Biographies

St. John , Harold Bio

Harold St. John (1876-1957) preferred to have his name pronounced sin-jun, feeling that the title of "saint" was too superior sounding. But if anyone wanted an example of saintliness, they could have pointed in Harold St. John's direction. His father had a government position as the treasurer of Sarawak, a state in Malaysia. Later his family would also spend time in Germany and Belgium. After his mother, Blanche, became a believer, she quickly applied the principles of Christian child ...

Grant , F.W. Bio

Frederick William Grant (1834-1902) was born into a God-fearing Anglican home in the Putney district of London, England. Presumably in his teenage years he became a believer while privately reading the Bible. He went on to King's College School, in order to be groomed for a position in the British defense department. But getting those positions often required inside connections to pull the necessary strings. Disappointed, at the age of twenty-one, Frederick went to Canada. In the 185...

Ross , Donald Bio

As a youth, Donald was "as proud as a peacock, and as empty as a drum," and yet he "said" prayers night and morning, for fear that God would smite him if he didn't. Then one day while Ross was walking alone among the mountain heather, returning home after visiting a dying brother, he saw the light of the gospel in John 18:8: "If ye seek Me, let these go their way." Ross was born in Rosshire, Scotland in 1823. Twice each day his God-fearing parents gathered the family to read Scriptu...

Munro , Donald Bio

Donald Munro (1839-1908) was born in the county Caithness, in the far north of Scotland. His parents, James and Hannah Munro, held the "old Puritan theology of the highlands that conversion is a necessity, the new birth a work of the Spirit in the soul, and the gospel the means used to effect it." They gathered their children daily to read from the Gaelic Bible and to pray. In the Disruption of 1843, James took his family out of the Established Church of Scotland and joined the Free C...

Stanley , Charles Bio

Charles Stanley (1821-1890), of Rotherham, England, was left an orphan at the age of four. At seven, he had to earn his living in the summer by working in the fields. With his energy he could have been a rascal. But it was his legal guardian who stopped the precocious little fellow and, with a firm hand on his shoulder, foretold, "Charles, you will either be a curse or a blessing to mankind." By the mercy of God, "C.S." became a blessing to thousands. Converted when fourteen, that yea...

Hogg , C.F. Bio

Charles Frederick Hogg (1859-1943) used his outstanding gifts to raise the standards among the Lord's servants and the church in general. Born into a godly family in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the year that revival swept the country, he was converted at the age of nineteen. Soon he was preaching on the streets of that city. Ever a cautious Bible student, he disparaged a sloppy, nonchalant approach to holy things. How obvious it was to him that cajoling people into a lukewarm profe...

Van Ryn , August

 August Van Ryn (1890-1982) wrote of his birth, "My arrival in Haarlem (Netherlands) on May 15, 1890, created no particular sensation (unless it was one of dismay, for already there were seven Van Ryns ahead of me--with five more to come after). So my birth was nothing special to others, though it was to me." His mother was from Switzerland. On several occasions when J. N. Darby passed through Switzerland, he visited her parents' home. She recalled being held on his lap while he ...

Groves , Anthony Norris Bio

Anthony Norris Groves (1795-1853), "the father of faith missions," deeply influenced the founders of the China Inland Mission, the North Africa Mission, and particularly his own brother-in-law, George Muller. Anthony was the only son in a family of six. His mother was gentle and talented. His father was an aggressive businessman, who lost much of his wealth in ill-advised ventures. The Groves were staunch Anglicans, attending the gloomy old grime-stained Anglican Church at Fulham in ...

Soltau , Henry Bio

We are often told that right doctrine should have a practical effect. Henry William Soltau (1805-1875) lived to show us how that is done. He was the second son of George Soltau, a prosperous merchant of England's port city Plymouth. His father was a godly Anglican, and an energetic civic leader. He worked to establish the Plymouth Free School, where the Bible was taught as an elective, and while a member of the Town Council, George Soltau opposed the building of the theater. He died at...

Deck , James G. Bio

James George Deck (1807-1884) was born at Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England, where his father, John Deck, was postmaster. Their godly Huguenot heritage was carried forward in Mrs. Deck's piety. She "never punished her children without first praying with them." Every evening she set aside one hour alone with God to pray for her eight children, and her children's children, and she had the joy of seeing every one come to Christ. When only a teenager, James went through officer's training...
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