Biography of Pastor Alistair Begg


Born May 22, 1952, Alistair Begg is a Scottish pastor. He is the senior pastor of Cleveland's Parkside Church (located in Bainbridge Township, Geauga County, Ohio), a position he has held since 1983. He is the voice behind the Truth For Life Christian radio preaching and teaching ministry, which broadcasts his sermons daily to stations across North America through over 1,800 radio outlets. He is also the author of several books.

Begg was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1952 and still carries a distinctive Scottish accent after years of ministry in the United States. On 2 November 1972, his mother died. Regarding the incident, Begg wrote that "more spiritual progress is made through failure and tears than success and laughter." Begg graduated from the London School of Theology in 1975 and then served eight years in Scotland at Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh and Hamilton Baptist Church in Lanarkshire. Begg became senior pastor of Parkside Church, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1983. He was also educated at Trent University and Westminster Theological Seminary. He began studying for a DMin in the mid-1980s, but never completed the degree. Among his influences are Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Stott, Derek Prime, Eric Alexander, Sinclair Ferguson, Dick Lucas, Eric Liddell, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Jim Elliot, and Hudson Taylor.

Westminster Theological Seminary conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity on Begg on May 28, 2009. Later, both Grove City College, on May 16, 2015, and Cedarville University conferred the same degree upon him.

He and his wife, Susan, have been married since 1975. They have three married children and 8 grandchildren. Susan is American by birth and Begg himself became a U.S. citizen in 2004. He remains a proud supporter of his boyhood club, the Glasgow Rangers.

He is the daily speaker on the national radio program Truth For Life which stems from his weekly Bible teaching at Parkside, and is the author of Made for His Pleasure, Lasting Love: How to Avoid Marital Failure, What Angels Wish They Knew, and The Hand of God. He was recently awarded an honorary doctorate from Cedarville University. He and his wife, Susan, have three grown children.

Begg believes in the inerrancy and supremacy of Scriptures, and in the saving power of Christ alone. He has said that the core belief of Parkside Church is "that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has died as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and that to know Him is to know life, both now and forever . . . Jesus Christ is the only Savior, because Jesus is the only one who is qualified to save." Begg is especially known for compelling oratory and a style of teaching that makes frequent reference to Biblical passages.

In January 2024 Begg received criticism for advising a grandmother to attend her grandson's wedding to a transgender person. Critics included Owen Strachan, provost of Grace Bible Theological Seminary, and the American Family Association; the latter removed Begg's Truth for Life broadcasts from its American Family Radio network.

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