Baylor University Mourns the Death of Inaugural Wesley House of Studies Director Billy Abraham | George W. Truett Theological Seminary
Baylor University and George W. Truett Theological Seminary mourn the death of Reverend William “Billy” J. Abraham, D.Phil., Inaugural Director of Truett’s Wesley House of Studies, who died Thursday, October 7. As one of the most esteemed Wesleyan scholars of our time, Dr Abraham skillfully led the program recently launched by The Truett Seminary to prepare Wesleyan students, especially Methodists, for ministry in their given denominational contexts.
A memorial service for Abraham will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 30 at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas.
“We are grateful for Dr. Abraham’s significant contributions to Baylor University and The Truett Seminary over the past year and for the loyal spirit and unwavering commitment he has brought to the Wesley House of Studies,” said President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “This spirit will be sorely missed. We join in mourning the loss of family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Abraham as we remember and celebrate his extraordinary and everlasting life.
A distinguished leader and theologian of the Methodist Church, Billy Abraham is also known as a loving husband and father, inspiring teacher and mentor, and a gifted evangelist and missionary. Prior to joining Truett Seminary as Director of Wesley House in 2020, Abraham was on the faculty of the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, teaching a wide range of disciplines including systematic theology, philosophy of religion, evangelism and Wesley’s studies. In 2003 he received the highest honor for teaching at SMU and was appointed Distinguished Professor of Altshuler University.
“Billy Abraham was an academic known for his academic rigor, a professor known for his energy and genius, and an intellectual known for his ability to hold a thoughtful conversation with those of opposing views,” said the president of SMU, R. Gerald Turner, Ph. RE. “His legacy of benevolence will live on in his students and his many friends. “
A prolific scholar, Abraham has written or edited over 25 books and over 100 scholarly and popular articles in addition to producing audiovisual resources on the basics of Christian faith, Bible study, Methodism, and the revival of the Church. church. In addition, he has lectured in many educational insights, societies and churches, and has been a visiting professor around the world. Although he ran Wesley House at Truett, he also taught part-time at Dallas Baptist University.
“We have lost a real giant of the Christian faith in our time. Billy Abraham’s superb theological insight in sharing the Wesleyan vision of the Christian faith will remain a blessing and a gift from God to the whole church through the ages to come, ”said Mike Lowry, D.Min., Bishop resident of the Texas Central Conference of the United Methodist Church. “His vision for the future of the Christian movement was unmatched in our time. Personally, I have lost a very precious friend and companion on the path of faith. With so many others, I am deeply enriched by the gift of his friendship and the sharing of his deep faith in Christ.
As a former ordained in The United Methodist Church, Abraham served for many years as a member of what is now the Rio Texas Annual Conference. Most recently, he taught two Sunday school classes at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas. He is survived by his wife Muriel Elizabeth, his children Siobhan Elizabeth and Shaun Wesley, as well as his brothers John, Ivan, Cecil and Ken Abraham.
“Although the death of our beloved friend and disciple of Christ, Billy Abraham, greatly diminishes us, we give thanks to God for his extraordinary life, for his too brief work and testimony among us, and for the recently established William. J. Abraham Chair of the Wesley House of Studies, who will perpetually extend his ministry and his legacy. As we rightly mourn his passing, Billy is in the care and custody of God, for for him “to live was Christ, and to die is gain,” commented Todd D. Still, Ph.D., DeLancey Dean and Hinson professor of Christian scriptures at Truett Seminary in Baylor.
Abraham’s full obituary and additional details regarding his memorial service can be found here.