Stories by Willimon

William H. Willimon
Abingdon Press
Published Year: 
Cover image of Will Willimon's new book showing a man sowing seeds for  rfimag

Will Willimon, professor of the practice of Christian ministry at Duke Divinity School and a retired United Methodist Church bishop, has written a book containing a collection of some of his most beloved stories or parables taken from articles, books, and sermons over almost five decades of preaching.

The book, Stories by Willimon, will be published in February by Abingdon Press. Willimon, who has published more than 70 books with more than a million copies sold, is known and read throughout the world for his riveting, edgy, witty, and provocative stories or parables. His most memorable and impactful stories are presented in this collection. 

Providing insights to the Christian faith, the book exposes readers to joy, agony, thankfulness, greed, trust, fear, healing, suffering, laughter, weeping, yearning, irony, hatred, and love. Readers may see themselves or their friends at times in these stories, with fellow storytellers likely to retell them to friends, family, colleagues, and churches. Preachers also will find illustrative materials to support their sermons.

Feeling most at home behind a pulpit, Willimon’s deepest calling is to be a preacher and truth-teller of Jesus Christ. Prior to his current position, he served for 20 years as a faculty member at Duke Divinity School and as dean of Duke Chapel at Duke University. He also is a retired bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the UMC.

“Will Willimon is a great storyteller – and some of his stories are actually true!” states Duke Divinity School Dean L. Gregory Jones, the Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Distinguished Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry. “Will’s stories will make you laugh, cry, raise an eyebrow, and typically see God and yourself more deeply, clearly, and truthfully. Stories by Willimon is a great gift to us all.” 

Kenneth H. Carter, bishop of the Florida Conference of the UMC, added that “if you have had the good fortune to hear Will Willimon preach….you will recognize the voice in these pages. In reading these stories, you will rediscover a gospel that is local and universal, earthy and transcendent, resonant and unpredictable. For those who preach, these stories are like treasures hidden in a field.” 

Willimon has published many books, including his 2019 memoir, Accidental Preacher: A Memoir. His articles have appeared in many publications including The Christian Ministry, Quarterly Review, Liturgy, Worship, and Christianity Today. His Pulpit Resource, a preaching subscription service on, is used weekly by more than 8,000 pastors in the US, Canada, and Australia. He was selected in a Baylor University survey as one of the "Twelve Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World."