WASHINGTON (BP) -- Prison Fellowship Ministries founder Chuck Colson is near death and doctors have urged his family to gather by his bedside, according to a statement from his ministry.
Colson -- a popular Christian author and speaker -- has been hospitalized since Friday, March 30, when his speech became slurred during a conference. Doctors performed surgery the next morning, removing a pool of clotted blood from the surface of his brain. He is 80.
It was thought in the subsequent days after his surgery that his health was improving, but a statement Wednesday (April 18) from Jim Liske, CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries, said Colson's health had seriously degraded. Colson is a member of First Baptist Church in Naples, Fla.
Liske's full statement follows:
"It is with a heavy, but hopeful heart that I share with you that it appears our friend, brother, and founder will soon be home with the Lord. Chuck’s condition took a decided turn yesterday, and the doctors advised Patty and the family to gather by his bedside.
"As you know, Chuck underwent surgery more than two weeks ago to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain. And while we had seen some hopeful signs for Chuck’s recovery -- including his ability to talk happily with Patty and the kids -- it seems that God may be calling him home.
"I cannot tell you how much your prayers, cards, and well-wishes have meant to Patty and the family -- and to Chuck. He loves you all deeply, and I know that his greatest desire beyond seeing Jesus is that the work he and all of us have been called to will continue. As Chuck would say, ‘Remain at your posts and do your duty -- for the glory of God and His kingdom’
"As soon as we have more information, I will be sure to let you know. And as always, keep praying for Chuck and Patty."
The statement was posted at www.prisonfellowship.org.
Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press.