“Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”
Who Was William Carey?
William Carey, Father of Modern Missions
Below is an adaptation from an original story by Martha Zimmerman, D.D.
William Carey, for whom Carey Theological College is named, was born in Paulerspury, England, on August 17, 1761. When he was 14, his father apprenticed him to a shoemaker in a near-by village. Another apprentice in the workshop, John Warr, invited William to a Baptist church where he made his life-changing decision to become a follower of Christ. Soon William Carey was studying Latin, Greek and Hebrew in order to better understand scripture. Because he never sat at his cobbler’s bench without a book beside him (often his Bible) he is known in history as the Consecrated Cobbler and his shoemaker shop became known as “Carey College.”
On May 30, 1792, he was invited to preach to the Northamptonshire Association of Baptist Churches at their annual meeting. Carey was a cobbler and shoes come in pairs. His historic sermon fell into the same pattern with two points that became famous:
1. Expect great things FROM God
2. Attempt great things FOR God
His unrelenting urging finally brought about the formation of the Baptist Missionary Society. Carey’s vision for winning the world for Christ was a theory until June 1793 when he sailed to India and gave Protestantism its modern model of a missionary. When he arrived in India Carey was already fluent in seven languages. Soon his linguistic skills had expanded and for 30 years he held the position of professor of Bengali and Sanskrit in the Crown College, Fort William of Calcutta. He supervised the translation of God’s Word into more than 34 languages and dialects, touching the lives of countless people. William Carey, cobbler, scholar, preacher, missionary, evangelist, translator, and educator, died June 19, 1834. He is known as the “Father of Modern Missions”.