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Seven Case Studies from the Life of William Carey

Author: Alan Howell
Published: 2023

MD 14

Article Type: Text Article

William Carey is one of the most significant figures in the history of Christian missions. His influence flows from his inspiring life and ministry, but his story has also proven to be instructive. These seven thematic and illustrative case studies explore different aspects of Carey’s experience in ways that lead to fruitful dialogue about responsible involvement in global evangelism today. They create opportunities for historical analysis and discussion about missions in terms of motivation, preparation, participation, vision, teams, empowerment, and perseverance.

Case studies have played an important role in missions training and education. Many missionaries have been formed by Paul and Frances Hiebert’s Case Studies in Missions1 and Alan Neely’s Christian Mission: A Case Study Approach.2 While case studies about challenging cross-cultural situations are certainly helpful, it can also be advantageous to use case studies that explore different aspects in the overall formation and work of a missionary. The following are seven thematic and illustrative case studies that I have gleaned from S. Pearce Carey’s biography of William Carey.3 Timothy Tennent states that “the standard biography of Carey remains” S. Pearce Carey’s work,4 but I will also include references to other resources for those who want to analyze certain aspects of these stories more deeply. These case studies have proven useful in my own teaching of undergraduate and graduate missions courses (2016–present) and have laid the groundwork for productive conversations about the past, present, and future of Christian missions.

1. Motivating the Church for Mission

William Carey (1761–1834) has often been called the “Father of Modern Missions.”5 His influence on Protestant efforts in global evangelism would be hard to overestimate.6 Yet, by some measures, Carey appears to be an unlikely candidate for this lofty role. By trade he was a shoemaker, and in terms of education, he was largely self-taught. A world map hung on the wall of his workshop, inspiring his dreams and desires as well as his personal research. His mission team translated and printed the Bible in many Indian languages, helped bring about meaningful social reforms, as well as starting the Serampore College, which is the oldest University in continuous operation in India. Before Carey’s journey to India he wrote an influential pamphlet/book called An Enquiry into the Obligation of Christians to use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens (1792) that used history, statistics, and biblical imperatives to remind the church that the world desperately needs the gospel of Christ.7 Perhaps the hardest challenge that Carey faced was that his church fellowship initially lacked the vision, means, and structure to participate in overseas missions. So Carey’s first essential contribution to global evangelism was his role in motivating the churches he served and launching the Baptist Missionary Society.

Carey had to make the conditions in which his Society could be born. He could not merely apply the match to the tinder, for the tinder itself had to be prepared. When he woke to the missionary vision, he found to his amazement that most of his fellow Christians were fast asleep. He had to create the very desire that, at length, created the Mission—to provoke the demand that he himself would then supply. For 10 years he resisted his contemporaries’ inertia and fought their disbelief to conquer ‘by the stubborn minority of one’—’going at length against every dictate of common sense, every calculation of prudence, and all but universal opinion, because in the solid solitary sanctuary of his brooding soul an entreaty kept sounding from destitute heathendom.’8

Carey met with his fellowship of churches in 1791 and made an appeal using Haggai 1 for the church to participate in global evangelism. There was excitement and interest, but no real resolution for commitment. Carey pushed for their “impression to be turned to expression,” to move from “sentiment to service,” but the people were not ready.9

A month later, Carey spoke at Leicaster and read from his pamphlet. The summary of his argument was that “not by deluge nor by other such judgment will God deal with the world’s sin. God now calls people by the grace of Christ’s Cross. . . . It is time for Christian people to awake from the love of money and ease. . . . We have no right to the promises (of Scripture) unless we observe the command [to go]. The one conditions the other. To neglect his commission is to forfeit His benediction.”10

One way that Carey’s pamphlet challenged the church to act was by pointing to the example of other missionaries and making comparisons to the world of business: “Elliot and Brainerd transformed America’s Indians through the power of the Gospel as no European civilization ever could have done. Barbarism baffled no traders. Even to distant Alaska they ventured just for otters. If we Christians loved men as merchants love money, no fierceness of peoples would keep us from their midst. Their very barbarism would evoke our swifter help. Elliot and Brainerd, by the grace of the Gospel, both subdued and uplifted men. We cannot afford to leave even the most dehumanized races without Christ.”11

Carey called upon the church to pray—quoting Zech. 4:6, rightly reasoning that this task would not be accomplished by human initiative alone. But he also challenged the church to plan and plod. Again, economic metaphors were used for inspiration: “When traders form a company and win a charter, they go to the limit of their secured concessions and prerogatives, choosing stocks, ships, men, routes, everything, in accordance with their purpose. They strain every nerve, run every risk, dare every danger, watch every vessel, mourn every delay, and never rest ‘till the rich returns are safe and port.’ We Christians must be equally earnest in the business of our Lord. For the present, each denomination of Christians must form its own missionary society, though in friendliest communication with the rest.” Carey called all to give generously according to their means to participate in this worthy venture.12

Besides this pamphlet, Carey’s story reminds us that preaching is a powerful agent in the task of motivating the church to participate in the mission of God. Carey gave a sermon which was long remembered as having laid the foundation of the Baptist Missionary Society. He challenged Christians in a statement that has been popularized as, “Expect great things from God; and attempt great things for God.”13

Carey’s preaching was not, though, what finally moved the church association to act. His own personal request coupled with the emergence of a partner is what finally tipped the scales. After making a number of appeals in one meeting that met with a mixed response, Carey cried out, “Is there nothing again going to be done, sir?” This proved a “creative moment in the history of evangelistic endeavor.” Andrew Fuller resonated with this desperate, heartbroken gesture, and he stood with Carey. Fuller became Carey’s most powerful supporter, and the two of them acted like “Joshua and Caleb”—a powerful duo for motivating the church for mission.14

Eventually, five relatively young men—John Sutcliffe (40), John Ryland (39), Andrew Fuller (38), William Carey (31), and Samuel Pearce (26)—took the risk and threw themselves into the task. All of them poured themselves faithfully into this mission for the rest of their lives.15

It must not be forgotten that “founding a missionary society with such humble and feeble backing was entirely new in modern British history. The Puritans had looked to Parliament as patron and treasurer of missions.” But these five men had only the backing of a handful of obscure village churches.16 It was not unreasonable for these small churches to feel helpless. These “were such little flocks, and their folk were illiterate and poor, and could neither be expected to grasp nor support such a vast undertaking. In any case, they lacked experience or precedent to guide them. . . . The greater centers and churches, they said, must surely take the initiative and shoulder the burden. None of this should surprise us. In human terms they really were nobodies from nowhere, with no influence beyond their village bounds. Indeed, their villages were so obscure that a mid-Englander would have never heard of them!”17 And yet, they answered this seemingly impossible call, and their efforts in global evangelism made a powerful impact for the kingdom.18

Question: What are some principles that today’s church can learn from this case study about the way to motivate the church for mission today?

2. Apostolic Preparation: Training and Equipping (Getting ready to “Go”)

In this section, I will look at the theme of preparation for mission service in Carey’s story. Before and during his work of motivating the church for mission, Carey served small, troubled congregations and gained real experience in ministry in his own culture.19 Those churches grew to love and respect him. At that stage, Carey’s preaching lacked windows or metaphors,20 something that he would later learn to implement well in India.

After the formation of the missionary society, Carey encountered a man named John Thomas who had lived in India for a number of years. Thomas made a compelling case for service in India to Carey. Even though Carey was the natural choice “to be the Society’s first missionary, he here introduced them to another missionary, and this one an expert, who seemed to have arrived by punctual and dramatic providence.” Carey displayed a willingness to put his own interests below that of the Missionary Society. Not only would it put Carey in the role of “second fiddle,” it also ended up changing their target location. Carey had hoped to go to Tahiti, and now they would look to his second choice, Bengal, instead.21

A few years later, another group inspired by Carey’s efforts “convened a much larger non-Baptist group in London, which proposed to form an interdenominational mission on the same lines as Carey’s. The response from their churches was electric, and fourteen months later (August 1795) their first missionaries sailed down the Thames in the Duff, to the cheering of thousands, bound for Tahiti (Carey’s own originally-intended destination), with the missionary party of thirty, singing: Jesus, at Thy command; We launch into the deep.”22 Carey’s own departure, though, was much, much less celebrated. He and Thomas were delayed for weeks, held up by delays caused by government paperwork and Thomas’s financial mismanagement.

Eventually, though, Carey and his family arrived in India, where he would spend the rest of his life (40 years). The journey lasted five months. “During the tedious last month the captain sometimes let Carey accompany him on the poop deck. All he observed became a parable of the task before him. He wrote: ‘For near a month we have been within 200 miles of Bengal, but the violence of the currents sets us back from the very door.’ ” Carey described the process they took tacking back and forth to move slowly forward: “Now this is tedious work, and, if the current be against us, we scarcely make any way; nay, sometimes, in spite of all we do, we go backwards. Yet it is absolutely necessary to keep working up, if we mean to arrive at port. So we Christians have to work against wind and currents; and we must, if we are to make our harbor.” The most challenging thing for Carey about this journey was “the ship’s spirit towards India’s people. Officers and passengers alike talked of them with disdain.” Carey recognized that this contempt and lack of respect would only hinder his ability to connect with the people.23

By 1795, after two challenging years in India, changing locations, dealing with sickness and working vocationally, Carey “could preach for nearly half an hour, and be tolerably well understood, though some hearers would complain that he gave them ‘mental trouble,’ and he knew he was still in the grip of English idiom and sentence construction, and remote from the freedom of Bengali.” His preaching had no visible effect, as custom and caste were “king.”24

The sheer number of India’s poor and the abundance of their needs certainly had the potential to be overwhelming. Thomas wrote: “Do not send men of compassion here, for you will break their hearts. Do send men full of compassion, for many perish with cold, many for lack of bread, and millions for lack of knowledge. The other day I saw a pathway stopped up by sick and wounded people, perishing with hunger in a populous neighborhood, but none showing mercy – as though they were only dying weeds, not dying men.”25

Looking at the end of Carey’s life and ministry, it is instructive to see what he wrote to his sons to help prepare them to serve as missionaries themselves. His letters are filled with fatherly affection26 as well as practical instruction:

  • To Felix: “Let the Burmese language occupy your most precious time, and your most anxious solicitude. Do not be content with its superficial acquiring. Make it yours, root and branch. Listen with prying curiosity to the forms of speech, the construction and accent of the people. All your imitative powers will be wanted, and, unless you frequently use what you acquire, it will profit you little. As soon as you feel your feet, compose a grammar, and some simple Christian instruction. Begin your translations with the Gospel of Mark. Be very careful that your construction and idiom are Burman, not English.”27
  • To William, working in a lonely, difficult location: Carey encouraged him to have courage and be firmly dedicated to the task, exhorting them not to be distracted. “Mount your horse . . . and be out on God’s work.”28
  • To Jabez: “Consult Mr. Martin on every occasion of importance. As soon as you are settled, get a Malay, who can speak a little English and do a tour of your islands, visiting every school. Keep a journal of each, and encourage all you see worthy. Compare their periodic progress. Consider yourself more than a director of schools—even their Christian instructor, and devote yourself to their good. God has committed to you the spiritual interests of these islands; a vast charge, but one which he will enable you to fulfill. When you meet with a few who truly fear God, form them into Gospel churches. As soon as you see any fitted to preach, call them to the ministry and settle them over these. . . . Labour incessantly to become a perfect master of the Malay [language]. With this in view, associate with the native people, walk with them, ask the name of everything you see, visit them when they are sick.”29

Humility was a key quality that Carey valued in potential colleagues in ministry: “The confidence of young men in their competence makes me distrust them the more.”30 Carey also addressed the topic of what some have unfortunately labeled as “going native.” He warned of overidentification and over spiritualization in his counseling of foreign workers to be aware of their own limits. One new missionary to India was “eager to become wholly Indian in diet, clothing and housing. Carey, while admiring his dedication, felt compelled to add many cautions. ‘The Master won’t thank you for committing suicide. It is yourself, and not these externals, that will make the abiding impression.’ ”31

Question: What are some principles we can learn from Carey about the preparation of foreign missionaries or local partners in global evangelism?

3. Community of Mission: Sending Churches / Sending Organizations / Mission Committees

As one of Carey’s biggest supporters (Andrew Fuller) put it: “Our undertaking to India really appeared at its beginning to me somewhat like a few men, who were deliberating about the importance of penetrating a deep mine which had never before been explored. We had no one to guide us; and, whilst we were thus deliberating, Carey, as it were, said, ‘Well, I will go down, if you will hold the rope.’ But, before he descended, he, as it seemed to me, took an oath from each of us at the mouth of the pit, to this effect that ‘whilst we lived, we should never let go the rope.’ ”32

In the Society’s attempts to investigate the amount of financial support that would be needed, they asked John Thomas about their budget, “not knowing that Thomas was the last man in the world to consult on such questions. He was incapable of being financially precise, or of giving safe guidance. . . . Immeasurable later tragedy would have been saved had the Society learned at the outset the full measure of the task and its costs.”33 The church, though, responded in generosity and shared what they had.34

There were seasons when Carey was prevented from being reminded of the Mission Society’s commitment to him. In one of the darkest seasons of his life, when Mrs. Carey was struggling with deep depression and illness, their faithful “communications had all miscarried. The silence for almost two years was as if he had been clean forgotten. From Fuller’s ‘rope-holders’ at the mine-mouth not twitch nor tremor of the rope was felt!”35 When Carey did finally receive communication, Carey’s soul was nourished to hear that God had blessed the sending churches with growth in England that was beyond their expectations.36

When Carey communicated to the Mission Society that he had now found employment, there was conflict. Some members of the mission society were upset that he was now serving as a vocational missionary. This was confusing for Carey, as this had been the plan he thought he had communicated all along. Besides, “had they not been providentially led into business they would’ve starved” because the supplies sent from home were always delayed in transit or even intercepted.37 The Mission Society’s concerns may have stemmed from a negative experience: its second venture (into Sierra Leone) failed because of their missionaries’ political indiscretions.38

Carey tried his best to communicate about the situation in India in language that his Mission Society supporters would understand: “Only imagine England to be in the situation of Bengal; without public roads, inns, or other convenience for travel; without a post, save for the letters of the nobility; without the boon of printing; and absorbed in the monkish superstition of the eleventh century—that in this situation two or three men arrive from Greenland to evangelize the English, and settle at Newcastle—that they are under the necessity to labor for their living, and to spend much time in translating the Scriptures, and you will be able to form some idea of our case.”39

Andrew Fuller’s leadership and drive to support the work was impressive:40 When Carey asked for 1000 pounds a year, “Even they who knew Andrew Fuller best could little dream how this bold program of widened biblical translation would kindle his imagination and intensify his passion and his power. He soon traveled 1,300 miles and raised 1,300 pounds for this purpose.”41 One of the most impressive and tender images of Fuller, though, was his letter of encouragement to Carey’s son Jabez. Fuller’s commitment to hold the rope for Carey extended to Carey’s children, whom he had never met!42

When the mission in India came into grave danger as the directors of the “East India Company were ready to vote for the immediate recall of the missionaries,” friends back in England stepped boldly in, defending them against baseless attacks.43 Fuller was a key figure but passed away not long after: “he had never recovered the strength he had exhausted in his fight with Parliament. He had purchased the revised charter with his life. Indeed, through all the twenty-three years from” the very beginning of the mission venture, “he had been of one mind and soul with Carey, and . . . had spent himself for the Mission.”44

After Fuller’s death and the loss of members who knew Carey personally, conflict developed between the Mission Society and Carey. Some on the committee seemed to think that Carey and his teammates were “feathering their nests” so that their children would inherit the property at Serampore.45

Further conflict occurred as those on the committee sided with newer team members who arrived in later years—men that they knew personally. The Society tried to exert more and more control, leading Carey to pour out his distress in a letter to Ryland: “We are yours still to live and die with you; but as your brothers, not as your servants. I beseech you, therefore, not to attempt to exercise a power over us, to which we shall never submit. Bear with me a little, even if I speak foolishly; for my heart is exceedingly wounded at the Society’s proposal of the eight British trustees, and at several concomitant symptoms.” Carey reminded them that the Society had given only a small portion of what it took to build up the property, especially since Carey and his teammates had invested their own money in the venture. It pained Carey to remind them: “We are your brothers, not your hired servants.”46

The Serampore Mission team understood that at times they would need flexibility from the Mission Society to make decisions based on their own on-the-ground experience and insight.47 One example of this tension was the fact that most of the American and British Baptist money was strictly earmarked for the theological department of the Serampore College because they did not appreciate the wider scope of the design of the school and the realities the team was facing in the culture.48 Another example was when a group of contributors dropped support because Carey and his translators were not willing to transliterate the word “baptize.” Thankfully, other churches stepped in to meet the need.49

“Eventually, by disgraceful, persistent harassment, a takeover of properties was affected by a denominational missionary society, signaling that the era of corporate domination of missions and churches had at last broken upon British Baptists.”50 The final decision to surrender the property for the sake of peace, surprisingly brought much joy among the veteran team members. “ ‘Never,’ said one of their sons, ‘did men rejoice more in the acquisition of property than did these elders in divesting themselves of all interest in the Mission premises.’ ”51

The Society began to have a business-only approach to Carey. Carey wrote to comment that “no person belonging to the committee has, since Fuller’s death, written me a single letter of friendship, and I suppose I am unknown to almost every one. I do not complain though I acknowledge that I have occasionally felt it.” It leads one to wonder, what would have happened had it been possible to send a delegation to visit, investigate, or have more trust in the opinion of experienced missionaries.52

Question: What principles can we learn from this case study about best practices for sending partners in global evangelism?

4. Community of Mission: Vision (and Discerning Roles and Tasks)

The work of translation was at the heart of Carey’s vision for the mission enterprise in India.53 In a 1797 letter to Andrew Fuller he said, “Whereas in any land there are only two obstacles to God’s work—the sinfulness of man’s heart, and the lack of the Scriptures—this latter God has here begun to remove; for the New Testament is now translated into Bengali. Its treasures will be greater than diamonds.”54 Carey’s colleague, Ward, worked diligently to publish the Scriptures. In reflecting on his own calling on his journey to India, Ward said, “Unto me, who am less than the least of our saints, may this grace be given, that I should print for the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ.”55 The team saw translation as the key to transformation in the Indian culture.56 To accomplish this complex endeavor involved even the manufacture of the paper they would use to print with!57

As Carey’s work in Bengali progressed and he began teaching in the Government College, a new vision was impressed upon him of an expanded vision of translating the Bible into multiple languages. This was at first met with resistance by the Serampore team as they wrestled with the tension between having a deep impact in one language or culture verses having a wide impact in multiple languages or cultures,58 but soon Ward, in particular, became a leading enthusiast for the work.59

Carey employed a number of Indian “pundits” to assist him in the translation endeavor and the connections between these languages allowed him to have some level of mastery in each.60 Learning and translating the Bible into Sanskrit was especially crucial to unlocking other languages. Carey’s daily routine reveals a man possessed with the task of translation, working in multiple tongues at multiple stages, all the while teaching vocationally.61 Carey fully embraced this calling. In a letter to Fuller in 1804 he said, “I am more in my element . . . translating the Word of God than in any other employment.”62 A summary of Carey’s total translation work follows:

  • Bengali, Oriya, Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, Assamese (whole Bibles).
  • Punjabi (NT and OT up to Ezekiel 26).
  • Pashto, Kashmiri (NT and OT up to 2 Kings).
  • Telugu and Konkami (NT and Pentateuch).
  • Nineteen other languages (NT only).
  • Five other languages (one or more Gospels).63

It would be a mistake, though, to assume that Carey and his colleagues saw their ministry in only “spiritual” terms—merely producing God’s “spiritual texts.” Their team was aware of social issues happening around the globe, praying fervently for the end of slavery in the British Empire and celebrating steps toward this end.64 And their commitment to the Indian people went beyond translation as they saw other facets as playing into the holistic nature of the transformation of culture.

For example, they spoke out against the practice of widow burning or sati.65 Carey met personally with a revered Hindi scholar and saint and was able to “elicit from him an unqualified condemnation of sati. When, at this time, Carey learned that one of his own Serampore pundits had lit the pyre for the burning of his sister-in-law, he drove him from his presence as a murderer.”66 This reform took time to gain support,67 but eventually the practice was abolished.68 At that time Carey was the Government’s official Bengali translator. “The edict arrived early on Sunday 6 December, when he was preparing for the pulpit. Arranging with another to preach, he, with his pundit, gave the day to translating. He would not lose an hour with women’s lives at stake.”69

A variety of other concerns demonstrate the team’s dedication to holistic transformation:


The Serampore team was committed to education and started Serampore College. This had a powerful impact as they influenced Christian and non-Christian Indians, challenging the caste system while giving them a free education.70 The Serampore team also worked to educate the women of India.71

Money and Missions

“When Carey persuaded his colleagues at the founding of their Serampore base to disallow all labor for personal gain and to pool all earnings, one wonders what his own hopes were of acquiring funds for the Mission. When the Marshmans were soon making large contributions from the profits of their schools, he must have almost envied them their joy.” But rather quickly it fell to Carey to be the largest contributor as most of his government salary went into the common fund.72

Influence among Westerners

Carey’s vocational work as a teacher also influenced the British officials in India. Ironically, Carey (an informally educated man) was chosen to teach the Indian languages to privileged young men who hailed from the best schools in England.73 Carey was known for treating them as adults and succeeded in converting some of these students.74 “By 1818 he alone of the professors had been at the college since its foundation. By 1825 he was senior to the next longest serving professor by 12 years, and the rest by at least 20. He served for 30 years, and was the only one of its professors to be pensioned.”75 One of Carey’s earliest and brightest students was put in authority of the Moluccas region and opened the door for Carey’s son to serve there as a missionary.76

Working with the Poor

Carey’s mingling with the European officials as a professor never led him to abandon his love for “India’s poorest and most outcast.”77 One contemporary commented that during the day Carey would teach language and grammar to the governing class while working on the translation of the Scriptures into Indian languages, but he returned “when the sun went down, to preach to the poorest of India in their own tongues the good news of the kingdom, with a loving tenderness and a patient humility only learned in the school of Christ.”78 The Serampore team was faithful in meeting the needs in front of them. They helped plant a church in Calcutta among the Portuguese.79 They treated people’s illnesses, practicing “medicine” and eventually making an appeal to the Government for “the establishment of a first hospital for Indians in Calcutta.”80

The Serampore mission produced journals to impact Indian culture and helped encourage the founding of a leper asylum. “Dr. George Smith says, ‘Carey never rested till a leper hospital was established in Calcutta, near the centre of the Church Missionary Society’s work.’ And after Carey’s death, Marshman commented: ‘Scarcely an undertaking for the benefit of India has been engaged in, of which he was not either a prime mover or a zealous performer.’ ”81

Partnership in Ministry

The Serampore team saw the importance of disciple-making and took young Indian Christians with them to preach in surrounding areas.82 Furthermore, they promoted a contextualized approach. One of the Serampore team, Marshman, spoke out against the practice that other missionaries had of giving non-Christians new Christian names at baptism because, “this only served to import a foreign and repulsive character to Christianity in the eyes of the people of India.”83

Question: What principles can we learn from Carey about vision and roles/tasks in global evangelism?

5. Community of Mission: Mission Teams

Not long after their arrival, Thomas’s financial mismanagement exhausted their initial income and forced them to make quick employment choices.85 By 1800, Carey’s situation in Malda had changed and a door opened for him and a new team in Serampore. “Carey’s missionary apprenticeship was over, and his leadership of a team was about to begin.”86 Serampore had first been a base for Moravian missionaries. That team had learned Bengali, but the ministry had been unsuccessful among the Hindus: “ ‘preaching seemed ploughing upon rock.’ When, after fifteen years’ effort, they could only count one dubious convert, the Moravian effort was abandoned in 1792, the very year that the Particular Baptist Mission was founded in England. So Carey and his colleagues gave battle just where his Moravian heroes had been foiled. He better understood, as his North Bengal years had taught him, how grim the struggle would be.”87

Certain missionary colleagues did not aid the mission, exactly. Even before the move to Serampore, John Thomas “had become deeply discouraged and had abandoned” his post. “His relationship even to the Mission had become vague. With his wife and daughter he moved hither and thither, never remaining in any one place. Now living in a boat, now in a bamboo hut; now in Nadia, now in Birbhum; now preacher, now sugar-refiner and distiller, and now again indigo venturer! He was ever a rolling stone, possessing a warm heart, but also a wayward judgment and will.”88

In the early days at Serampore, the team wrestled and argued, trying to settle on a working agreement, especially as it related to finances.89 Two members of the team died in the first few months, but Ward, Carey, and Marshman formed a threefold cord that lasted for over 20 years. It helped that all of them had common friends back home in England and that they all were in their 30s. “All were ready for the utmost exertion. And their work-power was more than quadrupled by their pulling together. . . . In the formative months, with Thomas at a distance, Carey was the one experienced missionary. To him they looked: on him they leaned.” Carey went against the Moravian strategy of having a team leader. “Forgoing his own claim to headship or house-fathership, he founded Serampore on equality for each, pre-eminence for none; rule by majority, allocation of funds by collective vote” and the rotation of various responsibilities. “The bold stroke payed off. This democratic basis of the Mission . . . was a secret of its strength.”90

They practiced weekly team meetings. Carey wrote: “We have a meeting every Saturday evening . . . to regulate family concerns, and settle any difference that may have arisen in the week. Should any be hurt in their minds, and not mention it then, they would meet with little pity afterwards, and, indeed, would be guilty of a crime.”91 The mission team committed to frugality and decided to pool their earnings. They followed Moravian precedent and decided that the team would vest “all the premises they bought or built in the Society, declaring themselves trustees rather than proprietors.”92 The Serampore team crafted a covenant, “which was read three times a year in each” mission “station:

  1. To set an infinite value on men’s souls.
  2. To acquaint ourselves with the snares which hold the minds of the people.
  3. To abstain from whatever deepens India’s prejudice against the gospel.
  4. To watch for every chance of doing the people good.
  5. To preach ‘Christ crucified’ as the grand means of conversions.
  6. To esteem and treat Indians always as our equals.
  7. To guard and build up ‘the hosts that may be gathered.’
  8. To cultivate their spiritual gifts, ever pressing upon them their missionary obligation since Indians only can win India for Christ.
  9. To labor unceasingly in biblical translation.
  10. To be instant in the nurture of personal religion.
  11. To give ourselves without reserve to the cause, ‘not counting even the clothes we wear our own.”93

They also reminded themselves of the kind of lives necessary for this mission: to be people of prayer who also possessed “a competent knowledge of the languages current where a missionary lives, a mild and winning temper, and a heart given up to God—these are the attainments, which, more than all other gifts, will fit us to become God’s instruments in the great work of human redemption.”94

The mission team valued each other’s strengths. Carey wrote a letter to Ryland praising Marshman’s abilities as an evangelist, gifts that he himself did not possess.95 The team of three families worked well together for many years, “each engaging his particular skill; each responsible in his own domain; and each able to produce an income for the furtherance of their missionary aims. Their wives were all a source of great strength and blessing.”96 The team also wrote letters of encouragement to other missionaries, sharing from their experiences.97

In 1814–15, though, new team members brought challenges and critical attitudes.98 This criticism was directed at Marshman and seemed to stem from gossip about him spoken by people back in England.99 “Though their missionary record amply demonstrates their high aims,” the newcomers did not fit well within the system that functioned in the early stages of the mission. “Serampore was full of discord and distress. Carey had never known such friction and grew dangerously ill.”100

“Perhaps, too, the elders were at less than their best. Marshman was embarrassed and unhappy, knowing himself misjudged. He and Ward and their wives were in poor health. Indeed all the seniors were paying the price for their long un-furloughed labor in the heat of Bengal.” Pressures of life and ministry had depressed them. “They may not have been . . . sympathetic enough with the dreams and ideas of the newcomers, whose youth made them one.”101 Eventually there was a split, and the team waited to communicate with supporters back home until “the schism was complete, and the juniors had formed and made public their ‘Calcutta Missionary Union.’ ”102

Carey wrote to Ryland to express how painful this was: “I do not recollect in my whole life anything which has given me so much distress as this schism. Many sleepless nights have I spent examining what we had done to give it occasion, but can discover nothing on which I can fix. The Mission, however, is rent in twain, and exhibits the scandalous appearance of a body divided against itself. We could easily vindicate ourselves, but the vindication would be our and their disgrace. We have, therefore, resolved to say nothing, but to leave the matter in God’s hands.”103 Thankfully, by 1820 the dispute with the “Calcutta missionaries” was settled. Carey celebrated this reconciliation in a letter to his son. Reflecting on the experience he said: “Nothing I ever met with in my life—and I have met with many distressing things–ever preyed so much upon my spirits as this difference.”104

Question: What principles can we learn from this case study about mission teams in global evangelism?

6. Community of Mission: Empowering the Local Church

During Carey’s first years in India, he worked in the indigo trade and realized that exploitation “was rife among the locals themselves.” This “made Carey’s soul blaze with anger – the landholders cheating and fleecing the peasants, the works foremen systematically robbing the laborers. The overseer clerk, whom he caught swindling every one of the workers out of a twentieth of their pay, he dismissed on the spot. He was sickened at the oppressions of the poor that he met at every turn.”105

In the early days, “though the people were grateful for his preaching, and interested, they had not courage to obey. The social cost was too terrible.”106 One of the early associates that Carey had hoped would be the first to be baptized, Ram Ram Basu, in 1796 “was shown to be guilty of adultery and embezzlement. Heartbroken, Carey wrote to Pearce, ‘It appeared as if all was sunk and gone.’ ” With the failure of this longtime confidant and companion, who could they hope in?107

Before moving to Serampore, after about 5 years of labor, the Careys “hands were pitifully empty . . . with (no Indian) conversions even from among their language teachers and inquirers. One had proved himself a fraud; one was guilty of adultery,” while others would discuss religion with them but were not willing to commit. They had only two real prospects. “It seemed a tiny step for a mountainous labor!”108 In 1799, Carey wrote to his supporters about his “bitter disappointment: ‘I am almost grown callous, and am tempted to preach as if their hearts were invulnerable.”109

Carey, whose preaching lacked windows and metaphors back in England, learned during this time to use local idioms and examples relevant to that context,110 no longer “lacking illustrations. He had acquired the Oriental mind.”111 But even with contextualized preaching, the people sometimes appreciated the preachers merely in terms of the economic advantages they could bring. “ ‘Make us your carpenters or smiths,’ said many, ‘and we are willing: but your religion we do not want.’ ”112

At the end of 1800, the Serampore team got to witness the first real fruits from their efforts. Krishna Pal was baptized. This man, who incidentally had first heard the Gospel while working as a carpenter for the Moravian missionaries years earlier,113 shared his testimony this way: “I followed the Hindu worship. I bathed in the Ganges. I worshipped dumb idols. I prostrated myself times without number, of my guru’s feet. I gave my gifts to the priests. I visited holy places. I kept repeating the name of my guardian deity. But it brought me little good, little relief from my sin. Then I heard of Jesus Christ, that He became flesh and dwelt among us, and was as one that served, and even for our ransom gave His life. What love, I thought, is this? And here I made my rest. Now, say if such love was ever shown by our gods. Did Durga or Kali or Krishna die for sinners? And think. Whilst gurus put their feet upon their prostrate chelas (pupils or slaves), Christ washed His disciples’ feet. Was (there) ever such lowliness?”114 Krishna’s wife and family became Christians and influenced many of their neighbors. Carey would preach and teach at their house and “Krishna’s home became the base of all advance.”115

The mission partnered with Krishna’s family and helped them with the hospitality expenses their witness was incurring. New believers were challenged with the need to break caste. They ate with the missionaries and others in this home. This was a hard step for some as Muslim and Hindu converts as well as those of high caste who also suffered persecution.116 Even from the beginning it was clear that caste would be a considerable challenge.117 The team understood that “caste was the bulwark of Hinduism, and diametrically opposed to the spirit of the Gospel, so they resolved to refuse it the least sanction from the outset. They would not bow the knee. They knew that by this drastic course their progress would be slower, but at least it would be sure.” The upper and lower castes “were treated as equals and brothers. At the Lord’s Supper this equality was absolute. The castes were also daily encouraged to a cordial friendship with one another,” and eventually they even intermarried.118

The pressure from the surrounding culture was intense: “Indian Christians were derided. Traders refused to serve them, landlords refused to accept them. Syam Das was murdered within nine months of his baptism. . . . Ram Dahn (was deceived) . . . and never permitted to return. . . . (Another) was drugged by his own father and fell into melancholy that nothing could relieve. Kasi Nath was flogged by his neighbors, till in fear he recanted. Halidhar, on the verge of baptism, was dragged off and hidden. Yet almost more heart-breaking were the stumblings of Krishna and his whole home circle. They pierced the Mission through with many sorrows. Its very devotion to them made them heady.”119 Ward noted that the hardest thing for a missionary certainly was not the hot weather but the discouragement one felt from quarrels and failures in the local church.120 A number of those young believers, thankfully, returned and were restored to the church. And the church’s witness through the burial of one of her members and her willingness to break caste made a positive impression on the community.121

A few years later, Krishna Pal and another man were ordained as preachers. “Ordination seemed too soon in Krishna’s case, for within six months the promotion made him heady again, and he and his household grew rebellious and difficult.” Thankfully, this trial passed within a few months.122

The Serampore team was thankful to see destructive Indian customs being left behind. Some converts willingly rejected idolatry. In reflecting on the way this came about, Ward said, “‘How much better . . . is love and illumination than force! Had we compelled them to discard these, they would have been attached to them for life.’ ”123

“The team was thankful for their courageous Indian converts, who persevered in their preaching” even under difficult circumstances. The missionaries knew that the preaching of these Indian brothers “was often more compelling than their own—as Ward felt when listening to a gifted young evangelist in Hindi, ‘Oh, I saw that the Gospel was as sweet in this as any other tongue! At his aptness and tenderness I could scarcely hold back tears.’ ”124

By 1813, Carey, even in the midst of dealing with government opposition, wrote to Ryland about what he had seen related to the power of the gospel in India: “ ‘It is too late to eradicate the Gospel from Bengal. The number born in the country who are now preaching the Word is very considerable.’ They had by this time baptized more than five hundred people.”125

Question: What principles can we learn from this case study about the struggle of church growth and empowerment of the local church?

7. Apostolic Perseverance: Failure and Success

In many ways, Carey was a typical British boy, but what marked him was his curiosity and determination. Richter, describing Carey’s character, noted that he “was a man of heroic diligence.”126 In describing himself, Carey commented “years later to his nephew Eustace, disclaiming all other talents, ‘I can plod and persevere. That is my only genius. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.’ ”127 Another descriptor for that may be linked to what was “at the top of Paul’s list of apostolic qualifications . . . . the hallmark of spiritual power: perseverance.”128

The area where the Careys initially settled (Sundarbans) was full of armed bandits, snakes, wild buffaloes, rhinos, crocodiles, leopards and boars, “but the tigers were the terror. Twenty men had been devoured . . . in the previous twelve months.”129 They witnessed serious and depressing challenges, such as observing the masses as they attended religious fairs where fakirs (Hindu begging ‘monks’) would fling themselves “upon spikes from considerable heights, tearing their flesh and bones. Also, he observed the frenzied dancing, and, as a hideous climax, the grotesque hook-swingings . . . [done by] men of the lowest castes.”130

Before the move to Serampore, Carey’s “five-year-old Peter—so gifted that his Bengali was all already almost native—fell into a fever even more dangerous than his. Through a fortnight they fought for his life but he could not recover. Then were they lonely indeed, for, with the people’s having such rigid rules concerning contact with the dead, no Hindu or Moslem would offer help for the child’s burial.” No one would help with the coffin, nor help dig the grave, until four men stepped forward and shared this disgrace.131

The work was slow, but there was some promise: early in their work, Thomas disguised himself as an Indian and “engaging Brahmins in conversation, he asked if any in that district minded God.

‘Yes, a few sahibs have come here.’

‘Are they good people?’

‘Yes, and they speak of one, Jesus Christ.’

‘And who is He?’

‘They call him ‘Son of God.’ Some say that after a while all Hindus, Mohammedans, and sahibs will be all of this religion.’

Thomas could assure his comrades that they were building better than they knew.”132

In Carey’s early experiences (five years in North Bengal), he learned “his basic knowledge of rural, real India . . . acquiring the vernaculars and Sanskrit, learning to organize and manage men, was laying the foundation of all his translation work and forming the true measure of his task.”133

Companionship and Challenges for Carey in Marriage

  • Dorothy Carey: Carey’s first wife suffered from mental disorder and distress for 13 years. This stemmed from a traumatic experience with dysentery (and malaria?) and the illness of their firstborn within the first months of arrival in India. “Missionaries’ wives paid dearly in these pioneer years.”134 “Early in 1795 his wife fell ill again with serious dysentery, and then all the strain she had lived through reacted upon her, till her brain became the haunted chamber of morbid fantasies and tormented fears. She grew the opposite of all she naturally was. Those whom she most tenderly loved, she turned most against. Her spirit passed into a permanent gloom. It was the price she paid for venturing to India in those unsheltered years. None, knowing the facts, will cast stones. Sympathy is the only fair response.” Once Carey was able to understand the problem as a disease, he was able to meet it with true compassion. He did not lament these troubles or complain about her in letters to close friends.135 Dorothy’s mental state declined even further in the last five years of her life and before her death, she had made two attempts on Carey’s life.136
  • Charlotte Carey: In 1808, Carey married a Danish woman who became a true helpmate. “They were of the same age. Yet their marriage seemed preposterously ill-advised, for Charlotte was an invalid. . . . Carey’s colleagues and their wives were distressed at the engagement” and shared their strong concerns with him. But she proved a good match. Though she was often “pitifully ill,” their relationship was strong with many common interests. Their marriage lasted 13 years.137
  • Grace Carey: Not long before his fall and illness, Carey married Grace (a widow who had also lost two spouses). She was a “gentle and affectionate partner.”138

Other Deaths

Besides the deaths of his first two wives, Carey lost other significant companions: Krishna Pal (church leader), Felix (his son), Ward (a teammate), Ryland (a key supporter in England).139


Near the end of Carey’s life, a flood damaged the property in Serampore and left many Indians in difficult circumstances as well. Carey took another job, and his extra income helped them through this time. Amazingly, the church continued to grow, and even in the midst of catastrophes, there were now 700 Hindus who had become followers of Christ. Other disasters that took their toll: bank failures,140 a strong gale,141 and his son’s own personal tragedies.142

To Pearce, Carey wrote: “I would not abandon the Mission for all the fellowships and finest spheres in England. My greatest calamity would be separation from this service. May I be useful in laying the foundations of Christ’s Church in India; I desire no greater reward, nor can conceive higher honour. The work, to which God has set His hands, will infallibly prosper. Christ has begun to besiege this ancient and strong fortress, and will assuredly carry it. It is not His way to desert what He has once undertaken.”143


In 1812, the Serampore team suffered a serious setback when the building where they housed the printing machines and book copies burnt to the ground. One colleague encouraged him by saying, “‘However vexing it may be, a road the second time traveled is usually taken with more confidence and ease than at the first.’ [Carey] resolved that his grammars, dictionaries, and translations should gain by the disaster.”144 They resolutely counted their blessings and pushed forward.145 Amazingly, some good came from the fire: “by the next April they were printing in more languages than before the fire, and the pundits’ better renderings saved Carey hours of revisionary toil.”146 And the churches in Britain showed so much generosity that the losses were repaid in two months!147

Question: What principles can we learn from this case study about missionary perseverance and global evangelism?


These seven thematic and illustrative case studies from the life of William Carey are useful launching points for a variety of conversations about responsible involvement in global evangelism today. They create opportunities for historical analysis and discussion about missions in terms of motivation, preparation, participation in community, vision, teams, empowerment, and perseverance. My hope is that they will inspire further dialogue about faithful missional engagement today.

Alan Howell, his wife Rachel, and their three daughters resided in Mozambique from 2003 to 2018 as part of a team working among the Makua-Metto people. Alan (MDiv) served as the Visiting Professor of Missions at Harding University from 2019 to 2023 (Searcy, AR) teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of biblical studies, cultural competency, theology, and strategy. He is the Director of Church Relations at Mission Resource Network (

1 Paul G. Hiebert and Frances F. Hiebert, Case Studies in Missions (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987).

2 Alan Neely, Christian Mission: A Case Study Approach, American Society of Missiology Series, No. 21. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1995).

3 These case studies are thematic and illustrative in that the individual case studies do not intend to follow a single event, but instead link pieces from Carey’s life and experience topically in a way that invites reflection and consideration. I have combined together these themes and threads from my own analysis of Carey’s story, following S. Pearce Carey, William Carey (London: Wakeman Trust, 1923; repr., 2009).

4 Timothy Tennent, “William Carey as Missiologist: An Assessment,” Expect Great Things, Attempt Great Things: William Carey and Adoniram Judson, Missionary Pioneers, Studies in World Christianity, ed. Allen L. Yeh and Chris Chun (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2013), 15.

5 Jim Reapsome, “Carey, William,” in Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, ed. A. Scott Moreau (Grand Rapids: Baker Books), 162–3. Reapsome notes that this “nomination . . . may not be chronologically accurate (Moravian missionaries criss-crossed the globe before he was born), but it is accurate in terms of what his life and ministry spawned in the ensuing years of Protestant missions in England—that is, the so-called Great Century of missionary outreach” (162).

6 For a helpful overview of Carey’s life, see Timothy George, “Let it Go: Lessons from the Life of William Carey,” in Expect Great Things, 3–14. For a helpful book-length treatment analyzing William Carey’s influences, work, and impact, see Terry G. Carter, P. Sam Daniel, George Melvyn Ella, C. P Hallihan, Vishal Mangalwadi, and Bruce Nicholls, William Carey: Theologian – Linguist – Social Reformer, World of Theology Series 4, ed. Thomas Schirrmacher (Bonn: Verlag für Kultur und Wissenschaft, Culture and Science Publ., 2013).

7 David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991), 340, in reflecting on the influence of this tract, notes that Carey should be credited with putting the Great Commission front and center as a motivation for missions: “with the aid of a simple yet powerful argumentation, [Carey] demolished the conventional interpretation of Matthew 28:18–20. Since Carey, the appeal to Matthew 28:18–20 has always been prominent in Protestant (more especially Anglo-Saxon) missions.”

8 Carey, 10.

9 Ibid., 64.

10 Ibid., 64-5.

11 Ibid., 69. For more on the theological motivations in Carey’s Enquiry, see Travis Myers, “Tracing a Theology of the Kingdom of God in William Carey’s Enquiry: A Case Study in Complex Mission Motivation as Component of ‘Missionary Spirituality,’” Missiology 40, no. 1 (2012): 37–47.

12 Carey, 70.

13 In undergraduate and graduate classroom discussions of this saying, many questions have come to the surface: Could this be one of the first “tweet-able” sermons? Is it that this kind of sermon is not successful today, or is it that we have simply stopped preaching it? If a needs-based approach does not work anymore what will? Which sermon has had more impact on American Protestant churches, Carey’s sermon or Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”?

14 Ibid., 78.

15 Ibid., 87.

16 Ibid., 84.

17 Ibid., 82–3.

18 Another major issue, that is outside the scope of these case studies, has to do with additional theological commitments that were barriers keeping churches from evangelizing overseas (such as the assumption that mission was relegated to the age of the apostles, and commitments to versions of Calvinism). For more on the theological barriers that also needed to be overcome, see Michael Haykin, “A Historical and Biblical Root of the Globalization of Christianity: The Fullerism of Andrew Fuller’s The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation,” Puritan Reformed Journal 8, no. 1 (2016): 165–75.

19 Ibid., 55. For more on how he was shaped by experiences in ministry and how his work in evangelism, education, and translation was shaped by his ecclesiology, see C. J. Moore, “An Ecclesiological Mission: The Basis for William Carey’s Threefold Mission Strategy,” Southeastern Theological Review 12, no. 1 (2021): 83–109.

20 Carey, 59.

21 Ibid., 90.

22 Ibid., 122. The song was “Jesus the Pilot.”

23 Ibid., 129.

24 Ibid., 162.

25 Ibid., 163.

26 Ibid., 307.

27 Ibid., 270.

28 Ibid., 274–75.

29 Ibid., 304.

30 Ibid., 317.

31 Ibid., 361.

32 Ibid., 108.

33 Ibid., 96.

34 Ibid., 105.

35 Ibid., 159.

36 Ibid., 159.

37 Ibid., 160–61.

38 Ibid., 165.

39 Ibid., 167.

40 For church sponsored missionaries who depend on missions committees to represent them and their needs to a congregation, it is hard to imagine a better “head of a missions committee” than Fuller.

41 Ibid., 234.

42 Ibid., 305.

43 Ibid., 265. For a helpful summary of R. S. Sugirtharajah’s postcolonial critique of Carey and Saugata Bhaduri’s recognition that Carey’s work with vernacular literature had an unintended de-colonizing impact, see Darren Cronshaw, “A Commission ‘Great’ for Whom?: Postcolonial Contrapuntal Readings of Matthew 28:18–20 and the Irony of William Carey,” Transformation 33, no. 2 (2016): 110–23. Cronshaw notes that, “This is the irony of Carey’s context; that he was part of colonial mission, and his words coincided with and were coopted by colonializing forces, but he himself was marginalized by the reigning colonial trading power. His setting . . . is best described as polycolonial . . . as Bengal was ruled not just by the British alone, but also by the Portuguese, Dutch, French, and Danish. Colonialism theories all too often focus on the influence of one colonial master, rather than recognize the polycolonial reality. Bhaduri reminds us that Carey did his mission, publishing, and botanical work not from British India, but from the Danish colonial space of Serampore. Moreover, he argues that postcolonial studies too often make colonizer/colonized an irreconcilable binary, when the historical reality is that there were hospitable and fruitful hybridizing transactions between colonizer and colonized, sometimes leading to decolonizing possibilities” (116–17).

44 Carey, 313–14.

45 Ibid., 316.

46 Ibid., 318–19.

47 Ibid., 326.

48 Ibid., 333.

49 Ibid., 373.

50 Ibid., 346.

51 Ibid., 351.

52 Ibid., 349.

53 Ibid., 160–61.

54 Ibid., 169.

55 Ibid., 181.

56 Ibid., 200. For more on how Carey and his team related to the Bengali culture, see John D. W. Watts, “Baptists and the Transformation of Culture: A Case Study from the Career of William Carey,” Review & Expositor 89, no. 1 (1992): 11–21.

57 Carey, 284.

58 Ibid., 232–33.

59 Ibid., 235.

60 Ibid., 231.

61 Ibid., 236.

62 Ibid., 234.

63 Ibid., 396. For more on the quality of those translations, and a survey of analysis done by translators, see H. L. Richard, “Some Observations on William Carey’s Bible Translations,” International Bulletin of Mission Research 42, no. 3 (2018): 241–50. Richard provides a clear-eyed view of the low quality of some of those translations and the reasons for that, while also not diminishing the overall impact of Carey’s work as an early pioneer. Richard describes how Carey’s limited linguistic knowledge combined with India’s undeveloped regional languages, as well as attempting too much, the failings of language assistants, and a misplaced focus on words and word order led to insufficient translations. Richard concludes that “the task of Bible translation into India’s language that Carey began is far from ended” and hopes that this would “inspire fresh concern and effort toward a better fulfillment of the legacy of William Carey” (247). See also Richard Fox Young, “Was the Sanskrit Bible the ‘English Bible-in-Disguise’?: Postcolonialism Meets Philology in William Carey’s Dharmapustaka (1808),” International Journal of Asian Christianity 1, no. 2 (2018): 177–97.

64 Carey, 384.

65 Ibid., 172.

66 Ibid., 259.

67 Ibid., 212, 336–37.

68 Ibid., 363.

69 Ibid., 363.

70 Ibid., 325-6, 329–32, 380.

71 Ibid., 334.

72 Ibid., 210.

73 Ibid., 210.

74 Ibid., 213–14.

75 Ibid., 215.

76 Ibid., 302.

77 Ibid., 260.

78 Ibid.

79 Ibid., 225.

80 Ibid., 225.

81 Ibid., 335–36.

82 Ibid., 226.

83 Ibid., 218.

84 Ibid., 338.

85 Ibid., 137.

86 Ibid., 179.

87 Ibid., 184.

88 Ibid., 178–79.

89 Ibid., 184.

90 Carey, 185. For more on Carey as a leader, see Tariku Fufa Gemechu, “The Making of Organizational Leaders: Case Study of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Mother Teresa, and William Carey,” Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership 8, no. 1 (2018): 37–50.

91 Carey, 186.

92 Ibid., 186.

93 Ibid., 240.

94 Ibid., 240.

95 Ibid., 262–63.

96 Ibid., 280–81.

97 Ibid., 202.

98 Ibid., 314.

99 Ibid., 341.

100 Ibid., 314.

101 Ibid., 341–42.

102 Ibid., 343.

103 Ibid., 343.

104 Ibid., 345.

105 Ibid., 157–58.

106 Ibid., 163.

107 Ibid., 164.

108 Ibid., 170.

109 Ibid., 171.

110 Ibid., 190.

111 Ibid., 191.

112 Ibid.

113 Ibid., 194.

114 Ibid., 220.

115 Ibid., 221.

116 Ibid., 222–23.

117 Ibid., 197.

118 Ibid., 199.

119 Ibid., 223–24.

120 Ibid., 224.

121 Ibid., 225. It seems ironic that Krishna’s letter to the churches in England is titled “A letter to the Home Churches” (227).

122 Ibid., 239.

123 Ibid., 243.

124 Ibid., 253.

125 Ibid., 300. For an Indian Christian’s perspective on the impact of Carey, see Chakravarthy R. Zadda, “Shoemaker and Missionary, William Carey,” in Expect Great Things, 27–41. Zadda states that, “Carey’s positive attitude toward Indian cultures, his desire for an indigenous theology, and his concern for the liberation of the downtrodden and for the creation of a healthy ecology and environment demonstrate the Christ-centered nature of his mission. He had a vision for an emerging India, based on the gospel values of truth, equality, liberty, and social justice” (41). Zadda agrees with Neill’s assessment: “What David Livingston meant to Africa, William Carey meant to India and more” (41).

126 Carey, 180.

127 Ibid., 20.

128 Frank Viola, Finding Organic Church: A Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Sustaining Authentic Christian Communities (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2009), 166.

129 Carey, 144.

130 Ibid., 146–47.

131 Ibid., 156.

132 Ibid., 194.

133 Ibid., 182.

134 Ibid., 137. Sometimes missionary husbands or wives will struggle mentally and emotionally, and one would hope that cross-cultural workers today would take advantage of mental health professionals and resources. For more on the story of Dorothy Carey, see Chris Chun, “The Sacrifices of Dorothy Carey and Ann Judson: Two Sides of the Same Coin,” in Expect Great Things, 125–36. There are many similarities between Dorothy Carey and Ann Judson: they “were first wives whose husbands married twice again after their passing,” they experienced great stress and danger for leaving home, they both left the religious traditions of their families of origin to “follow their husbands’ Baptist beliefs. . . . Needless to say, Ann’s sacrificial legacy is well remembered, and deservingly so. The same could not be said of Dorothy, however. It is true that she did not share the same missionary visions with her husband as did Ann, but Dorothy, undoubtedly, gave up much.” These sacrifices included enduring the loss of “their children in foreign soil, away from family and friends” (135). “Indeed, each of them had faced tremendous obstacles to ministry and endured personal afflictions. This notwithstanding, the two heroines stood by their men, even with broken physical (Ann) and mental (Dorothy) health, and weathered through tough times. Most of all, they gave their own lives to the mission field, all the while never enjoying the fruits of their sacrifice, since they died before their husbands reached the pinnacles of their careers as missionary celebrities. Their sacrificial lives, when taken into account together, conjure the image of two sides of one coin” (136).

135 Carey, 158.

136 Ibid., 269.

137 Ibid., 272–73.

138 Ibid., 360.

139 Ibid., 359.

140 Ibid., 367–69.

141 Ibid., 373.

142 Ibid., 320–22.

143 Ibid., 171.

144 Ibid., 287.

145 Ibid., 290.

146 Ibid., 291–92.

147 Ibid., 292.

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