Evangelist Mickey Bonner dies while preaching

HOUSTON (BP)--Southern Baptist evangelist Mickey Bonner died June 5 while preaching at an annual meeting in Knoxville, Tenn., of a national home school group.

Bonner, 65, was a speaker at the week-long meeting of the Advanced Training Institute Conference held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The ATI is the home education division of Bill Gothard's Institute in Basic Life Principles.

Apparently a victim of a heart attack, Bonner's topic for the evening message was "Prayer: The Force that Moves the Hand of God." After an introduction by Gothard, Bonner was speaking to more than 14,000 people when he slumped to the floor.

Observers said Bonner just finished saying, "We must learn to pray with the mind of Christ and it comes only when we humble ourselves before him. It comes only when we are broken."

According to the Mickey Bonner Evangelistic Association's Houston office, Bonner was a member of Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston.

Funeral services will be June 10 at the Champion Forest church. A Mickey Bonner Memorial Fund has been established at Nations Bank in Houston.

Bonner is survived by his wife, Margaret; two grown children, Cynthia and Mickey II, and their spouses; and two grandchildren.

He attended the University of Houston; Logos Bible College and Graduate School, where he received his doctor of ministry degree; and received an honorary degree from Linda Vista College and Seminary in California.

Bonner began his ministry as a music director for Spring Baptist Church, Houston. He was also on staff at Airline Drive Baptist Church, Houston, and organized and pastored the Lazybrook Baptist Church, also in Houston.

The Mickey Bonner Evangelistic Association, with an office also in the Philippines, was organized in the late 1950s. Bonner had spoken in more than 2,000 meetings, conferences and seminars. A speaker on a number of Christian radio and television broadcasts, Bonner wrote 14 books and recorded hundreds of cassette tapes.

A spokesman said Bonner's focus had been on spiritual warfare prayer and brokenness seminars.

"He emphasized 'brokenness' as a hidden factor of answered prayer," the spokesman added.