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William Bell Riley


William Bell Riley, American clergyman.


Riley, William Bell was born on March 22, 1861 in Greene County, Indiana, United States. Son of Branson Radish and Ruth Anna (Jackson) Riley.


Teacher’s Course, Valparaiso (Indiana) Normal School. Bachelor of Arts, Hanover (Indiana) College, 1885, Master of Arts, 1888. Graduate Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1888.

Doctor of Laws, John Brown U., 1938. Doctor of Divinity, Union U., Jackson, Tennessee, 1911.


Ordained Baptist ministry, Dallasburg, Kentucky, 1883. Pastor at Warsaw and Carrollton, 1884-1887, Tabernacle Church, New Albany, Indiana, 1887-1888 First Church, Lafayette, 1888-1891, First Church, Bloomington. Illinois, 1891-1893, Calvary Church, Chicago, 1893-1897, First Church, Minneapolis, 1897-1942, now pastor emeritus.

Founder, 1902, and since president Northwestern Bible Training School, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founder and president Northwestern Evangelical Seminary, 1935. Founder Northwestern College of Liberal Arts, 1944.

Executive secretary The World’s Christian Fundamentals Association, and editor of The Northwestern Pilot. President Minnesota Baptist State Convention, 1944-1945. Author: The Greater Doctrines of Scripture, 1893.

The Gospel in Jonah. 1895. The Seven Churches of Asia, 1895. Fads and Fanaticisms, 1895.

Vagaries and Verities, 1903. Finality of the Higher Criticism, 1909. Messages for the Metropolis.

The Perennial Revival. Evolution of the Kingdom, 1913. Crisis of the Church, 1914.

Menace of Modernism, 1917. Daniel versus Darwin, 1918. Ephesians the Threefold Epistle, 1919.

Inspiration or Evolution?, 1923. Christ the Incomparable, 1924. The Blight of Unitarianism, 1926.

Revival Sermons, 1929. Ten Burning Questions, 1932. The Philosophies of Father Coughlin, 1935.

Youth’s Victory Lies This Way. Also, beginning in 1924, was author of a Series of 40 vols., completed in 1938, under title “The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist.” Writer of many brochures and articles on religious subjects, including: The Coming and Kingdom of Christ, 1914. Light on Prophecy, 1918.

God Hath Spoken, 1919. Sermons for the Times, 1924. The Minneapolis Pulpit, 1929.

The Goal of Religion, 1935. Pastoral Problems; The Only Hope of Church or World, 1936. Saved or. Lost, Is Jesus Coming Again?, My Bible—An Apologetic, Wives of the Bible, The Victorious Life, 1937.

Seven New Testament Soul Winners, Wanted—A World Leader, 1939. Seven New Testament Converts, 1940. Christianity’s Conflict with Its Counterfeit, 1940.

Rethinking the Church, 1941. Problems of Youth, 1941. Sunset Sermons or After Eighty, 1943.

The Preacher and His Preaching, 1947. Home: Twin Lakes Lodge, 3718 Golden Valley Road Address: 50 Willow St., Minneapolis.



Married Lillian Howard, December 31, 1890 (died August 10, 1931).; married second, Marie R. Acomb, September 1, 1933. Children: Arthur Howard, Mason Hewitt, Herbert Wilde, Eunice, William Bell, John Branson.

Branson Radish Riley

Ruth Anna (Jackson) Riley

Lillian Howard

Marie R. Acomb

Arthur Howard Riley

Mason Hewitt Riley

Herbert Wilde Riley

Eunice Riley

William Bell Riley

John Branson Riley