missionary to India; Bible translator.
of William Carey
baptizing a convert
Born in England,
Carey was a cobbler by trade. Converted to Christianity at age 18, he
joined the Baptists and helped to
found the Baptist Missionary
Society in 1792. He soon became its first missionary to India. There
Carey supported himself and his family by running an indigo factory while
making his first translation of the Bible into Bengali. Carey then joined
other Baptist missionaries in Serampore, a Danish colony near Calcutta.
They founded a Christian congregation and a school for linguistic studies,
translating the Bible into several Indian languages and dialects. Carey
and his colleagues, Joshua Marshmann (1768-1837) and William Ward (1769-1823)
also worked to preach the Gospel as widely as possible, and to understand
the languages and beliefs of the peoples to whom they preached. The missionaries
encouraged the founding of congregations, distributed Bibles in native
languages, and strove to establish, as early as possible, an indigenous
ministry with Indian leadership.