Posted on February 6, 2022 A Tribute to Dr. Ray Bakke

A Tribute to Dr. Ray Bakke

Benjamin Chan

February 6, 2022


Our dear friend and professor, and former International Ministries Consultant Dr. Ray Bakke rested in the Lord on Feb 4, 2022. I am sharing with you a tribute to Ray in my Facebook:

I mourn the passing of Dr. Ray Bakke, my teacher, mentor, pastor and friend who had enlightened my understanding of urban and global mission, and shaped my work with American Baptist International Ministries (IM) of the last 30 years. When I started my service with IM, the late Executive Director Dr. John Sundquist arranged an intensive missiology study for several IM new staff and me, which started my journey with Ray. I do not need to explain how Ray always astounded and excited us with his deep theological knowledge and reflection , and amazing articulation to relate and apply his insights to concrete political, social and cultural contexts. I enjoyed most following him in urban study tours – my first one to the Philippines, as well as Bakkian gatherings in his home in Seattle where he walked us through mission history stations in his garden. Last August, learning about Ray’s health situation, Dr. David Ngai of Hong Kong and I really wanted to cheer him up, and we asked for a Zoom meeting with Ray. Not a surprise, Ray continued to touch our souls with his trust and peace in God, and celebration of friendship and many joyful memories. In November, Ray responded to a Mission Express I sent to my IM network, “Our world mission commitments convinced me to become American Baptist many decades ago; then I met (late) Marion Baer who epitomized our work for so long. Thank you all for what you do in the Kingdom for so many, Ben .…” Ray also sent me the link to his recent Reformation Day message “Presenting Luther to Lutherans”, and said in the email, “It was a fun experience.” Dear Ray, it was a fun and joyful experience with you, my teacher-friend. I miss you.

*Ray’s message on Presenting Luther to Lutherans can be founded in

*Ray’s final sermon A Special Christmas Message preached at Every Nation Church on Dec 19, 2021 in Seattle can be found in

*Ray Bakke Missio Nexus Lifetime Service Award 2014 video:

*Ray Bakke led Bible Study in the IM World Mission Conference in 1999

Part 1: (introduced by John Sundquist)

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Speaker introduction:

Ray is world renowned as a minister and educator who has devoted his life  to helping the church love the cities as God loves them. Cities and students all over the world have benefited from his mentoring. Ray is author of Street  Signs: A New Direction in Urban Ministry and two urban ministry classics: The Urban Christian and A Theology as Big as the City. He is also author of The Expanded Mission of City Center Churches and A Biblical Word for an Urban World.  Ray founded International Urban Associates (IUA) in 1989. IUA animated a  network of more than 100 urban-based church and missions leaders in many of the  largest cities of the world.