Wallace Henley was described by his pastor, Dr. Ed Young, as a man of “keen insight into popular culture coupled with biblical wisdom.” The late Chuck Colson described Henley as someone who understood Washington well. University of Tennessee historian Larry Ingle, in a book on the Nixon White House, where Henley served, commented on Henley’s book, The White House Mystique. Professor Ingle noted Henley’s “riveting insights” regarding the presidency, the White House, and power. Henley’s insight and wisdom have come through a career of more than 40 years that has included service in the Church, the White House, the U.S. Congress, and Academia.
Henley was born in Birmingham, Alabama, December 5, 1941, two days before the Pearl Harbor attack that brought the United States into the Second World War. His childhood and youth were saturated in the ethos of the War. He was raised in a single-parent home, and his mother, a devoted Christian and strong leader kept him in church where he could be under the influence of solid, godly men. Many of them were returning veterans, and Henley developed early a passion to try to understand the dynamics of nations and history.
He holds the Bachelor of Arts Degree and the Master of Arts Degree (With High Distinction) focusing on leadership studies. Henley’s formal education was through Samford University, Birmingham, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, and a joint MA program of Trinity Theological Seminary (USA)-Canterbury Christchurch University College (England). The Encourager Bible College, New Delhi (Noida), India, awarded Henley an honorary doctorate for “his contributions to the training and equipping of leaders for developing nations.”
Henley’s work has encompassed the following areas:
Wallace Henley currently is Senior Associate Pastor at Houston’s Second Baptist Church. The 69,000-member congregation is led by Dr. Ed Young. Henley has already served as senior pastor for churches in Alabama and Texas, and briefly in Europe. From 1983-1985 he was President of the million-member Alabama Baptist Convention.
Wallace Henley was a White House aide, 1970-1973. He helped design and implement the most sweeping school desegregation in American history. Henley also assisted in presidential correspondence and statements. He was a surrogate speaker for the President throughout the nation, explaining White House policy, and coordinating with public organizations. Henley also served as District Director and Acting Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative John Culberson of Texas’ 7th Congressional District. Through his own LLC Wallace Henley has served as a management-leadership consultant to local government agencies, including a Harris County agency in which he guided implementation of an organizational restructuring.
Wallace Henley is a columnist for The Christian Post. His column, “Critical Confluences,” explores the confluence of current events, cultural trends, and the biblical worldview. It is read regularly by more than 400,000 people. Henley was a reporter and editor for The Birmingham News. There he covered the civil rights crisis of the 1960s, and wrote editorials and op-ed columns, as well as serving as religion editor. He has been cited in or written for Christianity Today, The Wall Street Journal, Leadership Journal, and numerous other publications.
Wallace Henley was Director of Public Relations at the University of Mobile, 1966-1968. He is now an adjunct professor of worldview studies at Belhaven University. He is a member of the Board for the Center for Christianity in Business at Houston Baptist University. He has spoken at several major universities, including Baylor, Samford, the University of Utah, and Marquette University in Milwaukee.
Wallace Henley is a prolific author, having published more than 20 books. HarperCollins published Henley’s Globequake: Living in the Unshakeable Kingdom While the World Falls Apart in 2012. This book explores global change and how the five sectors of Church, Family, Education, Governance, Business-Marketplace can remain stable through application of biblical principles. Henley is co-author with Jonathan Sandys, great-grandson of Winston Churchill, of God and Churchill: How the Great Leader’s Sense of Divine Destiny Changed His Troubled World and Offers Hope for Ours. This book will be published in October 2015, and will be the first spiritual biography of Britain’s wartime Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Henley has served as a collaborative writer for Dr. Ed Young and other leaders on their books.
Wallace Henley’s passion for developing infrastructure leadership for nations worldwide was inspired through his participation with Dr. John Haggai and Haggai Institute. Henley met Dr. Haggai in 1969, and in 1971, traveled with Dr. Haggai around the world, and taught at Haggai Institute leadership seminars in Singapore. Henley developed Headwaters Leadership Institute, through which he has conducted workshops in 22 nations. He has worked closely with the Chinese Christian Business Association, assisting the rapidly expanding business entrepreneurship in China. When Communism collapsed in the early 1990s Henley traveled throughout the old Soviet Bloc conducting leadership training. He has also worked extensively in Africa, Asia, and Central America.
In 1968 the Presbyterian Church in the US named Henley the nation’s top religion writer in the daily newspaper category. In 1973 the Associated Press presented Henley its highest news-writing award in recognition of his coverage of the civil rights crisis in Birmingham. The Birmingham News twice honored Henley with its awards for “creative enterprise in journalism.” Belhaven University in 2014 gave Henley its Faculty Ambassador Award for “excellence in classroom teaching.”
Wallace and Irene Henley married in 1961. Their daughter, Lauri, works in the Houston energy industry. The Henley’s son, Travis, is Vice President of Hewlett-Packard. Wallace and Irene have six grand-children and one great-grandchild. The Henleys have been Houston residents since 1986.