Gifted Teacher, Church Growth Expert Bill Liversidge is Dead
September 25, 2015: Pastor William Liversidge, noted for his teaching style and Bible study, passed away earlier this week at his home in Palm Springs, California. He was 74 and died of natural causes, according to the announcement from his independent ministry, Creative Media Ministries, Inc.
Using an inductive approach to Bible study, Liversidge taught seminars for pastors and lay leaders on salvation in Christ, New Testament principles of spiritual growth, spiritual gifts and the ministry of all believers, inductive Bible teaching and understanding the Book of Revelation. He was often invited to be a guest speak for retreats, special weekends and camp meetings.
Teaching series on television featuring Liversidge are currently carried by the Loma Linda Broadcasting Network, the denomination’s official Hope Channel and the independent Three Angels Broadcasting Network. He wrote two books and authored six video series on DVD and ten audio series on CD. His best-selling book, Victory in Jesus is available on Amazon and all of his other materials are distributed by Creative Media Ministries.
A native of Melbourne, Australia, Liversidge went as a missionary to New Guinea in 1973 where he served as a pastor and directed the training of ministers at Sonoma Adventist College. In 1975 he transferred to the Western Pacific Union Mission based in the Solomon Islands and directed several departments.
Liversidge and his family immigrated to the United States in 1978 when he became pastor of the Central Adventist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1980 he was elected ministerial and lay activities director of the Southwestern Union Conference, where he began church growth research and the development of the seminars for which he would become famous within the denomination.
In the mid-1980s he brought his church growth training program to the Columbia Union Conference where he served as associate ministerial director. He pioneered a new format for public evangelism at the Silver Spring (Maryland) Adventist Church in which the meetings ran one night a week until an intensive closing weekend. The attendance was much better than when participants were asked to spend four or five nights a week for three or four weeks, a portion of time that contemporary busy lifestyles really do not allow for.
In 1987 he formed an independent ministry based in Silver Spring, Maryland, and initially incorporated as Creative Growth Ministries. Since that time he has worked as a self-supporting evangelist and resource person with what is now called Creative Media Ministries, a member of the Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI).
Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of Adventists and other Christians have participated in his distinctive approach using inductive Bible study. They “make profound discoveries in the Word of God … through the group discovery process,” says his biography on the Creative Media Ministries web site. “Many have experienced life-changing encounters with God.”
His “commitment to the priesthood of all believers and the biblical blueprint for church growth” remained strong for Liversidge to the end of his life. He focused much of his life on “equipping believers with the biblical principles that … enable them to develop their spiritual gifts and move into effective ministry, so they reveal Christ and His character through His living Body, the church.” He never saw himself as a “hired gun,” winning converts for the church, but as one who empowered congregations and church members to engage men and women in a Christ-centered fellowship.
He attended Avondale College in Australia, the seminary at Andrews University (AU) in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California; the largest evangelical graduate school in the United States. He also taught in the Doctor of Ministry program at AU.
A memorial service is scheduled for October 17 at the Vallejo Drive Adventist Church in Glendale, California. More information will be available on the Web at www.creativemediaministries.org.