Reflections on the many rolls of one prominent Willow Valley Resident.
Haddon W. Robinson, Ph.D., is a resident of Willow Valley Communities, but his influence is felt worldwide as he is a well-known and well-respected preacher, teacher, author and communicator of God’s Word. When he was just a teenager, Robinson wrote in his journal, “I listen to some preachers who preach for an hour, and it seems like 20 minutes. I listen to others who preach for 20 minutes, and it seems like an hour. I wonder what makes the difference.” Answering that question influenced the direction of his life.
Dr. Robinson is widely regarded as an expert teacher on the subject of preaching. A native of New York City, he received a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, an M.A. from Southern Methodist University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Dr. Robinson became a preaching giant at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where he influenced the seminary’s multiple campuses as the Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching, the Senior Director of the Doctor of Ministry program, and as the Interim President of Gordon-Conwell. Prior to Gordon-Conwell, Dr. Robinson was the President of Denver Seminary (1979–1991) where he helped lay the groundwork for the school’s tremendous growth. He was also a professor of homiletics at Dallas Theological Seminary for 19 years and taught speech at his alma mater, the University of Illinois, from 1960–1962. He has also taught, preached, or lectured at churches and campuses on all six continents. In 1996 he was named one of the twelve most effective preachers in the English-speaking world and was also given the 2008 Living Legend Award by E. K. Bailey Ministries and was named among Christianity Today International’s Top 25 Most Influential Preachers from 1956–2006.
In addition to his seven books, Dr. Robinson has also written and edited for a wide range of publications such as The American Lutheran magazine, Christianity Today, and Leadership Journal. He was also a writer for Our Daily Bread, one of the most used devotionals in Christianity Today with over 40 million distributed each year. Among his books are The Good Shepherd, What Jesus Said About Successful Living, and Decision-Making by the Book. His most impactful work remains Biblical Preaching, a text used at more than 100 seminaries and Bible colleges in North America and around the world.
Dr. Robinson has won countless awards and professional accolades. However the real tribute comes from his children, Torrey Robinson and Vicki Hiltzges, as well as his many colleagues such as Dr. Scott M. Gibson, Professor of Preaching, at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Torrey says, “For all he accomplished in his vocation, my sister and I can attest that he still manages to love and care for his family. Both my sister and I chose professions that reflect my dad’s influence. Vicki is an outstanding motivational speaker, and I am a pastor.”
Dr. Gibson adds, “I have had the privilege of being a colleague and friend of Dr. Robinson for over 20 years, and he’s been a mentor and an inspiration. He’s a stellar preacher and has had an impact on the entire world.”