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The legacy of beverly lahaye

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a life well lived.


“Appreciating Mrs. Beverly Jean LaHaye” (Extension of Remarks – April 26, 2024) {E391-E392}

Hon. Joe Wilson of South Carolina in the House of Representatives – Friday April 26, 2024

“Mr. Speaker, today I am grateful to honor the remarkable life of Mrs. Beverly Jean LaHaye, founder, and former chairman of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the Nation’s largest public policy women’s organization. On Sunday, April 14, 2024, she passed from this life, leaving behind a legacy that will endure through the ages, shaping the lives of countless individuals. I am grateful for the profound impact Mrs. LaHaye left upon us all and her unwavering commitment to God and public ministry and offer my sympathy to her family. Included in the Congressional Record is the following obituary for Mrs. Beverly Jean LaHaye.”


Beverly Jean LaHaye

Beverly Jean Davenport was born on April 30, 1929, in Detroit, Michigan, the second daughter of Lowell and Nellie Davenport. Her father died when she was merely two years old, and her mother got remarried to a kindly neighbor man with whom she had two more children. Raised in an evangelical household, Beverly’s faith was a very important part of her life.

Beverly attended Bob Jones University, where she met ministerial student Tim LaHaye, who was an Army Air Force veteran of WWII. The two fell in love, and he was ready to propose marriage by Christmas break of their first year. They married the following summer before returning to school. Not long after, they welcomed their first child, Linda, into their family. After graduating, the young family moved to Minnetonka, Minnesota, where Tim pastored a small church, and together, they served the people of that community. Their two sons, Larry and Lee, were born there.

In 1956, they relocated to San Diego, California, to begin their ministry at Scott Memorial Baptist Church. Their youngest daughter, Lori, was born soon thereafter. Throughout their ministry together, Beverly served as an integral part of whatever God had called them to do. When the church needed a secretary, Beverly stepped up to fill the role. When the junior Sunday school department needed a director, the young pastor’s wife met the need.

During that time of life, Beverly had the opportunity to hear from a well-known Christian speaker who taught on the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit. She was introduced to the concept that walking in the Spirit meant full dependence on Christ, no matter what she was called to do. She was challenged to commit all aspects of her life … her marriage, her parenting, her fears, and her insecurities, into the hands of her Savior. This teaching changed her world.

God began to direct her steps to do more public ministry, including speaking at women’s ministry events and working alongside her husband in his ministry to married couples through Family Life Seminars. Additionally, she was challenged to write, and over the course of her life Beverly had written or co-written many books, including The Spirit-Controlled Woman, How to Develop Your Child’s Temperament, and The Desires of a Woman’s Heart. Her books were one more way she could communicate God’s truth to women on subjects that were increasingly coming under attack in the culture around her, namely womanhood, motherhood, and devotion to family.

In 1978, Beverly saw Barbara Walters’ interview with Betty Friedan, the founder of the National Organization for Women. While watching, Beverly was convicted that she must speak on behalf of millions of women who were not being represented by the feminist philosophy. Friedan’s purpose, according to LaHaye, was to promote homosexuality, abortion on demand, and thoroughly “undermine the core of American culture:  the family.”

God led Beverly to begin an organization that would provide a platform to advance conservative values in politics and policy. Concerned Women for America was launched at a rally hosted by LaHaye in a local San Diego theatre. CWA began as a local interest, but within two years, it had grown to become a national organization aimed at protecting and promoting Biblical and constitutional principles through prayer, education, and advocacy.

Believing that prayer was vital to the success of every endeavor, Beverly founded CWA on the principles of prayer and action. CWA became a fast-growing grassroots organization of conservative women and men who were challenged and educated to pray for their country and its leaders, as well as to take action in their communities, states, and even at the national level.

In 1985, Beverly moved CWA headquarters from San Diego to Washington, D.C. Both she and Tim believed this move was vital in order for CWA to have its greatest impact on the culture as the organization continued to expand. Beverly’s growing influence in the conservative movement, as well as Republicans holding a majority place in office, led to LaHaye’s prominence during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. She regularly testified in congressional hearings, including Supreme Court nomination hearings for Antonin Scalia, Robert Bork, and Clarence Thomas.

Initially, Mrs. LaHaye jumped into the debate over the Equal Rights Amendment, helping lead the opposition to it as well as advocating for the life of the unborn. As time went on, other vital family-oriented issues arose that demanded attention. She led CWA to speak out on the protection of marriage, support for Israel, gay rights, and more. Additionally, God led Beverly to add a legal defense department to CWA’s growing list of involvement as opportunities arose to be a voice on behalf of women and men embattled in the court in the areas of life, marriage, education, and freedom of religion.

During the 1980s, Beverly’s heart of compassion led her to reach out to Nicaraguan families who were displaced by the communist regime in their country. On numerous occasions, Mrs. LaHaye led teams of volunteers to the jungles of Costa Rica, where they provided much-needed aid to refugees fleeing from their own country. CWA established a refuge station in the jungle which provided clothes, food, education, medical assistance, and, most importantly, hope to these struggling people.

The influence of CWA has spread throughout the country, with chapters in almost every state. As chair and founder, Beverly hosted an award-winning radio talk show and appeared in numerous media interviews. Beverly would not hesitate to accept the opportunity to be the voice of Christian women on national television, often in direct debate against some of the leading feminist and pro-choice voices of the day. She always conducted herself with grace and dignity and spoke truth with strength and clarity.

Throughout her years in leadership, Beverly has received many awards, including Christian Woman of the Year, the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Religious Freedom Award,” as well as “Talk Show of the Year” in 1993 for the Beverly LaHaye Live radio program. In 1994, she was honored by the U.S. House of Representatives for service to her country, and in 2016, she was recognized by the Faith and Freedom Coalition with the “Winston Churchill Lifetime Achievement Award.” Most recently, in 2023 Beverly was named one of the 50 greatest pro-life leaders in the past 50 years.

Mrs. LaHaye retired from her role as President of CWA in 2006. She and Tim returned to Southern California, where they were closer to family. She continued to serve as Chairman of the board for CWA until her retirement in 2020. In addition, she continued to accept speaking engagements and served on various boards for Christian colleges and organizations. Well into her eighties, Beverly still loved to be a voice in the cause and to educate future generations of Christian activists.

Throughout her life, Beverly’s family was very important to her. She invested in them personally and prayerfully. While her life was very busy, whenever possible, she tried to carve out time to visit her children and grandchildren wherever they were living. She organized family trips and opportunities for them all to be together.

In 2016, Beverly lost the love of her life, Tim, to a stroke at the age of 90. They had been married for 69 years. He was her greatest champion, her encourager, and true soulmate. Ten months later, her son, Lee, also passed away. It was a year of incredible loss for her. She took great solace in the company of her remaining children, nine grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.

Beverly LaHaye was not born into privilege nor blessed with extraordinary skills and abilities. Her life is a beautiful demonstration of what God can do with a person who is fully devoted to Him. She was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ all the days of her life and God used her in extraordinary ways to make a difference in the world around her.

Awards and Acknowledgments

1984 – Named Christian Woman of the Year

1988 – Named Church Woman of the Year

1988 – Began the “Beverly LaHaye Live” Radio Program

1990 – Received the “Gold Award” for 596,164 books sold of “The Spirit-Controlled Woman” by Harvest House Publishers

1991 – Received the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Religious Freedom Award”

1992 – Received the House of Hope’s third annual “House of Hope Humanitarian Award.” Award given to  Dr. and Mrs. LaHaye

1992 – Received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Liberty University for her lifetime achievement in protecting the rights of the family.

1993 – Awarded “Talk Show of the Year” for the “Beverly LaHaye Live” Radio Program

1994 –Honored by the U.S. House of Representatives Values Action Team for service to her country

2005 – Designated along with Dr. Tim LaHaye as the “Christian Power Couple” as a part of the “Time Magazine 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.”

2016 – Received the “Winston Churchill Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Faith & Freedom Coalition

2023 – Honored as one of the 50 greatest pro-life leaders of the last 50 years – Legacy of Life 2023

Mrs. LaHaye  served on the Board of Directors of the following:
Concerned Women for America

Liberty University

Childcare International

International Right to Life Federation

Operation Mercy Ministries

Center for Military Readiness (Board of Advisors)

National Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters

Council for National Policy

Huckabee for President

Patrick Henry Center Advisory Board

National Advisory Council for National Institute of Family and Life Advocates