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Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019)

July 2019

Betty and Warren Wiersbe
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Born in Chicago, Warren was the youngest of four. In 1945, aged fifteen, Warren was converted after hearing Billy Graham preach at a Youth for Christ rally.

He then aspired to honour Christ by preaching the gospel, teaching God’s Word and building up the church.

While studying at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (graduating in 1953), Warren met his future wife, Betty.

Central Baptist Church, Chicago called Warren to their pastorate in 1950. He also worked for Youth for Christ in Wheaton, Illinois, editing their magazine and taking part in rallies.

In the 1960s, Warren served at Calvary Baptist Church in Covington, Kentucky. He also wrote a weekly Sunday school curriculum, eventually becoming the Be series Bible commentaries.

In 1971, Warren started pastoring Moody Memorial Church, Chicago. In 1978, he left to pursue writing and Bible conference ministry. While at Moody Church, Warren was the speaker on the church’s radio program, Songs in the Night.

Dr Theodore Epp of Back to the Bible radio ministry came to know Warren and involved him in the ministry, leading the Wiersbes to move to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1982.

Warren enjoyed radio ministry and was effective at crafting the message to fit the medium. He participated in live radio: discussing books, answering callers’ questions and providing a Christian perspective on current events.

Warren left Back to the Bible in 1992 to focus on writing and conference speaking. He completed the Be series in 2002, a thirty-year project.

As well as producing devotional and doctrinal studies, Warren also wrote about pastoral work, preaching, worship, the Christian imagination, and grief and suffering. His canon extended to over 170 titles.

His ministry was global. As well as teaching at many Christian seminaries and schools, Warren spoke at conferences worldwide. He particularly enjoyed British events where he could visit churches connected with his spiritual heroes.

Warren will be remembered as a student of God’s Word, a careful exegete and a creative, powerful preacher. He was also a mentor and a Christian example to many.

He kept his family life private, but he was a good-humoured and devoted husband to Betty for 66 years. He was also a wonderful father of four, a grandfather of eight and a great-grandfather of twelve.

Warren died peacefully and entered heaven’s joy on 2 May. His work has ended, but its influence remains. To God alone be the glory.

David Wiersbe

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