FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Avery Willis, former senior vice president of the International Mission Board and author of the MasterLife discipleship materials, has been diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 75.
Willis, a graduate from Southwestern Seminary with both his MDiv and ThD degrees, announced this diagnosis on his Twitter account, Jan. 6. He also reported in a letter to friends that he had fought health problems for the past six months and that he received positive test results for chronic leukemia on Jan. 5.
Doctors are now performing DNA tests to determine the exact nature of Willis’ condition and its treatment. Willis has also asked to be transferred to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, for further treatment.
Currently, Willis lives with his wife Shirley in Bella Vista, Ark. He is the executive director of the International Orality Network, an organization that takes the Gospel to oral cultures across the world.
To learn more about Willis’ condition and his lifelong service for the Gospel, read the Baptist Press story at