Pastor and author Tim Keller hospitalized; family asks for prayer

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


The family of author and pastor Dr. Tim Keller has asked for prayer with the announcement on Tuesday that he had been hospitalized due to complications from his cancer treatment. 

“A brief health update on my Dad: After being released from the hospital on Saturday, he returned late Sunday night to receive additional care,” Keller’s son, Michael Keller, announced on social media. “Please continue to pray for his recovery.”

Dr. Keller’s wife, Kathy Keller, had tweeted only three days prior that her husband had been released from the hospital and was resting at home.  

“Tim is out of the hospital and recovering at home after complications from his treatment,” she wrote on Saturday. “Please continue to pray during this slow recovery.” 

Dr. Keller, whom the Christian Post has referred to as “one of the most influential pastors of the last several decades,” was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in May 2020, according to a Church Leaders report. The following month, he began a chemotherapy regimen that initially yielded positive results.

“Our situation has driven us to seek God’s face as we never [have] before,” Keller said in an update on Aug. 28, 2020. 

“He is giving us more of his sensed presence, more freedom from our besetting sins, more dependence on his Word — things that we had sought for years, but only under these circumstances are we finding them,” he said. 

Nine months later in April 2021, Keller announced that new tumors had developed, prompting doctors to adjust his immunotherapy treatment plan.

Keller underwent successful surgery for the removal of several nodules the following month but reported in September that his doctors had discovered another cancerous lump.

In November, Keller announced that his cancer treatments were again showing promising results and that he was tolerating them well. 

“Most people are gone within months or a year; I’m still going strong and I’m going into two-and-a-half years,” he told the Christian Post at the time, adding “I’m very, very grateful to God.” 

Keller, a survivor of thyroid cancer, has remained upbeat throughout his treatments, saying that his health struggles have brought him and Kathy closer to the Lord than either could have imagined.

“We never want to go back spiritually where we were before the cancer diagnosis,” Keller said in a December 2020 interview with Christian Leaders. 


The Keller family has received an outpouring of encouragement from supporters around the world.

“Praying for your father and all his loved ones. It is difficult to see someone you care about going through this,” one Twitter user wrote in response to the family’s request for prayer. “We recently lost our 18-year-old son to cancer and your father’s teachings helped us so much through his illness and still continue to strengthen us. Sending him love.”

“We all love your dad so dearly,” another wrote. “He has spread blessings far and wide, and we join you in your journey.”

“Praying for you all here in England,” said one user. 

Keller, 72, is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He has been a leading proponent of planting churches in urban areas through his Redeemer City to City ministry. 

Keller also co-founded The Gospel Coalition which in February launched The Keller Center for Cultural Apologetics initiative aimed at helping Christian leaders and young believers share the Gospel of Christ in a “post-Christendom culture.” 

He is also a bestselling author whose books have sold more than 3 million copies. 

FISM will continue to monitor this story for updates.