Walking With Giants: An Ordinary Man With Extraordinary Experiences


Elmer Towns is known around the world as cofounder of the world’s largest Christian university and as author of more than 175 popular books on prayer, spirituality and the Church. His is also known as a motivator par excellence of men and women who long to be exceptional for the cause of Christ. But not many people know that a long “desert experience” lies behind Towns’s extraordinary success, an experience that taught him how to be, in the words of the apostle Paul, “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20). In these ...

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Elmer Towns is known around the world as cofounder of the world’s largest Christian university and as author of more than 175 popular books on prayer, spirituality and the Church. His is also known as a motivator par excellence of men and women who long to be exceptional for the cause of Christ. But not many people know that a long “desert experience” lies behind Towns’s extraordinary success, an experience that taught him how to be, in the words of the apostle Paul, “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20). In these memoirs, one of the modern Church’s most influential teachers shares his fascinating life story, drawing out principles that can be applied by anyone seeking to become great in God’s kingdom. Leaders and students alike will be challenged to greater faithfulness and encouraged to seek God more deeply.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Dr. Elmer Towns is a giant among men. His influence on tens of thousands of students, laity, and ministers places him at the forefront of educators. His heart for the Church and prayer has had ripple effects across denominational lines. He is a hero for many, and his life and ministry are a blessing!
Michael Catt
Senior Pastor, Sherwood Baptist Church, Executive Producer, Sherwood Pictures

Elmer Towns is my friend. We met first in 1978, and he has been an encouragement to the Lord’s work here in Korea. Walking with Giants tells of his friendship with many of the pastors of the world’s largest churches and many nations of the world. He has a love for all the believers in all the denominations and has been a friend of pastors in all of these groups. Elmer Towns is a Baptist, and he has great love for those who love Jesus Christ. My church is Pentecostal, and he preached here, and was used of God. I recommend this book to all who want to walk with giants and learn from them.
David Yonggi Cho
Pastor, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, South Korea (World’s Largest Church)

On July 4, 1971, when I was four years old, my family was having a picnic with Elmer and Ruth Towns, and we walked up to the top of Sharp Top, the highest mountain in Virginia. It was hot, and I was tired and wouldn’t go on. So Elmer lifted me onto his shoulders and took me to the top. I thank God for the many different ways Elmer has carried me over the years. Now, it is my privilege to be his pastor and to “carry” him and the work of Thomas Road Baptist Church forward. One of the things I like about this book is that Elmer honors my father, noting it was Jerry Falwell, Sr., who had a vision to start Liberty University and had great faith to make it happen. This book talks about what God has accomplished at Liberty and how Dr. Towns was involved. Read this book and praise God for what He has done.
Jonathan Falwell
Senior Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Virginia

Elmer Towns is a gifted Bible teacher and faithful preacher of the Word of God. His life’s story will warm your heart as he shares the deepest hurts of a young boy who overcame the struggles and turmoil of a difficult childhood by meeting the Savior. His commitment to Jesus Christ has led him into pulpits and classrooms, and many young men and women have learned the great truths of Scripture under the careful teaching of my friend, Elmer Towns.
Franklin Graham
President and CEO, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, President and CEO, Samaritan’s Purse

Walking with Giants is a moving account of how God used a man who was committed to service, righteousness and humility before the Lord. As a graduate of Liberty University, I walked behind the giants mentioned in this book, and God used them to influence my life in profound ways. I would not have had the family, the husband or the life I’m living if they had not served the Lord so well. Those who are unfamiliar with the circumstances of Elmer Towns’s life will read this book with wonder . . . and those who have been blessed to know him will read it with gratitude.
Dr. Angela Hunt
Christy Award Winner and Bestselling Author

Walking with Giants takes us on an insightful journey through the last 70 years of evangelicalism from the perspective of one of its key movers and shakers. During the trip, you will laugh out loud as the 19-year-old preacher, Elmer Towns, motivates the recently regenerated town drunk to help paint their dilapidated church. Six decades later, you will weep as he relates the loss of Jerry Falwell, his dear life-long teammate. Walking with Giants is a great read.
Dr. Bill Jones
President, Columbia International University

Elmer Towns has been my mentor for more than 40 years. He first touched my life through his books and then through his life. He has spent his life challenging pastors and church leaders around the world to enlarge their vision and passion for the cause of Christ. His life has touched mine and now will touch yours as you read this book. To Elmer, my great friend and mentor, I say, “Well done! You have lived well!”
John C. Maxwell
New York Times Bestselling Author

Dr. Towns is one of the most influential Christian leaders of the twentieth century. As co-founder of Liberty, the Lord worked through Dr. Towns to truly change the course of history. All of Liberty’s now-innumerable graduates carry within them the influence of Dr. Elmer Towns—myself included. This giant of the faith has shaped my life as a minister. Dr. Towns has been my Sunday School teacher, professor, ministry colleague and friend. I am confident that his amazing story will continue to point lives toward Christ for decades to come.
Alex McFarland
Apologetics Director, North Greenville University

Walking with Giants gives helpful insight into the life of Elmer Towns, one of the greatest giants of our day. This great man has served as my teacher, mentor and friend. He has influenced me to be a better husband, father, pastor and author. Now, in this revealing book, you too will have the incredible opportunity to learn and gain from his many years of experience. This book will inspire you to love God and do great things for God.
Steve Reynolds
Lead Pastor, Capital Baptist Church, Annandale, Virginia, and Author, Bod4God

I remember joking about my friend Dr. Towns in front of thousands of Liberty University students at convocation. I said, “Dr. Towns has no unpublished thought,” to the roaring laughter of those who know and love him. It seems to be true—my shelf is filled with his wisdom, just as that convocation arena was filled with those influenced and touched by his life. Read this memoir of a man who changed the world.
Ed Stetzer
President, LifeWay Research

I first met Dr. Towns when I was a college student working on staff with John C. Maxwell in Lancaster, Ohio. From 1972 until this day, he has been a friend and mentor to me. I’ve had the opportunity to co-author books and share speaking events with him. What you see is what you get! Elmer Towns is a good and godly man whose walk matches his talk. Walking with Giants is a reflection of a life well lived by one of my heroes of the faith.
Dr. Stan Toler
Bestselling Author, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Jesus’ teaching on humility would preclude any establishment of a Christian Leaders Hall of Fame. However, if there were one, Elmer Towns would surely be inducted as our “Number One Number Two Leader.” His obedience to God’s call to enable Jerry Falwell to skyrocket to a legendary Number One did not detract in the least from his own destiny to emerge as a top-ranking history-maker in American Evangelicalism. The chronicle of Elmer Towns is like no other, and I speak for multitudes when I express deep gratitude that his story will now be perpetuated through this superb memoir.
C. Peter Wagner
Vice president and Apostolic Ambassador, Global Spheres, Inc

Elmer Towns is my friend, my mentor, my golfing companion and, most importantly, my prayer partner! Walking with Giants is the story of a life well lived. You will be inspired, encouraged and motivated to make yourself available to the power of God. These memoirs are proof of what God can do through one individual who fully surrenders himself to God. After reading this book, I am reminded of the words of missionary C. T. Studd: “Oh, let us not rust out—let us not glide through the world and then slip quietly out, without having even blown the trumpet loud and long for our Blessed Redeemer. At the very least let us see to it that the devil holds a thanksgiving service in hell, when he gets news of our departure from the field of battle.”
Dr. Steve Wingfield
Evangelist, Steve Wingfield Evangelistic Association

D. L. Moody once said that when a believer is fully dedicated to the Lord, it is amazing to see what God can do through that person’s life. This is certainly true of Elmer Towns. As you read this book, you will marvel at how God has used Dr. Towns in numerous ways around the globe for His glory. Elmer and I were students together at Dallas Seminary in the fifties. He and his wife, Ruth, and I and my wife, Dottie, were good friends. His dedication to the Lord was obvious even then. May you glorify the Lord as you read how He has worked in Dr. Towns’s life and ministry. To quote his favorite Bible verse, “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thess. 5:24, NASB).
Dr. Roy B. Zuck
Senior Professor Emeritus of Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary, Editor, Bibliotheca Sacra

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830763825
  • Publisher: Gospel Light Publications
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,380,920
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

ELMER TOWNS is Vice President and Dean of the School of Religion at Liberty University, which he co-founded in 1971 with Jerry Falwell. He teaches the 2,000-member pastor’s Sunday School class at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA. Towns is a Gold Medallion Award-winning author and his books include Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough and How to Pray When You Don’t Know What to Say. Elmer and his wife, Ruth, have three grown children.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Jerry Falwell, Jr. 11

Preface: What Really "Makes" a Person? 13

1 The Early Years: Birth Through Elementary School (1932-1943) 23

2 Junior High and High School Years (1943-1950) 49

3 The Columbia Bible College Years (1950-1953) 63

4 The Northwestern Years: The Long, Cold, Dark Winter's Night (1953-1954) 87

5 The Dallas Theological Seminary Years (1954-1958) 95

6 The Midwest Bible College Years (1958-1961) 115

7 The Canadian Years (1961-1965) 127

8 The Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Years (1965-1971) 147

9 The Early Liberty University Years (1971-1973) 165

10 A Desert Experience in the Interim Years (1973-1977) 185

11 Great Ministry at Liberty (1977-1999) 197

12 A New Century (2000-2012) 237

Epilogue 249

Liberty University's 40 Years 251

Endnotes 253

Curriculum Vitae for Dr. Elmer Leon Towns 257

List of Resources by Elmer L. Towns 269

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