Who is William Carey?

William Carey was one of the first great pioneers for world missions as we know it today. Carey started out as an in England as a pastor and part time teacher. He wrote a book that has set the precedence for the necessity for Christians to reach out to the world that doesn’t know Christ. The pervading views in the world regarding missions essentially came down to “that the Great Commission no longer applied to Christians.”[1] This was not Carey’s position and while he wrote his pamphlet An Enquiry where he essentially outlines not only the reason for why we still do missions work as well as the basic demographics of the known world. After he published An Enquiry where he reminds Christians that the other parts of the world “who have no Bible, no written language (which many of them have not), no ministers, no good civil government, nor any of those advantages which we have. Pity therefore, humanity, and much more Christianity, call loudly for every possible exertion to introduce the Gospel amongst them.”[2]

This publication came just before Carey left for India where he settled in Serampore near Calcutta and lived out the principles he wrote about. It would be well for Christians today to remember the prompting of Carey who would exhort “others and himself to ‘expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”[3]

While Carey pioneered missions as we know it today, it seems like the fervor for which Carey was able to instill in those around him has faded over the years despite technology improving. With more information and the ability to travel places faster than ever before, those who have the gospel in the so called “first world countries” tend to be the worst at spreading the gospel because while the number of Christians in countries like China and Korea are growing so much that now missionaries are coming to America from those countries. We have many options to get the gospel to countries that haven’t heard of Christ and we must make every possible effort to do so.


[1] 1Winter, Ralph & Steven Hawthorne. Perspectives On the World Christian Movement. (Pasadena: William Carey William Carey Library. 2009) 312

[2] Winter, Ralph & Steven Hawthorne. Perspectives On the World Christian Movement. (Pasadena: William Carey William Carey Library. 2009) 314

[3] Winter, Ralph & Steven Hawthorne. Perspectives On the World Christian Movement. (Pasadena: William Carey William Carey Library. 2009) 312.

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