On this day in 1834, William Carey, missionary in India and a man called “the father of modern missions”, died in Serampore, India.

In the late 1700s, Carey shook the Baptist churches of England and then the world by advocating the desperate need for the churches to take up the work of world evangelism.  He founded the first Baptist missionary society in England and, in 1793, he set sail for India to give the rest of his life in this wonderful land!

In the city of Serampore, Carey brought together a powerful team of missionaries, who set about to establish a strong mission that would serve as an example for missionaries to come.  William Ward, a skilled printer, set up a large printing press at the mission, where they could print one of the 44 different Bible translation the team had created.  Joshua Marshman, along with a student of his named David Brunsdon, began to set up schools, where they would teach the Bible and other topics.  A college was founded by Carey and Marshman at the mission, known as Serampore College.  The primary purpose of this college was to train up Indian pastors to assist in the growing work, though the college offered offer degrees also.

The last forty years of Carey’s life was spent in India.  He would never return home to England.  As a pioneer, he faced unexpected hardships and trials along his dark, unknown path.  He suffered terrible failures in his family.  Financial difficulties beset him from the start.  Difficulties in the ministry were abundant.  But with each mistake and failure Carey faced, he was simply lighting the path for those fortunate missionaries who follow him.  All pioneers face the unknown wilderness with no one to guide them.  But their life lights the way for those who follow.

In the final years of his life, as Carey lived at the college, teaching Indians and missionaries alike, he said, “There is nothing remarkable in what I have done. It has only required patience and perseverance…When I compare things as they now are in India with what they were when I came here, I see that a great work has been accomplished, but how it has been accomplished, I know not.

By Carey’s orders, the following inscription was placed upon his tombstone:

William Carey

Born August 17th, 1761, Died June 9th, 1834

A wretched, poor, and helpless worm.

On thy kind arms I fall.


Wholesome Word

On this day in 597, Columba, the Irish missionary who took the gospel to Scotland, died.

Columba’s grandfather had been personally lead to the Lord and baptized by Patrick, the missionary who first brought the gospel to Ireland.  So Columba was raised in a Christian home, where he heard of Christ often and was saved at a young age.  But Columba was a strong-head and aggressive young man.  At the age of 22, a foolish argument between him and a monk blew out of proportion.  Neither of them willing to back down, a line was drawn and armies were raised.  When the battle was over, nearly 3,000 men lay dead.  The church leaders decided to send Columba into exile.  Full of remorse for what he just caused, Columba decided to take a handful of followers to Scotland, where he vowed to convert as many men as had just died on the battlefield.

Columba and his men settled on the Island of Iona, where he built a mission to reach out to the tribe known as the Picts.  He built several churches among the picts and saw a vast number of them come to Christ.  As the work grew, he began to realize the importance of training men.  So he turned his mission at Iona into a missionary training center, where Picts, Irish, and others could come train to go into the ministry.

Columba worked in Scotland until the age of 75, starting churches and training missionaries at his mission.  During a midnight devotions with his young men, Columba collapsed and, being rushed to his bed, died peacefully.



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