Through the teaching and writing of Arthur Wallis, most notably his book The Radical Christian (1981), Wallis gained the reputation of ‘architect’ of that expression of UK evangelicalism initially dubbed ‘the house church movement’, more recently labeled British New Church Movement.
Born the son of ‘Captain’ Reginald and Mary Wallis. He attended Monkton Combe School, near Bath, before going on to Sandhurst and wartime service in the Royal Tank Regiment. He was wounded at the Anzio Bridgehead, an event that led him to question the compatibility of his army service with his sense of calling to Christian ministry.
Following in his fathers footsteps, Arthur then embarked on an itinerant preaching and teaching ministry, with a particular emphasis on revival, prayer, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the ‘restoration’ of the church. He had deeply impacted by accounts of the Revival that took place on the Isle of Lewis in 1949 which he visited. His book In the Day of Thy Power (Christian Literature Crusade: 1956) was the fruit of this visit and his subsequent studies. He wrote some eleven books on themes promoting the Christian life, and travelled widely (in particular to the USA, Australia and New Zealand).
For much of his life Arthur lived in Talaton in Devon, moving in the last decade of his life, first to Yorkshire to join Bryn Jones’ Covenant Ministries, and later in 1981 to Southampton to be part of the leadership of the Community Church.
Shortly before his death, twenty years ago this year, he asked for no other memorial than “fruit in people’s lives”. Those who had the privilege of knowing him testify to the lasting impact that Arthur made upon them. His vision for revival is as fresh and as relevant now as it ever was. His book, God’s Chosen Fast (Kingsway: 1968) is the acknowledged classic on the topic of fasting, whilst his book The Radical Christian (Kingsway: 1981) which was his most difficult to write continues to call the Christian to live the dynamic life of Jesus.