Belmonte, Kevin Charles
BELMONTE, Kevin Charles
Born in York, ME; married October 20, 1990; wife's name, Kelly. Education: Gordon College, B.A.; Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, M.A.; University of Southern Maine, graduate student in American and New England studies, 2004—.
Home—York, ME. Office—Wilberforce Forum, Prison Fellowship Ministries, P.O. Box 5484, Baltimore, MD 21285.
Author and lecturer. Gordon College, Wenham, MA, director of Wilberforce Project, 1998-2002; Wilberforce Forum, Washington, DC, fellow; film consultant.
Pollock Award for Christian Biography, 2003, for Hero for Humanity: A Biography of William Wilberforce.
(Editor) William Wilberforce, A Practical View of Christianity, introduction by Charles Colson, foreword by Garth M. Rosell, Hendrickson Publishers (Peabody, MA), 1996.
Hero for Humanity: A Biography of William Wilberforce, Navpress (Colorado Springs, CO), 2002.
Contributor to periodicals, including Christian History.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Steadfast Companions: The Story of Clapham Circle, a profile of philanthropists who worked with William Wilberforce.
Kevin Charles Belmonte is the editor of William Wilberforce's A Practical View of Christianity, first published in England in 1797, and the author of Hero for Humanity: A Biography of William Wilberforce.
Wilberforce (1759-1833) left, then later reunited with Christianity. He was elected to Parliament as a young man and spent nearly half a century abolishing the slave trade in the British colonies before attacking slavery itself. Compared to George Washington for his leadership, Wilberforce was praised by Abraham Lincoln and Edmund Burke, who compared his oratorical skills to the great orators of ancient Greece. He worked for human rights through Britain's war with Napoleonic France and was persecuted for his efforts. In spite of many personal and political setbacks, death threats, and physical assaults, Wilberforce persevered in reforming British morals and encouraging private philanthropies to improve the lives of the poor, and many of those who were originally against him eventually supported Wilberforce's policies
In reviewing Hero for Humanity in Christianity Today, Cindy Crosby wrote that "Belmonte's admiration for Wilberforce shines throughout the book." The book is organized topically and contains a considerable amount of quoted material and references. Belmonte writes of Wilberforce's literary preferences, friendships, family, and personal habits. Booklist's Ray Olson called the biography "a good introduction to an example of that now rare species, the genuinely Christian statesman."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 2002, Ray Olson, review of Hero for Humanity: A Biography of William Wilberforce, p. 284.
Christianity Today, January, 2003, Cindy Crosby, review of Hero for Humanity, p. 68.
Gordon University Center for Christian Studies Web site,http://www.gordon.edu/ccs (August 13, 2003), interview from Christian Book Distributors.
Wilberforce Forum Web site,http://www.wilberforce.org (August 13, 2003), review of Hero for Humanity.