South Florida says goodbye to ‘Musicianary’ Bobby Michaels

Bobby Michaels, a popular Christian recording artist from West Palm Beach, recently passed away while ministering in Cambodia.

Michaels touched the lives of many people over the years through his music and his missions Life called Musicianaries.

Musicianaries served Christian musicians and church worship leaders in the world’s poorest countries, even venturing into countries known to be hostile to the Gospel. From North Korea to Cuba to Cambodia, Michaels brought the Gospel and tangible, physical relief to those in need.

On March 31, 2009, Michaels passed away when his heart stopped shortly after surgeons began to operate on him in a Bangkok hospital. Michaels suffered a severe heart attack while ministering at a conference for pastors in Cambodia. Michaels was buried in a private family ceremony on Good Friday, April 11.

About 150 pastors from the Cambodian countryside were gathered for a conference where Michaels was a keynote speaker. Michaels had incredible compassion for pastors in Cambodia. Most were either a victim or conspirator during Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge reign of terror from 1975–1979. Michaels directed the pastors to think of the sins they thought that God could not or had not forgiven.

Next, he asked them to write down those offenses and carry them to the front of the room where a wooden cross stood. The sins were tacked to the cross. One by one, Michaels took the papers off the cross and placed them in a bon fire that had been prepared outside. Michaels reminded each person that because of the Cross, they were separated from their sins. Their sins were no longer theirs.

Then Michaels fainted.

He was transported to a Phnom Penh hospital four hours away.

There, his friends were informed that only 30 percent of his heart was functioning and that he was in shock. To receive the necessary care, Michaels needed to be transported to a hospital in either Singapore or Thailand.

In Thailand, a clot was removed and his arteries were opened with stents, but further surgery was needed. A few days later, he was taken into surgery and his heart stopped. Doctors worked for 45 minutes to resuscitate him. But Michaels was gone.

His life and testimony inspired many people to become missionaries or to send missionaries abroad, and he taught many people to effectively influence other cultures for Jesus Christ.

On, Tuesday, April 16, a memorial service was held for Michaels at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens. Pastor Dan Plourde, Michael’s close friend and pastor, officiated the service.

Plourde began, “We’re here to say goodbye to Bobby Michaels. But it’s not really goodbye.”

“Bobby had a real sense that something big was going to happen on his next trip to Southeast Asia. He had a sense of excitement,” added Jim McClandiss, a Musicianaries board member. “Bobby helped people discover that life begins when you begin to give your life away.”

“Bobby was a servant. Even when he led – especially when he led, he was a servant,” Plourde said as he closed the service.

Michaels went home to be with the Lord doing what he loved most: Serving Him.

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