Gene’s story began more than seven decades ago on a dairy farm in northwest Indiana. As a youth, he began to question the teachings and practices of his church. His search for greater understanding eventually led him to Moody Bible Institute where he gained a solid understanding of the Scriptures and of the Gospel. He continued to build on that foundation, completing his B.A. at Rocky Mountain College, his M.A. at Wheaton Graduate School and earning his Ph.D. from New York University in 1968. In addition, in 1999 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Institut Theologique de Nimes, Uchaud, France. Then in 2012, Moody Bible Institute awarded Gene an Honorary Doctorate for his successful completion of the historic Life Essentials Study Bible—a seven-year effort resulting in the first ever Multimedia Study Bible.
His early career was spent in the world of academics, first as a professor for thirteen years at Moody Bible Institute, then as a professor for eight years at Dallas Theological Seminary. While teaching at DTS, he was challenged to confront the disillusionment that grew out of the era of the ‘60s and early ‘70s. After many dynamic class sessions and interaction with his students, Gene wrote Sharpening the Focus of the Church. This book led to his launching of the original Fellowship Bible Church in 1972, starting a movement that continues today in the form of hundreds of Fellowship and Fellowship-type churches around the world.
Gene’s efforts over the years have directly impacted the lives of millions of individuals. He has written more than 60 books most of which grew out of his experience as a pastor. The Measure of a Man has become a classic and has never gone out of print in more than forty years.
After transitioning from his role as Senior Pastor more than ten years ago, the Life Essentials Study Bible (Broadman-Holman, 2011) is now the centerpiece of his ministry. Its unique format includes 1500 supra-cultural “principles to live by,” each with a QR code providing access to a total of 250 total hours of video teaching.
Gene’s primary focus today is to reach both old and new audiences around the world with the Word of God. Together with the publisher and various distribution outlets, the Center for Church Renewal offers the means to distribute the Life Essentials Study Bible as well as his other books. He has dedicated all the profits from the Center for Church Renewal’s Bible and book sales to this ministry.
For 24 years Gene served as host of the daily, fifteen-minute Renewal Radio program. He currently produces a two-minute daily “Principle to Live By” feature aired on numerous stations across the U.S.A.
In addition to his writing, publishing, and broadcasting, he continues to be involved in many other teaching efforts including men’s conferences, church services, and other special speaking events across the U.S.A. and in a variety of international locations. And as a pastor, he always strives to make himself available to individuals and organizations as a counselor and consultant. Recently, significant doors have also opened to distribute gift copies of the study bible to large prison populations across the U.S.A. He invites and welcomes both financial support and prayers from those who identify with this ministry.