The Loss of a Giant

22 March 2021 |

Mourning the loss of our dear Romanian brother, Langham Scholar Corneliu Constantineanu, who lost his battle with Covid-19 on March 17, 2021.

A letter from Langham Partnership Global Ambassador and Ministry Director, Chris Wright:

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Dr Corneliu Constantineanu, in Romania. Many of us have been praying for our brother over the past few weeks since he was severely infected with Covid-19 and hospitalised in an Intensive Care Unit. On Wednesday, 17th March, we received the news that he died early that day. This is such a blow in every way – first of all, of course, to his beloved wife Ioana and their daughters Carmen and Anamaria, and also to all his colleagues and friends in the churches, seminaries and universities in Romania.

Corneliu combined the highest standards of academic excellence with deep love for the Lord and the church. He completed his doctorate in New Testament through the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in 2005. Since then he has modelled the integration of all three Langham Programmes. As a Langham Scholar he has been teaching and mentoring students tirelessly in several institutions in Romania, and most recently through pioneering significant programmes of Christian public theology at Masters and Doctoral level in the state university in Arad. He has contributed extensively to Langham Literature projects through his writings and participation in the International Research and Training Seminar and other academic and church forums in Europe and internationally.

Most importantly, he was the General Editor of the Central and Eastern European Bible Commentary, an ongoing work in progress in which his wisdom and leadership will be terribly missed. And he pioneered the Langham Preaching movement in Romania, and through his chairmanship of their committee, led it to be one of the strongest national movements in that global programme. And in recent years he shared the fruit of this commitment to all areas of Langham’s ministry as a valued member of the Langham Partnership International Council.

In all the tributes that have poured in, a common note is that people will remember Corneliu not just for what he did and accomplished, but for who he was, for his spiritual zeal, his warmth and generosity, his wide smiles and welcoming hugs, and his inimitable and infectious laugh. Like Daniel, a man greatly loved and highly esteemed.

So it is very hard indeed to bear such a loss at so many levels, or to understand the mysterious ways of the Lord. And yet, he is the same Lord who, in the book of Acts, rescued Peter from prison and death but allowed James to die by the sword, though I’m sure James’s brother John and the rest of the church prayed as fervently for James as they did for Peter. In the same way, we cannot know why the Lord has brought some of us painfully but safely through Covid to recovery and continuing ministry, while taking a dear brother such as Corneliu to be with himself so prematurely (as it may seem to us). He is the Lord. He is our Saviour and our Shepherd, and he knows and loves us all, in life or death. And nothing in life or death can separate us from that love.

Please join us in praying for Ioana, Carmen and Anamaria. And for Corneliu’s closest friends such as Marcel Mačelaru and Dani Oprean, as they carry on their shared ministry without their beloved colleague. And pray that God in his mysterious wisdom will somehow enable this event, so tragic and heart-breaking as it is for us, to bring glory to his own name through the faithful witness to Christ and God’s Word that our dear brother bore so well in so many arenas of church and society.

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” – Deuteronomy 33:27

Chris Wright, Global Ambassador and Ministry Director

We invite you to watch the video below to learn more about the preaching movement Corneliu helped launch in Romania, and meet some of the local leaders he helped mentor.