(Editor's Note: This article was published first in the June 2022 edition of The Stand.)
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body — Philippians 3:20-21 (NKJV).
“Dan Celia was a faithful servant of the Lord, a dear brother and friend, and an extraordinary ministry partner to AFA for 12 years,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon. “His passing is a loss for us, but a victory for him as he no longer suffers.”
Celia was founder, president, and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries (FISM) and host of Financial Issues talk show on American Family Radio. An FISM press release reported that he “passed away and entered into glory on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. Dan won his battle over long-term health issues as the Lord ushered him into his eternal home.”
Celia came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the ministry of Charles Stanley. In the ensuing years, his Christian journey mirrored well the persistence and earnest focus of the character named Christian in John Bunyan’s classic The Pilgrim’s Progress. Celia was, indeed, a pilgrim whose progress was certain and steady.
“I have a great hunger for God’s Word,” Celia said in a 2011 interview for AFA Journal/The Stand. His faith was the unshakable foundation for all that he pursued. And he challenged all Christians to apply biblical principles to every facet of life including daily spending, personal budgets, and charitable giving. For him, tithing to one’s local church should be the minimum for giving; generosity beyond the tithe is imperative too.
“I want [radio] listeners to know that giving is an act of worship,” he said in that same interview.
A message posted by FISM on April 1 characterized Celia as “steadfast in his service to Christ, love of family, and pride in America.”
After serving six years in the military, he treasured the freedoms available to U.S. citizens to launch creative and challenging careers. With his acute gifts in finance and business, he worked for 35 years as an entrepreneur and businessman, started eight corporations, and was co-founder of two others.
He developed a biblically responsible system of financial management with great success. Subsequently, applied to his ministry as a financial counselor, he urged all Christians to investigate and make sure their savings, IRAs, 401(k)s, and business ventures are invested in biblically sound companies – companies that do not support morally or financially the radical progressive forces that assault all things that are based on Christian truths.
“Dan Celia may be AFA’s biggest cheerleader,” Wildmon once said. “And we return the favor – we think Dan is incredible. He is a man of God, and his integrity is solid. We’re grateful for his partnership with AFA.”
“Dan was our AFA Foundation advisor,” added Wriley Wildmon, director of the foundation. “But he was more than that. He was a close friend. I am heartbroken by our loss, but his wisdom and insights will continue to help us press forward serving our constituents.”
Celia’s family includes his wife Yvonne, their two daughters and sons-in-law, and eight grandchildren (photo above). In a post by FISM, Yvonne wrote, “My family and myself would like to personally thank each and every one of you for your support, love, and most of all, prayers that we have felt so powerfully over the past six weeks. I know that Dan – through the Lord’s still, small voice – heard them
AFA urges readers and AFR listeners to continue to pray for the Celia family.