Iconic local pastor, Ed Dobson, dies after battle with ALS

Posted at 3:52 PM, Dec 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-28 15:52:10-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Ed Dobson, former Senior Pastor at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, passed away on Saturday, December 26, after a long battle with ALS.

Dobson was well-known in religious circles throughout the U.S., and rose to prominence in the 1980s while he served in a leadership role with the Moral Majority, the evangelical political organization led by Reverend Jerry Falwell.

Dobson became pastor at Calvary Church in 1987, and his national profile grew in 1993, when he was named “Pastor of the Year” by the Moody Bible Institute.  He was diagnosed with ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2000.

As Senior Pastor at Calvary, Dobson often spoke to huge congregations of up to 5,000 people.  His life has been chronicled in “Ed’s Story,” a seven-film series about hope.

Dobson’s passing was noted Monday by current Calvary Senior Pastor Jim Samra, in a Facebook post to the congregation.  The funeral will be held Thursday, December 31, at 11:00 a.m. in the Calvary Church sanctuary, with a private burial following.

Samra also says there will be no visitation prior to or reception following the service. The family has requested privacy, and asks that people refrain from contacting them directly.