Aiden Wilson Tozer was born April 21, 1897, in La Jose (now Newburg), a tiny farming community in the hills of western Pennsylvania. His mother named him for the storekeeper husband of a close friend from girlhood. He did not like his given names, preferring the initials, "A.W." In later life he preferred just Tozer.
In 1919, five years after his conversion, and without formal theological training, Tozer began forty four years of ministry with The Christian and Missionary Alliance. For thirty one of those years he gained prominence as pastor of Southside Alliance Church in Chicago, serving there from 1928 to 1959. He ministered as a pastor, author, editor, Bible conference speaker, denominational leader and, was to many, a reliable spiritual mentor.
Many regarded him, even during his lifetime, as a twentieth - century prophet. Discerning that modern Christianity was sailing through dense fog, he pointed out the rocks on which it could flounder if it continued its course. When other voices were but empty echoes, his proved to be the voice of God. His spiritual intuition enabled him to scent error, name it for what it was and reject it - all in one decisive act. He could tear to pieces in a few short sentences the faulty arguments of others.
Whether writing or speaking, Tozer always ministered to those hungry for God. He majored on the issues of paramount spiritual importance avoiding religious nonsense and trivia. People went away from his ministry with the haunting sense of just having been in the immediate presence of God.