Dr. David Blair, International Director of Youth and Discipleship for the Church of God, passed away on Sunday, March 21, 2021, in a Chattanooga, Tenn. hospital. He was 56.
The following statement was given by Dr. David M. Griffis, Church of God World Missions General Director, “Church of God World Missions, in 185 countries around the world, mourn the passing of our friend, our partner in the Great Commission, and our colleague in ministry, Dr. David Blair. Our partnership in missions is a long-standing one of six decades between Youth and Discipleship and World Missions, and Dr. Blair embraced this partnership through YWEA, ministering to schools, orphanages, and church training centers around the globe, as well as his work with the European Theological Seminary and his work in Israel. We will miss our friend. The thoughts and prayers of the Church of God around the world are with his wife Janet, his children Britanni and Bruce, and his daughter-in-law, KaLea, and his grandson, Charlie, as well as his sister Mollie and his father, Reverend Charles Blair. The world is a better place because David Blair ministered here.”
Dr. Blair was elected to his current position at the Church of God General Assembly in 2016. He served as Assistant Director the previous four years from 2012-2016. Dr. Blair worked closely with Church of God World Missions at the State and International level through the Youth World Evangelism Action, an annual initiative to build much-needed buildings in chosen international arenas. YWEA has long served the Church of God in projects that required large amounts of money to complete. His earlier participation in YWEA happened as a young person at the West Green Church of God in Georgia with an effort to raise money for a project … a mission for youth then that became a lifelong ministry. Notably, in 2014, the YWEA challenge was to “Ignite the African Firewall,” and more than $850,000 was raised by Church of God students. “Israel—Heart for the Homeland” was the selected project in 2015, coinciding with the Israel Initiative launched by World Missions, receiving over 1.4 million dollars. YWEA and David Blair’s leadership is an example of the success of a common goal and the resource of young people of the Church of God.
Under the leadership and guidance of Dr. Blair, Youth Ministry in many countries has undergone a resurgence. Teen Talent has grown to include many countries outside of continental North America. The Caribbean and Europe have worked to send delegates to be involved. He also worked to communicate with a growing number of Youth Pastors in other countries. He was quick to bring expertise and talent to many international venues for youth. Not only did he visit and uphold those involved in youth and children’s ministries, but he made arrangements to equip them with the tools they needed. He was on the frontline of bringing youth ministry to a place of practical application and involvement in many countries.
When the name David Blair is spoken or thought about, it brings with it an insurmountable wave of respect and acclaim for the life he lived among those he served. David was a friend to everyone and a strong Christian influence. He truly “lived” Christ. To know David Blair was to know the heart of God … an international heartbeat for the youth of the world!