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A small plane crashed Sunday afternoon in the Bahamas, killing internationally known minister and motivational speaker Myles Munroe, his wife and several other people, Munroe's ministry said Sunday night. The Bahamian aviation ministry confirmed that there were "some fatalities" among the nine people on board.
Dave Burrows, head of youth ministries for Munroe's non-denominational Bahamas Faith Ministries International, said at a hastily convened news conference Sunday night that Munroe's wife, Ruth — also a widely known figure in international evangelical circles — and the ministry's senior vice president and pastor, Richard Pinder, were among those killed in the crash.
The Department of Civil Aviation said the Learjet 36 crashed at 5:10 p.m. ET while making a landing approach at Grand Bahama International Airport. Burrows said a small number of other people were on board the plane, along with two pilots, none of whom were immediately identified.
Munroe, 60, was an internationally known Christian preacher and motivational speaker. He frequently appeared before mass audiences at Christian events with other widely known preachers, like Bishop T.D. Jakes and Bishop Eddie Long, and he was associated during the early 2000s with the Promise Keepers movement, a Christian ministry focused on strengthening the role of men in Christian life. He wrote or co-wrote more than 100 inspirational and motivational books, many of which were best-sellers in the Caribbean and Africa.
Burrows said the plane was heading to Freeport for the Global Leadership Forum, a gathering organized by Munroe's ministry, which was scheduled to run through Thursday. The ministry said the conference would go on in a shortened form because "this is what Dr. Munroe would have wanted."
Oral Roberts University, the private evangelical college in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Munroe attended seminary, named Munroe its outstanding alumnus in 2004. In a statement Sunday night, it said the university community was "heartbroken over the loss."
"His work in extending Christ's Kingdom in our generation was exemplary and world changing," said the university's president, Billy Wilson.
Andrew Young, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who often joined Munroe at Christian forums and gatherings, said in a statement through his charitable foundation that he was deeply saddened over "the tragic death of his friends Dr. Myles and Mrs. Ruth Munroe. He offers condolences to the Monroe family and the families of the other souls who lost their lives as a result of this shocking plane crash."
The aviation ministry said it would begin a full investigation at daybreak Monday.