A message from our founder and Head of School Rim Hinckley
May 22, 2023
As you may know, Dr. Timothy Keller, evangelist and pastor, went to be with Jesus on May 19 after battling pancreatic cancer for three years. His impact on my life, my faith, my gospel understanding, and the founding of Geneva School would be hard to overstate.
I moved to New York City in 1989, single and focused on my teaching career. Involvement in Christian education, not to mention founding a Christian school, was not on my list of things to do. After listening to Tim's weekly preaching at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, however, I was inspired by his vision of a gospel-transformed city. This vision, based upon Jeremiah 29:4-9, would require many gospel-preaching churches, ministries, and nonprofits working together for the good of the city.
Tim knew that for families to remain in New York City and for those coming to the city for ministry purposes, affordable educational options would be a primary concern. He acknowledged the role that Geneva School played in the city's gospel movement: "Geneva School has been an enormous help and a crucial part of the current gospel movement in New York City. Without its unwavering commitment to ministry families and its generous financial aid, many of my staff and other ministry leaders would not have been able to make the transition to city ministry." (Our 25-year ministry impact report elaborates on Geneva School's role in the city's gospel movement.)
On the day of his passing, as only God could orchestrate, the five Redeemer congregations were gathered for a long-planned Redeemer Night. Tim Keller had prepared a video message for the churches, which became his final exhortation to the people he had long pastored. To the end, Tim's words proved powerful and convicting, not just for Redeemer attendees but for all Christians in New York City. I encourage you to watch the final five minutes of his address. Amid the uncertainty of pandemic aftermath, he exhorted, as he always had, that we:
1. Live on the "razor's edge" of engaging the city while maintaining Christian distinctiveness (Jeremiah 29),
2. Invest in the city instead of being a consumer of it (Jeremiah 32), and
3. Forget about our reputation instead of seeking to make a name for ourselves (Jeremiah 45:5).
I will always be grateful for God bringing Tim and Kathy Keller to New York City and for their faithful gospel proclamation. Tim's messages continue to inspire me, and after 34 years as a New Yorker, I love the city and desire to see future generations of New Yorkers become leaders in scholarship, virtue, and faith.