May 12 marks the passing of author, pastor, and editor Aiden Wilson (A. W.) Tozer. During A. W. Tozer’s forty-four year ministry, he pastored several churches and wrote more than 40 books. Although Tozer has been gone for 48 years, his words, through his books and sermons, still minister to the world today.
A Few Facts about Tozer
- As Tozer was walking home from his job one afternoon, he heard a street preacher say, “If you don’t know how to be saved . . . just call on God.” When Tozer got home, he did exactly that by going into his attic and praying.
- Tozer used an area in his family’s basement to spend time in prayer and meditation. Tozer’s friends say that he spent at least 5 hours a day in prayer by himself without contact with anyone else. Tozer once said, “As a man prays, so is he.”
- After preaching, Tozer often refused to stand at the church door to shake hands with the congregation because in his mind, that was “glad handing people and setting himself up to be flattered and thus self-deceived.”
- Tozer served as pastor of Chicago’s Southside Alliance Church for thirty-one years. During his time there, the congregation grew from 80 to 800 members.
- The Moody Bible Institute radio station, WMBI, broadcast a weekly radio program from Tozer called “Talk From a Pastor’s Study,” which focused on Tozer’s studies at Southside Alliance Church. Because of these broadcasts, Tozer was asked several times to minister to Chicago-area Bible colleges.
- Tozer often quizzed his seven children on what they were reading and created special bedtime stories for them.
- In 2007, the A. W. Tozer Theological Seminary was established as part of Simpson University. The seminary offers graduate degrees in Bible and Theology within a “Tozer culture,” in which they strive to honor, respect, and cheer for one another.
What have others said about Tozer?
“If a sermon can be compared to light, then A. W. Tozer released a laser beam from the pulpit, a beam that penetrated your heart. If you have never read Tozer—what are you waiting for? Thirty minutes spent in a Tozer essay is often better than a week at a Bible conference.” —Warren Wiersbe, Bible Teacher
“Tozer lived for and preached Jesus Christ. Contemporary Christians can benefit by discovering—or rediscovering—his writings.” —Franklin Graham, President/CEO, Samaritan’s Purse
“Tozer was a man of incisive words and momentous thoughts. Their forcefulness and acuity make his writing richly rewarding to contemporary readers.” —Christian Reader
“A. W. Tozer’s books reflect a unique blend of genuine piety and downright common sense. He challenged every sort of spiritual pretension while evidencing a devotion to Christ that was every bit as sincere as compelling.” —Charles W. Colson, Author
Explore Tozer’s Words
The A. W. Tozer Collection (56 vols.) contains books written by Tozer or compiled from his sermons and editorials posthumously. This collection is a great way to discover Tozer’s thoughts on a variety of subjects, read his powerful sermons, follow daily devotions, and look into major themes throughout his books.
Several individual titles from Tozer are also available including:
Leave us a comment and let us know your favorite Tozer book, quote, or sermon!