A.W. Tozer

aw_tozerAiden Wilson Tozer (April 21, 1897 – May 12, 1963) was an American Christian pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor, Bible conference speaker, and spiritual mentor.

Hailing from a tiny farming community in western La Jose, Pennsylvania, his conversion was as a teenager in Akron, Ohio. While on his way home from the Akron, Ohio tire company where he worked as a teen, young Aiden Wilson Tozer overheard a street preacher say, “If you don’t know how to be saved…just call on God.” Upon returning home, Tozer climbed into the attic and heeded the preacher’s advice.

220px-A_W_TozerIn 1919, five years after his decision to follow Christ, and without formal theological training, Tozer accepted an offer to pastor his first church in Nutter Fort, West Virginia. This began forty-four fruitful years of ministry with The Christian and Missionary Alliance, thirty of which he served as pastor of the Southside Alliance Church in Chicago (1928 to 1959). His final years were spent pastoring the Avenue Road (Alliance) Church in Toronto, Canada.

Considered by many to be a modern-day prophet, Tozer felt that the church was on a dangerous course towards compromising with “worldly” concerns. In 1950, he was appointed editor of the Alliance Weekly magazine, now Alliance Life (alife), the official publication of The Alliance. In his first editorial, dated June 3, 1950, he wrote

“It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages, while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run, and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that.”

In 1950, Tozer received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Wheaton College and in 1952, he received an LL.D. degree from Houghton College.

PrintPrayer was of vital personal importance for Tozer. “His preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life,” comments his biographer, James L. Snyder in the book, In Pursuit of God: The Life Of A.W. Tozer.

“He had the ability to make his listeners face themselves in the light of what God was saying to them”,

writes Snyder.

Among the more than forty books Tozer authored, at least two are regarded as Christian classics: The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy. His writings impress on the reader the necessity to abandon worldly comforts in favor the deeper life that comes with following Christ. Living out this simple and non-materialistic lifestyle, Tozer and his wife, Ada Cecelia Pfautz, never owned a car, preferring bus and train travel. Even after becoming a well-known Christian author, he signed away much of his royalties to those who were in need.

Tozer had seven children, six boys and one girl. He was buried in Ellet cemetery, Akron, Ohio, with a simple epitaph marking his grave: “A. W. Tozer — A Man of God.”

Published Works

Books by A. W. Tozer include the following:

  • Let My People Go
  • Man : the Dwelling Place of God
  • Paths to Power
  • The Divine Conquest
  • The Pursuit of God, (1957) Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications,
  • The Knowledge of the Holy, (1961) New York: Harper & Row
  • The Root of the Righteous
  • Wingspread

There are also many compilations of sermons and other writings which were edited and published by Christian Publications, Inc., after Tozer’s death. Although the following books were published posthumously, authorship is attributed to A. W. Tozer. (This list is by no means complete.):

  • The Attributes of God, Volume One with study guide by David E. Fessenden (1997)
  • The Attributes of God, Volume Two with study guide by David E. Fessenden (2001)
  • The Best of A. W. Tozer, Book 1 (1979)
  • The Best of A. W. Tozer, Book 2 (1995)
  • The Best of A. W. Tozer, 52 Favourite Chapters Compiled by Warren W Wiersbe (1991), Crossway Books
  • When He is Come (1968)
  • I Call It Heresy! (1974)
  • Who Put Jesus on the Cross? (1975) 0-87509-212-8
  • The Pursuit of God (1976) STL Books, Bromley, Kent
  • That Incredible Christian (1977)
  • Knowledge of the Holy (1978)
  • Gems from Tozer (1979)
  • Renewed Day by Day: Daily Devotional (1980)
  • A Treasury of A. W. Tozer (1980)
  • Echoes from Eden: The Voices of God Calling Man (1981) Originally published as, The Tozer Pulpit Vol. 8: Ten Sermons on the Voices of God Calling Man
  • Leaning Into The Wind (1985) STL Books, Bromley, Kent
  • Whatever Happened to Worship? (1985)
  • Whatever Happened to Worship? (1986) OM Publishing, Carlisle
  • Faith Beyond Reason (1987) OM Publishing, Bromley, Kent
  • Jesus, Our Man in Glory (1987)
  • Jesus, Author of Our Faith (1988)
  • Men Who Met God (1989) OM Publishing, Bromley, Kent
  • That Incredible Christian (1989) OM Publishing, Bromley, Kent
  • I Talk Back to the Devil: Essays in Spiritual Perfection (1990)
  • The Coming King (1990) STL Books, Bromley, Kent
  • Christ the Eternal Son (1991)
  • Man: The Dwelling Place of God (1992)
  • God Tells the Man Who Cares (1992)
  • We Travel an Appointed Way (1992) OM Publishing, Bromley, Kent
  • The Knowledge of the Holy (1992)
  • The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in Christian Life (1997)
  • The Tozer Topical Reader (1999)
  • The Radical Cross (2005)
  • The Worship-Driven Life: The Reason We Were Created (2008)
  • Signposts: A Collection of Sayings from A.W. Tozer
  • Tozer on the Almighty God: A 366-Day Devotional
  • The Pursuit of God
  • Faith Beyond Reason
  • Warfare Of The Spirit
  • The Pursuit Of God With Study Guide


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