Floyd McClung, International Missions Leader and Author, Dies at 75
Floyd Lee McClung, Jr., global missions leader, bestselling author and international speaker, died on Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa, after an extended illness he had battled since 2016, and which had left him incapacitated, hospitalized and unable to speak for over five years. He was 75.
In his more than 50 years in full-time ministry, McClung lived in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, worked on every continent except Antarctica, and authored 18 books, including the international bestseller The Father Heart of God.
A tireless traveler and speaker, McClung spoke and lectured on over 100 college and university campuses, traveled to more than 190 countries, made dozens of TV appearances, and saw his life and work featured in countless publications, including Time magazine and The New York Times.
McClung was born in Long Beach, California, on August 3, 1945, to Floyd Sr. and Enetha McClung, who preceded him in death. He is survived by Sally, his wife of 54 years; daughter Misha Thompson; grandchildren Kezia and Luke Thompson; son Matthew McClung; brother Alan and wife Patricia McClung, their daughter and two grandchildren; sister Judy and husband Jim Orred, their two daughters and two grandchildren.
After spending his freshman year at Taylor University in Indiana, McClung transferred to Southern California College (now Vanguard University) in 1964, where he was elected student body president and named captain of the basketball team. He graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in New Testament Studies.
McClung first joined Youth With A Mission (YWAM) on missions trips during school breaks from college. On a 1965 spring break outreach in Las Vegas, Nevada, he met his future wife Sally. They got engaged in 1966 in Jamaica.
Because dating was not permitted on outreaches, Floyd proposed to Sally by handing her a note while standing in line for refreshments after a meeting. She responded with a note of her own the following day. They married the next year, and celebrated their honeymoon by leading a missions trip to the Caribbean.
“Our married life was full of adventure from day one,” said Sally, “although I don’t recommend a honeymoon outreach with 75 young people for everyone!”
While newly married, the McClungs traveled the country recruiting young people for summer missions trips to the Caribbean. In 1971, following a yearlong around-the-world outreach, they moved to Central Asia, where they led missional communities in India and Afghanistan along the hippie trail followed by many young Westerners.
In 1973 they moved to the Netherlands, where they led the work on the Ark, two houseboats moored behind Amsterdam’s Central Station that served as an outreach center among hippies and drug addicts.
After the Ark, McClung pioneered other ministries in the Netherlands, most famously in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, while continuing to grow in his international leadership role in YWAM. He served a total of 35 years with YWAM, including 18 years in the Netherlands and nearly eight years as YWAM’s International Executive Director.
YWAM co-founders Loren and Darlene Cunningham said, “Floyd McClung was a vital foundational leader, serving for many years in YWAM. He pioneered works in Afghanistan, India, Nepal, the Netherlands, California, Colorado and other locations. His life, his teaching, his books, his leadership and his Godly influence deeply impacted YWAM. He has so much lasting fruit – both inside YWAM and among those who came to Jesus through the initiatives he led. Only eternity will reveal the depth and breadth of his legacy.”
In 1991, McClung moved back to the United States and started the first of many leadership training programs, and in 1993 Floyd and Sally co-founded All Nations, an international leadership training and church-planting network. Their vision for All Nations was “to see Jesus worshipped by all peoples of the earth, reaching the least, the last and the lost.”
Initially under the umbrella of YWAM, All Nations eventually became an independent organization and now has hundreds of full- and part-time workers in over 40 countries worldwide.
McClung left YWAM to join Metro Christian Fellowship (MCF) in Kansas City, Missouri, where he pastored from 1999-2005. Since 2006 the McClungs have lived and worked in South Africa, where they pioneered a new All Nations ministry that now sends workers across all of Africa and around the world.
Don Stephens, founder of Mercy Ships, recalled his time as McClung’s co-worker in their early years in YWAM. “Floyd McClung was a world changer of the highest order. Inside his towering 6-foot-6 frame were a heart, soul and mind of gentleness, sharpened through active listening to the issues of our generation. Floyd held a rare capacity for offering intimate friendship and trust. He inspired thousands through his prophetic speaking and writing. It was one of my life’s great privileges to have been his colleague and friend.”
In his lengthy career, McClung wrote 18 books, numerous booklets and countless introductions, forewords, essays, articles and chapters for books and other publications. His most well known title, The Father Heart of God, has sold an estimated two million-plus copies in nearly 40 languages. His other works include Living on the Devil’s Doorstep, Learning to Love People You Don’t Like, Follow and Leading Like Jesus.
“Thousands of people from all over the world can attest to the profound impact Floyd had on their lives,” said Sally. “While he has gone to be with the Lord, his voice is not silent. His books and recorded teachings will continue to inspire and challenge. His legacy continues. … The day Floyd became ill he spoke to a group of All Nations students. In what turned out to be a prophetic word, he asked them, ‘If I can’t continue, will you finish the race?’ His prayer would be that thousands will heed the call to go to the nations.”
Due to the pandemic there will be no in-person services. A memorial video tribute will be shared at a later date.
Floyd and Sally McClung’s personal website – www.floydandsally.com.
All Nations International – www.allnations.international.
All Nations Cape Town – www.all-nations.co.za.
Other inquiries: Skylar Moore – firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADDITIONAL NOTES ABOUT FLOYD McCLUNG’S LIFE
Early Life – 1945-63
Born in Long Beach, California, in 1945 to Floyd Sr., a lifelong Church of God pastor, and Enetha, McClung grew up moving every few years. The family made stops in Arizona, Kansas and Illinois before returning to California. McClung attended Chaffee High School in Ontario, California, where he was named captain of the high school basketball team.
Education – 1963-67
McClung enrolled at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, before transferring to Southern California College (now Vanguard University) in Costa Mesa, California, after his freshman year. At SCC he was elected student body president and named basketball team captain, before graduating in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in New Testament Studies.
Early Ministry Years – 1967-71
While newly married, McClung spoke at churches and college campuses across the United States, recruiting young people for summer outreaches to the West Indies, and in 1970 the McClungs led a traveling outreach team, engaging with students on university campuses around the world. While in India they learned of the needs of the thousands of young Westerners there, and began formulating plans to move to Asia.
Dilaram – Kabul, Afghanistan – 1971-73
As a young couple, the McClungs founded the network of Dilaram communal houses in Central Asia, North Africa and Europe. Starting in Afghanistan, they would eventually expand to locations in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Morocco, Spain, France, England and the Netherlands.
McClung’s first book, Just Off Chicken Street (co-written with Charles Paul Conn), chronicled their ministry among the generation of young people who followed the hippie trail through Central Asia. New York Times and Time magazine articles highlighted their work. His daughter, Misha, was born in Kabul in 1972.
YWAM the Ark – Amsterdam, the Netherlands – 1973-75
After an invitation from YWAM to use two houseboats behind Amsterdam’s Central Station – named the Ark – as an extension of their Dilaram ministry, in late 1973 the McClungs and three other staff bundled into an old, refurbished Austrian van and traveled overland from Afghanistan to the Netherlands via Iran, Turkey and Eastern Europe.
Recognizing that Western Europe served as the starting point for the hippie trail, McClung positioned the Ark as an outreach center to engage the thousands of young Western travelers coming through the city en route to Asia.
Under McClung’s leadership, the Ark gained a reputation as a place of compassion, and where people could openly discuss intellectual questions about Christianity. “It doesn’t matter to people how much you know, until they know how much you care,” was one of McClung’s favorite sayings.
Volunteers from across Europe, North America and Australasia eventually came to work on the Ark. His son, Matthew, was born in Amsterdam in 1974.
YWAM Heidebeek – Heerde, the Netherlands – 1975-80
With the success of the Ark’s ministry in Amsterdam came a growing need for trained staff. In 1975, YWAM purchased a former leprosarium named Heidebeek in the eastern part of the Netherlands to serve as both a staff training center and a rehab facility for converts, and the McClungs moved there to lead the new ministry.
However, McClung’s heart remained focused on urban missions, and several years later he relinquished his leadership at Heidebeek in order to move his family back to the city.
YWAM the Cleft – Amsterdam, the Netherlands – 1980-82
Situated between a Satanist church, a Chinese church and a 24-hour adult cinema in the middle of Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District – the most visited square kilometer in Europe – the Cleft was a community outreach center to the tens of thousands of prostitutes, pimps and drug addicts who populated the area.
Several other staff, including another family, joined the McClungs at the Cleft. While highly unusual for families to live in this neighborhood, they soon found that the children’s presence often opened peoples’ hearts to hear the Gospel.
YWAM Samaritan’s Inn – Amsterdam, the Netherlands – 1982-91
In 1980, YWAM purchased the former Salvation Army Dutch national headquarters. Located across from Amsterdam’s Central Station on the corner of the notorious and crime-ridden Zeedijk – at the time Europe’s busiest drug dealing street and home to countless dealers, addicts and thieves – the building had fallen into disrepair and become filled with squatters.
YWAM renamed the building Samaritan’s Inn and launched a massive cleanup effort and extensive renovation campaign lasting nearly two years. In 1982 the McClungs moved into an apartment there, where they remained for the duration of their time in Amsterdam.
Through countless speaking engagements and numerous appearances on local TV, McClung became known throughout the Netherlands for his work in the Red Light District, and forged a dynamic link to the Dutch church. With a heart for urban ministry, he recruited young people from around the world to serve in the city, and YWAM Amsterdam eventually grew to over 300 staff and volunteers.
While living in Amsterdam, McClung served for three years as YWAM’s Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, before being promoted to International Executive Director in 1985. During his nearly eight-year tenure, McClung helped develop YWAM’s focus on urban missions, unreached people groups and leadership training, while overseeing the mission’s 10,000-plus full-time staff, over 25,000 short-term participants, 250,000-plus annual volunteers and more than 500 operating locations in over 100 countries. He also served with Billy Graham’s Lausanne Movement.
YWAM – Idyllwild, California – 1991-93
In need of a drier climate for Sally’s health, in 1991 the McClungs moved near Idyllwild, California, where they lived and worked for over two years. During this time McClung resigned from his international role in YWAM and established the first of many leadership development and mentoring programs. He would continue mentoring young leaders for the remainder of his life.
YWAM All Nations – Stonewall, Colorado – 1993-99
Seeking a larger property, McClung moved to Stonewall, Colorado, where he founded All Nations in November 1993 and continued growing his leadership training programs, with an added emphasis on church planting. Initially under the umbrella of YWAM, All Nations later became an independent organization.
Metro Christian Fellowship / All Nations – Kansas City, Missouri – 1999-2005
In late 1999, Metro Christian Fellowship (MCF), a large church in Kansas City, Missouri, invited McClung to become their new senior pastor. During his six-year tenure, he started the Church Planting Experience (CPx) training program, while expanding the international work of All Nations from its new Kansas City headquarters. He left MCF in 2005, giving his full attention to the continued growth of All Nations.
All Nations – Cape Town, South Africa – 2006-21
Having visited South Africa dozens of times beginning in 1978, McClung fulfilled a lifelong dream in 2006, moving to Cape Town to pioneer a new All Nations ministry location. “At a time when most people would consider retiring,” said Sally, “we packed up everything, moved halfway around the world and started over!”
For the next 10 years he trained and mentored young leaders, while continuing to write, travel and speak internationally.
In February 2016, McClung became suddenly ill, ending up in intensive care in a matter of hours. He was diagnosed with a rare bacterial infection, leading to septic shock and damage to his muscles, vital organs and neural pathways.
He remained conscious but hospitalized, bedridden and unable to speak for the remaining five-plus years of his life. “While unable to use his voice, he nonetheless communicated through facial expressions and in various other ways to the many friends and family who visited him,” said Sally. “A wave of prayer began which continues to this day.”
BOOKS (18) – Date of first published edition
Just Off Chicken Street (with Charles Paul Conn) – 1975
God Roept Amsterdam (“God Calls Amsterdam”) – 1983
The Father Heart of God – 1985
Learning to Love People You Don’t Like (formerly “Father Make Us One”) – 1987
Living on the Devil’s Doorstep – 1988
Nine Worlds to Win (with Kalafi Moala) – 1988
Holiness and the Spirit of the Age – 1990
Wholehearted (adapted from the “Discipleship Series” booklets) – 1990
Seeing the City with the Eyes of God (formerly “Spirits of the City”) – 1990
Finding Friendship with God – 1992
Basic Discipleship (formerly “Wholehearted”) – 1993
Loving the God Who Loves You – 1993
God’s Man in the Family – 1994
The Healing Power of Love – 1995
Light the Window (edited by Floyd McClung) – 1999
Starting a House Church (with Larry Kreider) – 2007
You See Bones, I See an Army – 2008
Follow (formerly “Following Jesus”) – 2009
Leading Like Jesus – 2015
Welcome to the Family – 1972
The Compassion of the Father (excerpt from “The Father Heart of God”)
Lordship: Basic Discipleship (adapted from “Basic Discipleship”) – 1996
Discipleship Series Booklets – 1988
Discovering Your Destiny
How to Have Victory Over Sin
Intimacy with God
OTHER WRITINGS (quantity unknown)
– Essays and articles in magazines and periodicals
– Forewords, introductions and chapters in books
– Audio and video teachings
How to Partner With Us:
To donate in the USA:
Please send a check made out to All Nations, with a note attached saying it is for Floyd and Sally McClung, to:
All Nations Support
PO Box 55
Grandview, Missouri 64030
To donate in South Africa or from other nations:
Please send your gift via EFT (electronic funds transfer)
to our personal bank account, reference line, “your name” and email address to:
Name of account: Sally McClung
Fish Hoek branch code: 036009
Account Number: 072085681
Swift Number: SBZA ZA JJ (international transfer code)
To donate through our personal Paypal account:
Log in to your Paypal account and use the following address to donate:
Click on ‘pay or send money’ and then choose ‘send money to friends or family’
(if you don’t have a Paypal account it is very easy to set one up which is free. Click here to sign up and just follow the prompts.)
OR: to donate through All Nations click on the DONATE link below, under Select a Campaign, scroll through the list to click on McClung, Floyd & Sally – 20, then fill in your amount and click Submit, you will then be able to leave a note if you wish, then fill in your payment method, once done, click on Submit.