2014 Alumnus of the Year Award
- February 12, 2014
Dr. Harold Willmington, a 1955 graduate of Moody Bible Institute and dean of the Willmington School of the Bible at Liberty University, was named the 2014 Alumnus of the Year by Moody's Alumni Association .
The award was announced at The Moody Church during the Tuesday, Feb. 5, evening session of Moody Bible Institute's annual Founder's Week conference. The annual award honors a graduate who has "demonstrated loyalty to the Kingdom of Christ through honorable character, ardent service and accountability to the Word of God."
"Moody Bible Institute is proud to honor Dr. Willmington with the 2014 Alumnus of the Year award," said Nancy Hastings who presented Dr. Willmington with the award. Hastings serves as the executive director of Moody's Alumni Association. "We are deeply grateful to the Lord for his dedication to the Word of God, his love for the body of Christ and his faithfulness to train believers in kingdom work. Dr. Willmington has served the Lord well and it's our prayer that his ministry will continue to bear fruit for the glory of God."
Dr. Willmington was born on April 7, 1932, in Patterson, Ill., and was the oldest of four children. He received Christ as a teen while attending Logan Street Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, Ill., and at the age of 20 he came to Moody Bible Institute in 1952. After receiving his diploma in 1955, he entered full-time ministry and served as a pastor in central Illinois. For the next 10 years he served several local congregations in Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana.
During that time he married Sue Ransom on April 15, 1961, and began attending seminary as well. The couple welcomed their son, Matt, on December 28 the following year. Almost 10 years later Dr. Elmer Towns invited him to visit Liberty University, a new school in Virginia. In 1972 Dr. Willmington lectured on the life of Christ. Shortly after, he was offered a position at the school, but initially declined because he felt that he was called to serve as a pastor. After months of prayer he accepted the position in June 1972.
While teaching at Liberty University, Dr. Willmington began compiling personal notes on each book of the Bible and the major doctrines of the Christian faith. These would later become one of the bestselling guides to the Bible- Willmington's Guide to the Bible . He has written 20 additional books and has also served as a contributing editor to several Bibles such as The Topical Study Bible and the Daily Devotional Bible .
In 1976 he helped co-found the Liberty Home Bible Institute with Dr. Jerry Falwell to provide a distance learning opportunity for those in ministry or seeking to enter into ministry. Today, more than 100,000 students around the world have been trained through this program. Before his passing, Dr. Falwell requested that the name of the Institute be changed to the Willmington School of the Bible.
Dr. Willmington and his wife, Sue, have three grandchildren-Nathan, Carissa and Abigail. In April they will celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary.