The Father of Modern Missions…

If England hadn’t been losing its war with the American colonies, William Carey might have never heard Hebrews 13:13, the verse that led to his conversion.

Carey had been born in 1761 into an impoverished home in an obscure English village. He was a sickly child, sensitive to the sun and afflicted by numerous allergies. By age 14, he was frequently in trouble, “addicted to swearing, lying, and unchaste conversation,” skipping church, and running with a motley gang.

But he was apprenticed to a cobbler, John Warr, a zealous Christian who determined to win him to the Lord. Carey wanted none of it, but Warr, a Dissenter, was persistent in planting gospel truth in the young man’s heart. Meanwhile, the Revolutionary War had broken out, and England found itself on the losing side. King George III, hoping for divine reversal, proclaimed a day of national prayer and fasting for Sunday,

February 10, 1779, and Warr persuaded Carey to join him at a service of intercession.
Thomas Chater preached that day from Hebrews 13:13, urging his listeners to give their lives to Christ. As he quoted his text—”Let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach”—the words spoke directly to 17-year-old William. He sensed God’s telling him to take a stand for Christ by leaving the formality of the established church and becoming a dissenter and an evangelical Christian.

His heart slowly made its decision, and this has been called Carey’s conversion experience. From that day, the direction of his life changed. Four years later he became a Baptist. Fourteen years later, a missionary. In time, William not only opened the floodgates of organized missions, he himself translated the complete Bible into six languages, and portions of the Bible into 29 others. (We assume he always gave special attention to the translation of Hebrews 13:13.)

Carey never returned to England, but labored for the Lord for nearly 41 years, until his death in India at age 73. He is called the “Father of Modern Missions.”

recorded by Robert J. Morgan

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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