Dr. James V. Heidinger II '63 - 1988 A Award Recipient
Bio from 1988
Dr. James V. Heidinger II’s courageous leadership has placed him frequently in the cross-fire of controversy. While a student at Asbury, his peers recognized a dynamic leadership quality, and thus, chose him to be their campus leader.
As an Illinois native, he purposed in his heart many years ago to study at Asbury—both the college and seminary—in order to become a minister of the gospel. Little did he foresee those years of campus leadership as being a training ground for battles he would face later around the conference table.
A church historian describes Dr. Heidinger as one of “highest integrity, commitment to excellence…” This one word—excellence—typifies his life. From the earliest years in the ministry, Dr. Heidinger exemplified this commitment to excellence. District secretary of evangelism, bishop’s task force on evangelism, member of the Good News board of directors, and dynamic pastoral care all demonstrated the very spirit of what this award represents.
With a gentle spirit he stood firmly for those principles inherent within the Asbury tradition. For 7 years by 1988, Dr. Heidinger stood in the gap—as prophet and priest—calling the United Methodist Church to return to her roots. No agency or board of the Methodist church has gone without the scrutiny of this organization he leads. Without question, Dr. Heidinger has given effective and wise leadership in bringing reform to this one denomination. For those who are United Methodists, you know the significance of the St. Louis conference, convened in May 1988, to set church policy and theology for over nine million members. This gentleman of the cloth is the executive director of the Good News movement, which so dramatically shaped that historic conference.
Dr. Heidinger serves as editor of their magazine by the same title, a bi-monthly publication read more widely by Methodists than any denominational publication of the church. One bishop regards this publication “as being one of the most attractively presented publications in the whole Christian community.” Again this Episcopal leader describes our friend, Dr. Heidinger, as a “journalist whose professional skill and sensitivity…equal to those of any leader in the secular press...”
The schedule of Dr. Heidinger, although filled with a burdensome agenda, has not kept him from serving his alma mater. While a director of the alumni association some years ago, he served as your alumni president. At the time of receiving the “A” Award he was a member of the Board of Trustees of Asbury College where he served as secretary and chairman of the academic affairs committee.