WILLMAR -- Lowell Lundstrom, founder of Lowell Lundstrom Ministries and Celebration Church, died Friday at age 72 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.
Lundstrom was among the pioneers in the use of multimedia for religious evangelism. Over a 55-year career, his ministry reached millions and brought an estimated one million people to Christ.
For many years he and his family crisscrossed the United States, spreading the gospel message through music, books, preaching, crusades and television and radio programs. Their weekly half-hour telecast was at one time taped in a studio in Willmar and broadcast on nearly 60 stations in the U.S. and Canada.
He was born Nov. 28, 1939, in Minneapolis. He moved with his family to Peever, S.D., and grew up on the family farm in the 1940s.
A prolific musician and writer, Lundstrom penned more than 600 gospel songs, produced 60 music albums and wrote 15 books. He was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2005.
His ministry was a family affair that involved his wife, Connie, who was also a musician, and their four children, as well as Lundstrom's brothers Larry and Leon and their families. The family appeared in many hour-long television specials and was especially known for their annual primetime Christmas program. Their signature show, "The Lundstroms," aired weekly for 12 years, reaching millions in the United States and Canada.
In 1996 Lowell and Connie Lundstrom founded Celebration Church in Lakeville. They made their home in Savage. Connie Lundstrom died this past December, seven months before her husband's death.
Surviving relatives include their four children: the Rev. Londa Lundstrom Ramsey, who now heads Celebration Church; Lisa Lundstrom; Lowell Lundstrom Jr.; Lance Lundstrom; five grandchildren; two stepgrandchildren; and other relatives.
The funeral is at 1 p.m. Friday at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Lakeville. An additional service will be held at 2 p.m. July 31 at the Sisseton Fine Arts Center in Sisseton, S.D., near where Lundstrom and his wife grew up and where they launched their ministry in 1957.