John MacArthur, 83, says he is doing well and is recovering from a health scare that has prevented him from preaching since Sunday, Jan. 1. That morning, MacArthur preached the first service at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, but was unable to preach the second.
“I had a measure of good health,” said MacArthur on the May 8 edition of his Grace to You broadcast, where he shared that he had been in the habit of playing golf prior to the incident. Then, “in one day I became an old man.”
John MacArthur Reflects on Health Scare
At the beginning of the May 8 broadcast, Pastor John MacArthur described to host Phil Johnson what had happened to him the morning of New Year’s Day. “I was preaching at Grace Church on Jan. 1,” he said, “and as I got up to give the sermon in the first service—we have two duplicate services—I just felt like I couldn’t get my breath. That had never happened to me before.”
MacArthur continued, “I think I said to the congregation, ‘Just give me a minute to catch my breath.’ And that, that was kind of shocking. So at that point, I began to feel a little bit better and I went ahead and preached for 50 minutes.”
The pastor finished the first service and went to his office to wait for the next service. However, his elders and some doctors met him there and told him, “You’re done. We’re pulling you out of the game. You don’t get to play the second half.” MacArthur said medical personnel took his blood pressure and “determined that I had some kind of atrial fibrillation and they took me to the emergency hospital.”
In a statement the next day, GCC said:
Many of you are praying for Pastor John’s health due to his absence from the pulpit during the second service. We are pleased to report that he is doing well. He saw a doctor on Sunday afternoon and he is in good health, and just needs rest from a busy holiday week. Thank you for your continued prayers for Pastor John.
On Jan. 13, MacArthur had surgery to clear blockages in the arteries of his heart. “The upshot of it all,” he said, “was they put four stents in my arteries that were blocked 80% or 90%. And the good news is the doctors said, ‘You didn’t have a heart attack and you have a very strong heart. And your heart is now like the heart of a 16-year-old.’”
“So I was thankful to the Lord that there was no damage done to my heart,” said the pastor, “and that they were able to remedy the situation.”