Born: Jan­ua­ry 28, 1856, Ho­bo­ken, New Jer­sey.

Died: Oc­to­ber 26, 1928, Ashe­ville, North Ca­ro­li­na.

Buried: Mont­rose Bi­ble Camp (which he found­ed), Mont­rose, Penn­syl­van­ia.


Reuben was the son of Reu­ben Slay­ton Tor­rey and Eli­za­beth A. Swift, and husband of Cla­ra Smith (mar­ried 1879).

He gra­du­at­ed from Yale Uni­ver­si­ty in 1875 and Yale Di­vi­ni­ty School in 1878. After gra­du­a­tion, he be­came a Con­gre­ga­tion­al min­is­ter in Gar­retts­ville, Ohio, in 1878.

Torrey also stu­died theo­lo­gy at Leip­zig Uni­ver­si­ty and Er­lang­en Uni­ver­si­ty (1882–83).

In 1889, he joined Dwight L. Moo­dy in his ev­an­gel­is­tic work in Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois, and be­came su­per­in­ten­dent of the Bi­ble In­sti­tute of the Chi­ca­go Ev­an­gel­iz­a­tion So­cie­ty (now Moo­dy Bi­ble In­sti­tute). In 1894, he be­came pas­tor of the Chi­ca­go Ave­nue Church (now the Moo­dy Church).

In 1898, Tor­rey was a chap­lain with the YMCA at Camp Chic­a­mau­ga dur­ing the Span­ish-Am­eri­can War. In World War I, he per­formed si­mi­lar ser­vice at Camp Bo­wie (a pri­son­er of war camp in Tex­as) and Camp Kear­ny.

In 1902–03, Torrey preached in near­ly ev­ery part of the Eng­lish-speak­ing world, and with song lead­er Charles Al­ex­an­der, con­duct­ed re­viv­al ser­vic­es in Great Bri­tain, 1903–05.

During this pe­ri­od, he al­so vi­sit­ed Ch­ina, Ja­pan, Aus­tral­ia, and In­dia. Tor­rey con­duct­ed a si­mi­lar cam­paign in Am­eri­can and Ca­na­di­an ci­ties, 1906–07. Through­out these cam­paigns, Torrey used a meet­ing style that he bor­rowed from Moody’s cam­paigns of the 1870s.

In 1907, he ac­cept­ed an hon­or­ary doc­tor­ate from Whea­ton Col­lege, Il­li­nois.

In 1912, Tor­rey was per­suad­ed to build an­oth­er in­sti­tu­tion like Moody Bi­ble In­sti­tute, and from 1912–24, served as Dean of the Bi­ble Ins­ti­tute of Los An­ge­les (now Bi­ola Uni­ver­si­ty) and con­trib­ut­ed to the Bi­o­la pub­li­ca­tion, The King’s Bu­si­ness.

Beginning in 1915, Tor­rey served as the first pas­tor of the Church of the Open Door, Los An­ge­les. Tor­rey was one of the three ed­it­ors of The Fun­da­ment­als, a 12-vol­ume ser­ies that gave its name to what came to be called fun­da­ment­al­ism.

Torrey held his last ev­an­gel­is­tic meet­ing in Flo­ri­da in 1927, ad­di­tion­al meet­ings be­ing can­celed be­cause of his fail­ing health.

Torrey-Gray Au­di­tor­i­um, the main au­di­tor­i­um at Moody Bi­ble In­sti­tute, was named for Tor­rey and his suc­cess­or, James M. Gray. At Bi­o­la, the Tor­rey Hon­ors In­sti­tute hon­ors him, as does the uni­ver­si­ty’s an­nu­al Bi­ble con­fer­ence.