Habitat for Humanity founder to speak Feb. 27

Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity, visits Elon University on Wednesday for a talk titled “The Joy of Service” about the benefits of volunteering time to help others.

Fuller, who today runs The Fuller Center for Housing, will be the keynote speaker in the McCrary Theater in the Center for the Arts. The address begins at 7:30 p.m.

Fuller was inspired to begin the affordable housing movement in the 1960’s after giving up his self-made fortune for a life of simplicity and what he describes as an obedience to God.  The first homes built under his leadership were constructed with homeowners contributing “sweat equity” and being sold their homes at no profit and with no interest charged.

A sharp business expertise and entrepreneurial drive made him a millionaire by age 29. Realizing that their lives were still lacking, Fuller and wife Linda decided to sell their possessions and give the money to the poor. After a stint of mission work in Africa, the Fullers founded Habitat for Humanity in Americus, Ga., in 1976, serving as its president for the next 28 years.

Fuller then founded The Fuller Center for Housing, a Christian non-profit organization “to promote collaborative and innovative partnerships with individuals and organizations in an unrelenting quest to provide adequate shelter for all people in need worldwide.”  Chapters of The Fuller Center, called Covenant Partners, are established and growing in the United States and in more than 10 countries internationally.

Fuller received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and was awarded an honorary doctorate during a previous visit to Elon in 1995. In 2005, he founded the Fuller Center for Housing, which he now serves as president.

A book signing will follow his speech in McCrary Theater.  Books offered for purchase and signing are the recently released biography on Millard and Linda Fuller, The House That Love Built, written by Betty Youngs. Books authored by Millard, including Building Materials for Life, Volume III and the Theology of the Hammer will also be available.

Sponsored by the Truitt Center for
Religious & Spiritual Life and the Elon University
Habitat for Humanity Chapter.