Meet Herbert Lockyer

CBD extends special thanks to Rev. Herbert Lockyer, Jr., who graciously provided the information for this author profile of his father, and granted us permission to quote from a letter he received from Dr. Billy Graham.

When Herbert Lockyer, Sr. was first deciding on a career, he considered becoming an actor. At 6'3" with a resonant voice and a commanding presence, he seemed a natural for the theater. But the Lord had something better in mind. Instead of the stage, God called Herbert to the pulpit, where as a pastor, Bible teacher, and author of more than 50 books, he touched the hearts and lives of millions of people.

Herbert was born in 1886 in a small town just outside of London. His father was employed at the Woolwich Arsenal, where arms and weapons were manufactured for the British military. His parents were non-Christians, so Herbert had little religious training. Although Herbert also worked at the Arsenal and was an aspiring thespian, the course of his life changed when he fell in love with Lily Flory. She was a committed Christian, and invited him to attend a lecture and slide presentation to be held in a small church near his home. The speaker showed a slide of a cartoon depicting a man on a bicycle who had reached a fork in the road. Two signs indicated the destinations of the diverging paths. One said "Heaven" and the other "Hell." In a flash of insight, Herbert realized that he was on the road to hell and at that moment he surrendered his life to Christ.

After his conversion, Herbert attended the Glasgow Bible Institute and graduated at the top of his class. He subsequently earned doctoral degrees from Northwestern Evangelical Seminary and the International Academy in London. He married Lily in 1912 and began his ministry as a member of the Lanarkshire Evangelical Association. During World War I, he ministered to the troops at Perth, Scotland, and then returned to Glasgow after the war to work as an evangelist. In subsequent years, he pastored churches in Dundee and Hawick, Scotland. He was then called to be pastor of Leeds Road Baptist Church in Bradford, England, and while there became a leader in the Keswick Higher Life Movement. Begun in 1875, the movement emphasized the importance of living in the fullness of the Spirit, and drew the attention of D. L. Moody and other American evangelists. At a conference, Dr. Lockyer met Dr. W. Mitchell and Dr. Stuart Holden, fellow Keswick leaders who were instrumental in bringing him to speak at the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Moody Bible Institute held in 1936. His address was so well received that he embarked on an extensive Bible lecturing ministry in the United States.

While speaking at a conference in Montrose, Pennsylvania, Dr. Lockyer met Pat and Bernie Zondervan, owners of Zondervan Publishing. The brothers were so impressed with Dr. Lockyerís sermons that they asked his permission to print and sell his messages for 25 cents each. The sermons were an instant success. Later, after Dr. Lockyer had returned to England, Bernie visited him and asked him to write a book entitled All the Men in the Bible. This new venture was the beginning of the now famous All Bible Study Series. Praised by leading Bible scholars, the series is comprised of 21 volumes, including All the Miracles of the Bible, All the Promises of the Bible, and All the Women of the Bible. Dr. Lockyerís gifts for clearly explaining the profound truths of Scripture and helping readers apply these precepts to their everyday lives have made these inspiring books international bestsellers.

During the last seven years of his life, Dr. Lockyer lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his son Rev. Herbert Lockyer, Jr., a Presbyterian minister who became his editor. Dr. Lockyer passed away on December 3, 1984. At the time of his fatherís death, Mr. Lockyer received a letter from prominent evangelist Billy Graham praising Herbert Sr.ís dedication and accomplishments: "Dr. Lockyer was unquestionably one of the spiritual giants of our century, and his prolific writings will continue to make an impact on countless Christians for generations to come if our Lord tarries." Dr. Grahamís words are a fitting tribute to a man who personified faithful Christian service.

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