Carl Armerding was born June 16, 1883, in Jersey City, New Jersey, as one of ten children of bi-lingual German-American parents. Early interest in South America and mission work was stimulated during high school years by night school classes in Spanish and reading the magazine Missionary Gleanings. He was baptized and became a member of a Plymouth Brethren congregation at age fourteen or fifteen after hearing a sermon preached by George Mackenzie. A Plymouth Brethren member, knowing of his interest in Latin America, offered to finance him to join a senior missionary in Honduras in 1912. When he nearly died from malaria, he was forced to return from Honduras to a different climate, and he was subsequently invited to preach to Plymouth Brethren Assemblies in the British West Indies. This he did with great success for the following two years. He returned a second time for a year-long itinerant ministry in Honduras, but recurrence of malaria required a return to the United States, this time to St. Louis.
While attending a Bible conference in Manitoba, Canada, he met Eva May Taylor. They were married a year and a half later. The Armerdings moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he entered the University of New Mexico. He graduated in 1926. After 10 years of preaching, teaching, and working with Christian groups in New Mexico, some of them Spanish-American, Armerding was invited by President H. A. Ironside to join the faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary, then called the Evangelical Theological Seminary.
Because of his experiences with missions, and Spanish-speaking people, and as a resident of Dallas where Central American Mission had its headquarters, he was asked to become a director of the mission in 1943. In 1954 he became president of the mission, continuing in that post until 1970. During this period, he served for ten years on both the extension and resident faculty of Moody Bible Institute, living in Wheaton, Illinois, where his son Hudson was attending Wheaton College. Hudson later became president of the College in 1965. After the death of Moody’s President Houghton, Carl Armerding resigned his teaching duties and returned to Dallas Seminary to teach homiletics for a year. In 1945, Dr. Raymond V. Edman, President of Wheaton College, asked him to teach Bible and theology at the College. He became a full professor in 1956, and taught there (with the exception of a leave of absence in 1954-1955) until retirement in 1962. He returned for special appointment in 1969-1970.
Armerding also served on the North American Council of China Inland Mission, sponsored the Spanish Christian Mission with headquarters in Toronto, and was a member of the German Evangelical Society in Dallas. He preached at many conferences in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. Among his written works are Signs of Christ’s Coming, Conquest and Victory, and Esther.
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- 8 years 13 weeks