Turning Point column on

Dr. David Jeremiah’s books

Turning Point’s Mission, Vision, and Beliefs 

Dr. David Jeremiah’s Sermons 

Turning Point’s Radio Broadcast

Dr. David Jeremiah’s Blog

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Annette GriffinAnnette Marie Griffin is an award-winning author and speaker who has managed and directed children’s and youth programs for more than 20 years. Her debut children’s book, What Is A Family? released through Familius Publishing in 2020. Annette has also written curriculum for character growth and development of elementary-age children and has developed parent training seminars to benefit the community. Her passion is to help wanderers find home. She and her husband have five children—three who have already flown the coop and two adopted teens still roosting at home—plus two adorable grands who add immeasurable joy and laughter to the whole flock.

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