San Diego, CA — Dr. Morris Cerullo, world-renowned evangelist and founder of Morris Cerullo World Evangelism in San Diego, went home to be with the Lord on July 10, 2020 at the age of 88.
Dr. Cerullo, affectionately known as “Papa” to millions across the globe who were touched by his decades of personal ministry, is known for his outreaches to people in more than 400 cities, 150 nations, on 6 continents, in over 74 years of ministry.
Dr. Cerullo was born in Passaic, New Jersey, and was orphaned at the age of two. He and his four siblings were placed at the Daughters of Miriam Jewish orphanage in Clifton, New Jersey, where he lived until the age of 15.
While at the orphanage, Morris learned the Gospel of Jesus Christ from a nurse, and after heavy persecution from the staff and other students, Morris left. Almost immediately he began ministering in local churches, and at the age of 17, he received a scholarship to a Bible college in New York. By age 23, he was holding his first overseas outreach in Greece.
By the 1960s, Morris was conducting overseas meetings with hundreds of thousands in attendance. Miracles would break out as the power of God would sweep over the crowd, and thousands would give their lives to Jesus.
By the age of 30, he had one of the most successful ministries in the world, and soon began conducting Schools of Ministry to teach others how to reach their own nations with the Good News of Jesus Christ. By the time of his passing, Dr. Cerullo had personally trained more than 5 million Christian ministers face to face.
A domino effect took place. When these Christian leaders were trained, many would go on to establish ministries, churches, businesses, and organizations that help the poor, care for orphans and the homeless, and provide jobs to countless numbers of people. Millions across the world have been helped by what started as Morris’s simple obedience to God and a passion to help those in need.
Known as a Christian statesman, Dr. Cerullo has been presented with the key to San Diego and other cities in America, as well as having received letters of recognition for the work he has done in foreign countries, from mayors, presidents, and other governmental leaders.
Dr. Cerullo is also known for his humanitarian support. He has provided aid to Ethiopia, medical assistance in East Africa, and helped build multiple orphanages in Mexico. Morris and his wife, Theresa Cerullo, partnered with Tommy and Matthew Barnett to build several floors of the Los Angeles Dream Center which houses 200 women who have come out of drugs, human trafficking and prostitution.
Dr. Cerullo was awarded the Lifetime Global Impact Award at the Empower21 World Conference, a gathering of over 4,000 world ministry leaders and pastors in Jerusalem, Israel.
Few people have put as much effort, over such a long period of time, into helping those in need, as Dr. Cerullo. The fruit of his efforts has circulated the globe and will forever be cherished by the millions of lives he has touched.
In 2011, Morris purchased 18 prime acres on Hotel Circle South in Mission Valley, San Diego, California. After several years of EPA reports, architectural design changes, demolition, and city council meetings, construction began on Dr. Cerullo’s crowning jewel, the $200-million Morris Cerullo Legacy International Center.
Completed in December of 2019, Legacy is open to visitors. The presidential library contains Dr. Cerullo’s teaching materials, which are available to enrolled students. Thousands of visitors are drawn deeper into a relationship with God through this legacy of Dr. Cerullo’s life and ministry.
Located within the Legacy Center are many inspiring attractions such as the award-winning, interactive world globe and the 4-D motion seat dome theater playing the films, Walk Through The Bible, and Wings Over Israel. Children discover a world of adventure in The Legends of Lightfall area.
Visitors gain an understanding of faith, culture, and the world through the Legacy of Nations, movie Galleries, the Catacombs, and numerous ancient Bibles and artifacts. All of these movies, exhibits and displays were dear to Morris’s heart in his desire to draw others closer to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
He is survived by his precious wife of 68 years, Theresa, his children, David Cerullo and Susan Peterson, 7 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren.
Dr. Cerullo’s life can be summed up in the words of the apostle Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”