ESCONDIDO, Calif. (AP) - Harald Bredesen, a Lutheran minister who helped shape the ministry of evangelist Pat Robertson and spread a form of evangelical praise known as "speaking in tongues," died Friday. He was 88.
Bredesen died at Palomar Hospital from complications following a fall at his home on Tuesday, said Tom Gilbreath, Bredesen's longtime assistant.
Bredesen befriended evangelist Pat Robertson while they both lived in New York in the late 1950s. Robertson credits Bredesen with leading him into a charismatic Christian experience known as "Baptism in the Holy Spirit," after which Robertson began to speak in the exuberant prayer language popular among Pentecostal Christians.
"He served the Lord in a global ministry leading many into the fullness of the Holy Spirit and set an example for us all in his boldness and perpetual joy," Robertson said in a statement Friday. "He was a dear friend and beloved brother in Christ."
Bredesen was a founding board member of Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network and hosted its long-running program "Charisma."
He is credited with helping to spread the charismatic movement, which has hundreds of millions of adherents today across several Christian denominations.
Bredesen was also friends with singer Pat Boone and was helped with the founding of the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
He also wrote several influential books, including "Yes, Lord" and "Need a Miracle?"
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Genevieve and their children Dagni, Margaret, Christopher and David.
Funeral services were being planned, Gilbreath said.
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