William Carey - 1761-1834

William Carey

William Carey was far from being a revivalist, but the story of his life has been an inspiration and example to thousands of others who have sought to spread the gospel across the world.

Carey, commonly known as ‘The Father of Modern Missions’, was a Northamptonshire (U.K.) shoemaker who left the Church of England to become a Baptist in 1783. He became a preacher and pastor in Leicester and soon developed a passion for evangelising the ‘heathen,’ as non-Christians in other lands were then called.

He penned a powerful appeal to become involved in missions entitled ‘An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use means for the conversion of the heathens….’ His efforts at promoting missions led to the formation of the Baptist Missionary Society.

In 1793 he sailed for India, accompanied by his wife, Dorothy, and subsequently translated portions of the Bible into 34 languages, including 6 completed translations of the whole Bible and 23 of the New Testament. He clearly paved the way for the Gospel in that land.

Despite taking five years to win his first Indian convert he never lost his faith in the glorious success of the Gospel. Gleanings from his writings show him to be a revival seeker throughout. ‘God’s cause will triumph.’ Christ has begun to besiege this ancient and strong fortress, and will assuredly carry it (through); He must reign, till Satan has not an inch of territory (left)’.

By 1813 more than 500 had been baptized and by his death in 1834 he lived to see 24 gospel churches planted in India and 40 fellow workers engaged in Indian missions.

Tony Cauchi
February 2008