In Memoriam: Ambassador Founder, Al Sanders

NRB | November 9, 2021 | Member News

Al Sanders, founder of Ambassador Advertising Agency died on Sunday morning Nov. 7 at the age of 94.

“His life was dedicated to Christian service, founding Ambassador in 1959 to support Christian radio,” Ambassador said in a tribute to Sanders. “His legacy impacted thousands upon thousands as the one who introduced listeners to communicators such as Chuck Swindoll, Joni Eareckson Tada, Chuck Colson, Max Lucado, and many others.”

His voice was also familiar to many as he hosted many of the broadcasts.

After graduating from Biola University, Sanders spent 17 years there involved in the outreach of “The Biola Hour” and leading public relations efforts. In 1969 he launched the telecast “Day of Discovery,” which he hosted and produced. His work in championing the efforts of Christian communications was unfailing, including many years in leadership at NRB. He was inducted into the NRB Hall of Fame in 1997 a decade after receiving the Award of Merit in 1987. He also received the Milestone Award in 1994 and went on to receive the William Ward Ayer Award in 2004. For many years, NRB held a scholarship award contest named in Sanders’ honor for iNRB students, recognizing excellence in creative thought and composition.

“Al Sanders’ life epitomizes a life well-lived in service to his Savior and Lord,” NRB CEO Troy A. Miller said. “The significant role he played in getting so many started in Christian broadcasting is unmatched. The total focus of his life was on the spread of the gospel, and he now enjoys knowing the unspeakable joy of being with his Lord.”

Sanders worked to create deep trust and respect in all of his relationships within the Christian radio industry, committing to pay every media bill, whether or not the client had yet paid his agency, and integrity was the hallmark of the agency since its founding. The agency’s name reflected its mission—to be “Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Under Sanders’ leadership, Ambassador celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2019.

“Al was ever creative, humorous, generous, attentive, compassionate, and always unswerving in his spiritual commitment,” the Ambassador team said of Sanders. “Though he’d be quick to deflect such a compliment, he was a gifted Bible teacher whose study—and special brand of humor—was always evident in each message whether for Ambassador staff devotions or from the pulpit.”

In his later years, Sanders regularly taught the “Closer Walk” group at Fullerton Evangelical Free Church.

Sanders’ accomplishments and impact on Christian communicators was superseded by his unending dedication as husband to Margaret for 73 years, as dad to Peggy, Sharon, and Jim, as grandfather to Heather, Jimmy, Katie, Ben, Kristine, and Kim, and as great-grandfather to Rachel and Josiah, Abby, Emmy, and Stephen.

Click here for details about the memorial service for Sanders.

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