Dr. Ogbu U. Kalu (1942-2009) passed away on Wednesday, January 7, 2009, at age 66 from complications from pneumonia. He had served as a faculty member at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago since 2001. He also served as the director of the Center for Global Ministry. Dr. Kalu is respected internationally for his scholarship and church leadership, and his death is a great loss to many around the world.
Kalu had been a member of the Society for Pentecostal Studies for several years and was a prominent scholar of Pentecostalism in Africa. At the time of his death he was the Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity and Mission at McCormick Theological Seminary.
Kalu came to McCormick in 2001 from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he had served as Professor of Church History for over 25 years. Holding an M.Div. from Princeton and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, he became a visiting professor at several institutions, including Harvard, University of Bayreuth, University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Edinburgh, University of Pretoria, and the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Seoul.
He authored or edited 16 books, including Power, Poverty and Prayer: The Challenges of Poverty and Pluralism in African Christianity, 1960-1996, History of the Church in the Third World: Vol. III, and African Christianity: An African Story. He also edited and published more than 150 articles in journals and books. In October 2008, Dr. Kalu was honored at the 26th Annual meeting for the Association of Third World Studies as one of two winners of the Toyin Falola Award for the best book on Africa published during 2007-2008. This was for his most recent book, African Pentecostalism: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2008).
Dr. Kalu was not only a world-class scholar but also a man of deep Christian faith and conviction. He served as an elder in the Presbyterian Church in his home country of Nigeria. He also held various national leadership positions in the denomination including membership on the General Assembly Board of Faith and Order. As a resident of Chicago, Dr. Kalu was a member of Progressive Community Center – The People’s Church, where he worshiped regularly and taught adult education classes
Dr. Ogbu is survived by his wife, Dr. Wilhelmina J. Kalu, and four children.
Posted by Glenn Gohr