COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (July 30, 2010)—NavPress author Avery T. Willis, Jr., passed away on July 30, 2010. A former pastor, missionary, seminary president, and missions administrator, Avery wrote Learning to Soar with his grandson, Matt; Truth That Sticks with Mark Snowden; Real-Life Discipleship Training Manual with Jim Putman, Brandon Guindon, and Bill Krause; and Following Jesus Together with Real Life Ministries.
“Avery leaves a rich legacy in discipleship and sharing the Gospel around the world,” says Mike Miller, President of NavPress and Sr. Vice President of The Navigators. “We are privileged to have worked with him on so many wonderful resources to help Christians grow in their relationship with God. He will be greatly missed.”
Avery received his BA from Oklahoma Baptist University and his MDiv and ThD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He pastored for 10 years, served as a missionary for 14 years, and was president of the Indonesian Baptist Seminary for six years.
Avery returned to the United States to lead the adult discipleship program for Southern Baptists available through LifeWay Christian Resources. He served as the senior vice president for Overseas Operations for the International Mission Board from 1993 to 2004, administrating the work of 5,600 missionaries. After retiring, he travelled internationally as a speaker, trainer, and consultant.
He served as the executive director of the International Orality Network and as chairman of the board for the OneStory Partnership, a coalition of global missionary organizations, including the International Mission Board, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Campus Crusade for Christ, Youth With a Mission, and Trans World Radio. He was ambassador at large for the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach at Oklahoma Baptist University, was involved with Finishing the Task, and was a member of the steering committee for the Call2All movement.
Since its founding in 1975, NavPress has become known as a trusted ministry leader in discipleship and leadership development. The Navigators, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is an interdenominational, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people navigate spiritually.
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