Billy Zeoli

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Billy Zeoli
Billy Zeoli speaking from the podium at the National Religious Broadcasters Annual Congressional Breakfast, January 28, 1975. Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.
Citizenship US
Education BA, History (1955)
Alma mater Wheaton College
Philadelphia School of the Bible
L'Abri (circa 1972)
Occupation film executive producer
professional sports chaplin
internet content producer
Employer Gospel Communications International;
Gospel Films, Inc.;
Indianapolis Youth for Christ
Billy Graham Indianapolis Crusade (1959).
Known for White House Chaplain to U.S. President Gerald R. Ford
Notable work How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture (1977, film executive producer)
Television How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture (2005; television series)
Title God's Got a Better Idea
(book author)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Marilyn
Children 3
Parent(s) Anthony Zeoli

Billy Zeoli is an American evangelical media executive producer from Grand Rapids, Michigan who once served as a White house chaplain to U.S. President Gerald R. Ford and Betty Ford during the mid-1970s[1] and who offered advice as a spiritual counselor to President Ford[2] on the question of issuing a pardon to former U.S. President Richard Nixon, who had resigned following the Watergate scandal as a result of the June 17, 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement.[3]

Zeoli previously led the then U.S. Rep. Gerald R. Ford to become a Christian during a prayer breakfast being held in Washington, D.C. for the Washington Redskins professional football team.[4]

Zeoli received recognition as a minister to several American major league professional sport teams and athletes.

Zeloi was also instrumental in bringing together the American missionary theologian Francis Schaeffer of the L'Abri in Huémoz-sur-Ollon, Switzerland and his son, Frank Schaeffer with wealthy American evangelicals (such as Amway co-founder and multi-billionaire Richard DeVos) for the financial backing of the How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture 1977 documentary film series.

The American distribution of the How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture book, the U.S. distribution of the film of the same title by Zeoli's Gospel Films, Inc., and subsequent film tour in the United States by the Schaeffers was responsible for bringing many evangelical Protestants into the then largely Roman Catholic public protest movement against the United States Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) supporting legal abortion in the United States.

Zeoli was also the former Co-Chair (along with Amway President Doug DeVos) of Gospel Communications International. Gospel Communications International developed the web site and also trained and hosted hundreds of evangelical ministries on the World Wide Web beginning in 1995. Gospel Communications International both sold the web site and ceased operations on December 15, 2008.


  1. ^ Billy Zeoli – Linked-in.
  2. ^ Gibbs, Nancy. "The Other Born-Again President?". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ Billy Zeoli.
  4. ^ "Richard Devos". The Gerald R. Ford Foundation.