William Carey

"Expect great things from God, Attempt great things for God."

A famous quote by William Carey

William Carey became a baptist christian because of his friend in Piddington, England.  Ever since Dr. Booth gave a speech about his missionary travels in India, William knew he was called to go to India.  After many travels around England to sell his book Enquiry ( which is the short title people called it by because of the actual title’s length) and raise funds and support; William and Dr. Thomas finally traveled to India with their families.  William and his friends in England  (at the Particular Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel William and his closest friends had established) and on the ship had one major concern, however.

The missionaries would be traveling without permits from the East India Company, and they did not allow missionaries to travel into India.  If they where caught, they would be returned to England.  During the trip to India, there was several delays.

Once they finally got to East India, they settled in Serampore, on the west side of the Hooghly River delta.  He was eventually offered a job as an indigo dye supervisor, along with a large house, large salary, and a five year East India Company permit.  William noticed after a couple years that the area the area the dye factory had been placed in an area that flooded often ,and needed to be moved to another location.  Soon after William had found a new location for the factory, he received a letter from a group of missionaries that had been sent by the missionary society back in England.  There were seven adults and five children, although one of the adults died soon after arriving in Serampore.  William decided to buy two acres of land along with a large house that had room for a printing room, a meeting hall, a dining room, a school room, and two rooms for each family.  William also grew a garden on the land as well.  The missionaries agreed that no one would keep anything for themselves, and that all the money would be pooled into one big fund.  A couple years later, William Ward finally completed the huge task of printing the New Testament in Bengali!  He had printed individual books of the New Testament before, but never a complete New Testament.

Soon after, William Carey was offered a job as a lecturer of language at the new Fort William College for British clerks.  William accepted the job and began traveling to the college in Calcutta during the weeks and traveling back to Serampore during the weekends.  William was also permitted to take breaks to continue his translation work.

During all their time there, the mission hadn’t had a single convert.  Now they finally did.  Krishna Pal had been baptized earlier, and now his family was baptized too!  Because of William’s new job, He was now able to meet and talk with some of the most powerful men in the country!  William used these meetings to urge the spread of the gospel, of course.  Some time after William received his new job, his faithful partner John Marshman tearfully informed him that a fire had set ablaze the print shop back in Serampore.  The fire had originally only damaged the papers that were not printed on yet.  Only after an unknown person reopened the closed windows and doors did the fire restart and consume all of the printed papers as well.

A short while later, after the missionaries had already begun to rebuild, the East India Company amended the charter to allow the free flowing of missionaries into India.  William’s nephew, Eustace, was the first licensed missionary to enter into India.  Eustace then joined his uncle in his work.  Many missionaries began moving to Serampore to assist William and the other missionaries.  Too many, in fact!  Many of these newer missionaries began attempting to take control and, because of their superior number compared to the elder missionaries, began overruling them on many votes.

Many of the men back in England “holding the ropes” began passing away and were being replaced by younger, less experienced, men who attempted to throw their weight around by commanding William and the other elder missionaries to turn everything that belonged to the mission workers in India over to the Baptist Missionary Society base in England.  William urged the society to be reasonable and that a successful mission cannot be run from halfway around the wold.  The society in England also did several other acts of force against the missionaries in India to show that they would be in control.

The mission soon started a monthly magazine and a newspaper.  These both proved to be very popular.  After accomplishing these things, William and John began working on their next project.  They wanted to form a college for Indian Christians.  The missionary society disagreed with this but allowed it to continue.  The king of Denmark donated five acres adjacent to the mission to build the college on and lord Hastings agreed to patron the college and gave 123 pounds ($205.74) to build the building. This would not be much today but would cover much of the costs at the time.William married for a third time after his second wife Charlotte died.

William died quietly in his bed around 14 years after the college was founded.  Shortly before his death, William Carey asked to be berried next to his second wife.

photo by Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)


  1. says

    Hey, Darrell. Just wanted to say I loved this post! William Carey is one of those missionaries that has been an inspiration to me in my walk with God and even as consider going overseas one day, Carey is an amazing example of a man of God who God used mightily. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply