Walter L. Wilson was born on May 27, 1881, in Aurora, Indiana. His mother died the following year, so he lived with his grandmother.
On December 21, 1896 while Walter Wilson was 15, he was saved. Right away he began street meetings, hoping to lead more people to the Lord.
He worked at a tent making business while attending the University of Kansas and earning his medical degree. After graduating, he opened his own medical practice, and in 1904 married Marion Baker, the tentmaker’s daughter.
However, due to his father-in-law’s failing health, he was compelled to work full time at the tent making business as well his medical practice. This continued for 25 years. In World War I, he devised a method of camouflaging and waterproofing tents in response to our government’s urgent request. Another customer was the legendary Buffalo Bill.
In his medical work, he soon noticed that people did not need physical help as much as they needed spiritual life, so he became a witnessing doctor. However, he was frustrated that his efforts were ineffective. A visiting French missionary asked him who the Holy Spirit was to him in 1913:
“Who is the Holy Spirit to you?”
Wilson immediately replied:
“One of the Persons of the Godhead … Teacher, Guide, Third Person of the Trinity.”
“You haven’t answered my question.”
Sadly, Wilson said:
“He is nothing to me. I have no contact with Him and could get along quite well without Him.”
The next year, on January 14, 1914, James M. Gray preached a sermon on Romans 12:1, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Gray said, “Have you noticed that this verse does not tell us to whom we should give our bodies? It is not the Lord Jesus; He has His own body. It is not the Father; He remains on His throne. Another has come to earth without a body. God gives you the indescribable honor of presenting your bodies to the Holy Spirit, to be His dwelling place on earth.”
This message explained things well to Walter Wilson. He went home and prayed, “My Lord, I have treated You like a servant. When I wanted You, I called for You. Now I give You this body from my head to my feet. I give you my hands, my limbs, my eyes and lips, my brain. You may send this body to Africa, or lay it on a bed with cancer. It is your body from this moment on.”
The following day two people came to sell him advertising, and they both accepted Christ as their Savior. From then on, he was an effective witness.
He was never ordained, but founded Central Bible Church in Kansas City, and remained there until he retired in 1961. He opened Kansas City Bible Institute in 1932, now Calvary Bible College. He was a pioneer in radio, starting in 1924, and covered medical themes, as well as hardware and carpentry, but always giving a clear plan of salvation.
Walter Wilson had eight children and wrote many books and pamphlets, including: Miracles in a Doctor’s Life, Strange Short Stories, Let’s Go Fishing with the Doctor, and Wilson’s Dictionary of Bible Types.
He died when almost 88, on May 24, 1969.
This article was originally written by Deborah Macomber, and has undergone a complete re-write. Her sources are included below, as well as the sources used in expanding this page.
Picture copied from www.wholesomewords.org/biography/biorpwilson.html
Christian History Institute, chi.gospelcom.net/DAILYF/2002/12/daily-12-21-2002.shtml
Robert J. Morgan, On This Day, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997), January 14.
“Walter L. Wilson” (Murfreesboro, TN: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 2007) www.swordofthelord.com/biographies/WilsonWalter.htm
Stephen Ross, “Walter Wilson” Wholesome Words, www.wholesomewords.org/biography/biorpwilson.html