Deacon Ed Wills entered the Catholic Church in 2000. He is a former Protestant minister who pastored an independent church and later was a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church.
Ed first became involved in the Charismatic Renewal in 1970. He was active in the Lay Witness Movement and the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International. He did his undergraduate studies in theology at Oral Roberts University specializing in ancient languages and his graduate work at the University of Dallas in theology, literature, and philosophy. Ed lived for two years with the Discalced Carmelites where he taught Greek and Old Testament. It was there that he learned the ancient practices of prayer, intentional breathing, and meditation.
When Ed served as a Naval officer, he was struck with the similarity between monastic breathing and specialized breathing techniques used by Navy pilots and the Navy Seals. Later, as an entrepreneur, he discovered the usefulness of intentional breathing and meditation to enhance creative imagination and the decision-making process.
Ed Wills’ latest book, Learning to Listen to God reviews the prayer techniques of the saints and helps the reader form their own modality of prayer through which they can encounter God and hear his voice in their lives. In the book Ed teaches breathing and meditation techniques from the ancient hesychastic practice of the desert monks whose presence in the Judeo-Christian tradition dates back to Elijah the prophet (circa 800 B.C.). He also reviews the prayer life of Saints John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Ignatius Loyola, and others who have given us different models of prayer.
With Ed’s background in Greek and Hebrew, he is often called upon for Biblical translation. He collaborated with his wife, Cheryl, in her book Who is Jesus, First Century Eyewitnesses Tell Their Stories, and did all Scripture translations for that work.
Ed is a popular public speaker, retreat leader, and spiritual director. Some of his recent talks can be found on this website. (click here) He is also a renowned Bible teacher, known for his knowledge of Biblical languages, archeology, and ancient cultures. His Four Keys to Understanding Scripture revolutionize the way we all read the Bible.
Ed was ordained a transitional deacon in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter by Bishop Steven Lopes in July, 2017.
Currently, Deacon Ed serves as Pastoral Associate at Saint Robert Bellarmine in Blue Springs, Missouri. Ed and his wife of 35 years have three beautiful daughters, one fun-loving dog, and two chickens (Laverne and Shirley). God recently blessed them with their first grandson, who is obviously destined for greatness.