Global Christianity

William Carey
(1761 - 1834)

Global Christianity

Baptist missionary to India; Bible translator.

Depiction 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.

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