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Christian Biographies


Reading Christian History and Biographies

A Selected Bibliography, by Steven J. Cole

Revised, December 2020

The following selected books on church history and biographies of great Christians have been helpful to me. I have tried to list the individual biographies in rough chronological order under each section.

Reference Works:

  1. Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity [Eerdmans], ed. by Tim Dowley. An excellent all-round reference work, with many short articles on key people and movements.
  2. The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church [Zondervan], ed. by J. D. Douglas. Short biographical articles on thousands of people and movements in church history.
  3. Dictionary of Christianity in America [IVP], ed. by Daniel Reid, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, & Harry Stout. Short articles on key people and movements in American church history.
  4. Great Leaders of the Christian Church [Moody Press], ed. by John Woodbridge. Short biographies of the leaders of Christianity from Peter to Francis Schaeffer.


Church History:

  1. Christian History Magazine, published by Christianity Today. Each issue treats a different person or era in church history. Well done, informative, & readable.
  2. Christianity Through the Centuries [Zondervan], by Earle Cairns. Concise (500 pages) readable church history.
  3. Church History in Plain Language [Nelson], Bruce Shelley.
  4. Pages from Church History [P & R Publishing], Stephen Nichols. Good: 13 people from various periods of church history.
  5. Our Legacy [NavPress], John Hannah. Traces the history of Christian doctrines.
  6. Historical Theology [Zondervan], Gregg Allison. A much more comprehensive history of Christian doctrines, corresponding with Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology.
  7. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs [Moody Press], John Foxe. Sobering to read what these faithful saints endured!
  8. Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes [Yale Nota Bene], Eamon Duffy. Shows how the popes have all been power brokers and politicians, not godly men.
  9. The Bad Popes [Barnes and Noble Books], E. R. Chamberlin. History of the worst of the worst popes. These guys were worse than normal pagans!
  10. 121 Christians Everyone Should Know [Holman Reference], writers of Christian History Short bios. They have a very broad definition of “Christian.”
  11. The Reformation [Crossway], Stephen Nichols. Short, helpful introduction to this important time.
  12. Reformation Heroes [Reformation Heritage Books], Diane Kleyn, with Joel Beeke. Written at middle school level, but helpful vignettes of many heroes of the faith.
  13. The Unquenchable Flame [Broadman & Holman], Michael Reeves. Basic treatment of the Reformation in an easy-to-read style.
  14. Worldly Saints [Zondervan], by Leland Ryken. The Puritans as they really were. First rate! Don’t miss it!
  15. The Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life [Crossway], J. I. Packer. Excellent! I’ve read it four times.
  16. Meet the Puritans [Reformation Heritage Books], Joel Beeke & Randall Pederson. Short introductions to the Puritans.
  17. The Devoted Life [IVP], ed. by Kelly Kapic & Randall Gleason. Various essays on the Puritans and their writings.
  18. Light From Old Times [Evangelical Press], by J. C. Ryle. A history of some of the 17th century martyrs under Bloody Mary. It will impress you with their commitment to the gospel.
  19. Christian Leaders of the 18th Century [Banner of Truth], by J. C. Ryle. Brief biographies of George Whitefield, the Wesley’s, and other lesser known but greatly used servants of God.
  20. By His Grace and For His Glory [Baker], by Thomas Nettles. A historical, theological, and practical study of the doctrines of grace in Baptist history. Shows how the early Baptists were solidly Calvinistic.
  21. Revival & Revivalism [Banner of Truth], by Iain Murray. Subtitled, “The Making & Marring of American Evangelicalism, 1750-1858.” I’ve read it twice. Gives great insights into the evangelical mess we’re in today and how it came about.
  22. Evangelicalism Divided [Banner of Truth], by Iain Murray. Subtitled, “A Record of Crucial Change, 1950-2000.” He traces the theological compromise of men like Billy Graham in American evangelicalism.


Great Preachers & Christian Leaders:

  1. Walking With the Giants [Baker], by Warren Wiersbe. Outstanding! Numerous short biographies of great preachers you should know. Part 2 deals with “Classic books on the ministry.” Every pastor and church leader should read this and the next one.
  2. Listening to the Giants [Baker], by Warren Wiersbe. Similar to the book above, plus a sample sermon from each preacher. The chapter, “A Basic Library,” is worth the price of the book.
  3. The Company of the Preachers [Kregel], by David Larsen. A lengthy history of preaching, consisting of short biographies of preachers from the Old Testament to the modern era. Flawed by the author’s aversion to Reformed truth and at times sounding like a doctoral thesis, but a useful survey with many interesting details of some of the characters God has used to preach His Word.
  4. The Man Who Shook the World [Victor Books], (new title, The Apostle), by John Pollock. A readable biography of Paul.
  5. Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free [Eerdmans], by F. F. Bruce. A more scholarly treatment of Paul.
  6. The Legacy of Sovereign Joy [Crossway Books], by John Piper. Subtitled “God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, & Calvin.” Excellent reading!
  7. Contending for Our All [Crossway], John Piper. How Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen contended for biblical truth.
  8. The Life of William Farel [Bible Truth Publishers], by Frances Bevan. Farel was Calvin’s predecessor and mentor at Geneva, a bold preacher of the gospel.
  9. Elijah of the Alps [Solid Ground Christian Books], William Blackburn. Story of Farel’s bold, courageous life.
  10. Here I Stand, a Life of Martin Luther [Abingdon Press], by Roland Bainton. Hard to follow the details at points, but a classic biography of the great reformer.
  11. Martin Luther: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought [P & R Publishing], by Stephen Nichols. A recent, helpful introduction to Luther.
  12. Martin: God’s Court Jester [Fortress Press], by Eric Gritsch. Many interesting facts as he tells Luther’s story and theology.
  13. Ulrich Zwingli [Solid Ground Christian Books], William Blackburn. Interesting life of the great Reformer, but Blackburn’s difficult 19th century writing style makes it hard to follow in places.
  14. This Was John Calvin [Baker], by Thea Van Halsema. A basic introductory biography of the great reformer.
  15. John Calvin [Lion Publishing], by T. H. L. Parker. The best treatment of Calvin by a leading 20th century Calvin scholar. His Calvin’s Preaching [Westminster/John Knox Press] is an excellent study of Calvin’s emphasis on the Word. Highly recommended!
  16. The Life of John Calvin [Evangelical Press], by Theodore Beza. Beza was Calvin’s successor at Geneva, so this is a firsthand look at Calvin.
  17. John Calvin [G. P. Putnam’s Sons], by Williston Walker. Helpful, although the author’s theological liberalism slips through at points and comes into full view in his final analysis of Calvin’s theology.
  18. John Calvin [Crossway], Robert Godfrey. Short intro to Calvin’s life and thought.
  19. John Calvin [IVP], Herman Selderhuis. A warm, human treatment of Calvin. Many stories from his life.
  20. John Calvin: His Life and Influence [Christian Focus], by Robert Reymond. He has a few helpful facts that I didn’t know from my other reading on Calvin’s life.
  21. The Humanness of John Calvin [Solid Ground Christian Books], Richard Stauffer. Shows that Calvin was a caring, compassionate husband, father, pastor, and friend, contrary to prevailing caricatures of him.
  22. The Legacy of John Calvin [P & R Publishers], David Hall. Short but helpful, showing Calvin’s influence.
  23. The Soul of Life, the Piety of John Calvin [Reformation Heritage Books], by Joel Beeke. Short bio on Calvin, then short selections from his writings on various aspects of piety. Good.
  24. John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology [P & R Publishers], Burk Parsons. Good intro to Calvin and his thought.
  25. Theodore Beza: The Man and the Myth [Christian Focus], Shawn Wright. Not really a bio as much as it is a treatment of Beza’s theology. He corrects many common misconceptions.
  26. God’s Outlaw, William Tyndale [Evangelical Press], by Brian Edwards. The story of William Tyndale, who was persecuted for putting the Bible into English.
  27. Lady Jane Grey: Nine Day Queen of England [EP Books], Faith Cook. Lady Jane was a bold, doctrinally solid witness for Christ who was executed by Bloody Mary at age 16.
  28. The Life of John Knox [Free Presbyterian Publishers], by Thomas M’Crie. The life of the bold Scottish reformer.
  29. The Thunder [P & R Publishers], Douglas Bond. A novel on John Knox. Interesting, but with historical novels, you never know which part is true and which is fiction.
  30. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (in volume 1 of The Works of John Bunyan) [Baker], by John Bunyan. The autobiography of the author of Pilgrim’s Progress.
  31. John Bunyan [Banner of Truth], by Frank Mott. A short biography.
  32. The Hidden Smile of God [Crossway], by John Piper. Subtitled, “The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd. Really good!
  33. Richard Baxter [Christian Focus], by Richard Baxter. Autobiography of the influential Puritan pastor.
  34. John Owen, Prince of the Puritans [Christian Focus], by Andrew Thompson. Biography of the most scholarly Puritan theologian.
  35. John Owen: The Man and His Thought [Evangelical Press/P & R Publishing], by Sinclair Ferguson & others. Essays on various aspects of Owen’s life and theology.
  36. William Romaine, an Iron Pillar [Evangelical Press], Tim Shenton. Sketchy on Romaine’s family life. Like many great men, he had his shortcomings, some rather glaring (anti-Semitism, short temper).
  37. Out of the Depths [Moody Press], by John Newton. The fascinating autobiography of the slave trader turned pastor, author of the beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace.”
  38. Through Many Dangers [Evangelical Press], Brian Edwards. The story of John Newton. Good!
  39. The Roots of Endurance [Crossway], by John Piper. Subtitled, “Invincible Perseverance in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce.” Really good!
  40. The Journal of John Wesley [Moody Press], ed. by Percy Parker. Wesley was an interesting bundle of contradictions. John Pollock also has a biography of Wesley that I’ve read, but it may be out of print.
  41. Wesley and Men Who Followed Him [Banner of Truth], by Iain Murray. Murray is more lenient on Wesley than I would be. His life shows that God can use some imperfect vessels!
  42. George Whitefield [Crossway Books], by Arnold Dallimore (2 vol.). (A one-volume edition by Dallimore is published by Good News Publishing, although I haven’t read it.) Whitefield was a mighty Calvinistic evangelist, friend of the Wesleys and Edwards.
  43. George Whitefield [Lion Publishing], by John Pollock. Whitefield was an interesting man, zealous for souls, and greatly used by God.
  44. Heroes [Banner of Truth], Iain Murray. Short bios on Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Newton, Thomas Charles, Robert Kalleym, William Hewitson, Charles and Mary Colcock Jones, and Spurgeon as an evangelist.
  45. The Life and Times of Howell Harris [Need of the Times Publishers], by Edward Morgan. An 1852 biography of a remarkable Welsh revivalist preacher who lived 1714-1773. Harris knew Whitefield and the Wesley’
  46. Howell Harris and the Dawn of Revival [Evangelical Press of Wales], by Richard Bennett. A detailed account, based on Harris’ diaries, of the first three years of his spiritual pilgrimage.
  47. Jonathan Edwards, a New Biography [Banner of Truth], by Iain Murray. An excellent treatment of the great revivalist preacher and theologian, called the greatest mind ever in America.
  48. Jonathan Edwards, a Guided Tour of his Life and Thought [P & R Publishing], by Stephen Nichols. A recent, helpful introduction to Edwards and his theology.
  49. Jonathan Edwards: A Life [Yale University Press], by George Marsden. Excellent! Marsden helps you see Edwards in his cultural context.
  50. A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards [Eerdmans], George Marsden. Good shorter bio on Edwards.
  51. Marriage to a Difficult Man: The Uncommon Union of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards [Audubon Press], by Elisabeth Dodds. Their story from his wife’s perspective. He was difficult because he was a genius, not because he was hard to get along with. They had a wonderful marriage. Recently back in print!
  52. Jonathan Edwards and Sarah [Soli Deo Gloria], Edna Gertsner. Their unique life and marriage.
  53. A Sweet Flame: Piety in the Letters of Jonathan Edwards [Reformation Heritage Books], ed. by Michael Haykin.
  54. The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards [Baker], ed. by D. G. Hart, Sean Michael Lucas, & Stephen Nichols. Essays on Edwards’ vision, theology, and legacy.
  55. A God Entranced Vision of All Things [Crossway], ed. by John Piper & Justin Taylor. Essays on Edwards’ life and legacy, lessons from his life and thought, and expositions of his major theological works.
  56. Cotton Mather [Barnes & Noble], by Barrett Wendell. An American Colonial Puritan preacher. You will be amazed at his education and intellectual output.
  57. Robert Murray McCheyne [Zondervan], by A. A. Bonar. Devotional Scottish preacher who died at 29 but has had lasting impact on many.
  58. Awakening: The Life and Ministry of Robert Murray McCheyne [Christian Focus], David Robertson. God used McCheyne in a remarkable way in his short life.
  59. The Roots of Endurance [Crossway], John Piper. How John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce persevered through many difficulties.
  60. Charles Simeon of Cambridge [Eerdmans], by Hugh Hopkins. Heavily British in style, but a helpful bio of this great evangelical preacher.
  61. Cambridge and the Evangelical Succession [Christian Focus], Marcus Loane. Short biographies on William Grimshaw, John Berridge, Henry Venn, and Charles Simeon.
  62. Oxford and the Evangelical Succession [Christian Focus], Marcus Loane. Short biographies on George Whitefield, John Newton, Thomas Scott, Richard Cecil, and Daniel Wilson.
  63. Asahel Nettleton: Life and Labors [Banner of Truth], by A. A. Bonar. Nettleton was a Calvinistic evangelist, opposed to Finney, who saw upwards of 30,000 conversions under his preaching.
  64. A Scribe Well-Trained: Archibald Alexander and the Life of Piety [Reformation Heritage Books], ed. by James Garretson. Brief bio of the Princeton theologian and excerpts from his devotional writings.
  65. H. Spurgeon [Moody Press], by Arnold Dallimore. The best shorter biography of this godly pulpit giant.
  66. H. Spurgeon Autobiography [Banner of Truth], 2 vol. Long, but well worth reading. A remarkable man!
  67. Spurgeon, Heir of the Puritans [Eerdmans], by Ernest Bacon. Short, but good treatment.
  68. Charles H. Spurgeon: His faith and Works [American Baptist Publication Society], H. L. Wayland. A tribute to the great preacher written in the year of his death (1892).
  69. Living by Revealed Truth [Mentor], Tom Nettles. Lengthy but helpful bio of Spurgeon showing his commitment to Scripture.
  70. A Marvelous Ministry [Soli Deo Gloria], by Tim Curnow & others. Subtitled, “How the All-round Ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon Speaks to us Today.” I learned several new and interesting facts.
  71. The Forgotten Spurgeon [Banner of Truth], by Iain Murray. Deals with the three major controversies of Spurgeon’s life. Read after you’ve read Dallimore.
  72. Spurgeon & Hyper-Calvinism [Banner of Truth], by Iain Murray. How Spurgeon battled those who took Calvinism too far. In some of his views, I think that Spurgeon was inconsistent with all of Scripture.
  73. Spurgeon & Son [Kregel], by Craig Skinner. A biography of Spurgeon’s son, Thomas, a preacher who later succeeded his famous father at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.
  74. A Camaraderie of Confidence [Crossway], John Piper. Short bios on three giants of faith: Charles Spurgeon, George Muller, and Hudson Taylor.
  75. A Passion for Souls: The Life of D. L. Moody [Moody Press], by Lyle Dorsett. The author (as well as Moody) is critical of the doctrines of grace, but it is still an interesting read on a man God used to reach thousands.
  76. Moody [Evangelical Press], by John Pollock. May be out of print (I saw 2 on Amazon.com). I like Pollock as a biographer.
  77. C. Ryle, Prepared to Stand Alone [Banner of Truth], Iain Murray. Excellent bio of the godly 19th century Anglican bishop.
  78. John Charles Ryle: Evangelical Bishop [Reiner Publications], by Peter Toon. Ryle is known for his Expository Thoughts on the Gospels and other devotional writings.
  79. Faithfulness and Holiness: the witness of J. C. Ryle [Crossway], J. I. Packer. A short tribute to Ryle and the text of his classic, Holiness (read it if you haven’t, along with anything else Ryle wrote!).
  80. Charles Hodge [P & R Publishing], Andrew Hoffecker. Good, although too heavy on a lot of Presbyterian battles that I couldn’t keep straight. But Hodge was a godly man.
  81. George Muller of Bristol [Revell], by A. T. Pierson. Written in early 20th century, biography of the godly man of prayer who founded orphanages in England. This book changed my life when I first read it in 1970.
  82. George Muller: Delighted in God [Harold Shaw], by Roger Steer. Best recent biography of Muller. Great!
  83. George Muller Autobiography [Whitaker House]. Now back in print.
  84. Answers to Prayer [Moody Press], by George Muller. Excerpts from his diary, showing dramatic answers to prayer.
  85. Robert Chapman: Apostle of Love [Loizeaux Brothers], Robert Peterson. Bio of a godly 19th century Plymouth Brethren man, a friend of George Muller and Hudson Taylor.
  86. Gipsy Smith [Revell], autobiography of God’s amazing blessing on a simple, self-educated Methodist evangelist. It only goes up to 1901, but he lived until 1947.
  87. A Man of the Word [Baker], by Jill Morgan. The life of her father, G. Campbell Morgan, well known preacher and author.
  88. Ordained of the Lord [Loizeaux Brothers], by E. Schuyler English. The life of H. A. Ironside, another great Bible expositor.
  89. Gresham Machen [Eerdmans], by Ned Stonehouse. Machen stood firm against liberalism in the Presbyterian Church. He founded Westminster Seminary when Princeton went liberal.
  90. Contending for Our All [Crossway], John Piper. Short bios on Athanasius, John Owen, & J. Gresham Machen.
  91. Bonhoeffer [Thomas Nelson], Eric Metaxas. Bonhoeffer (in my opinion) was a mixed-up theological hodgepodge, yet seemingly clear on the gospel. Martyred by the Nazis because of his involvement in a plot to kill Hitler.
  92. The Triumph of Pastor Son [IVP], Yong Choon Ahn. A faithful Korean pastor martyred by North Korea.
  93. The Life of A. W. Pink [Banner of Truth], by Iain Murray. Pink was an interesting character, used of God through his writing in spite of his anti-social behavior.
  94. Martyn Lloyd-Jones [Banner of Truth], by Iain Murray (2 vol.). The first volume covers the first 40 years of the man who has been called the greatest preacher in the English language in the 20th century. Vol. 2 is 800 pages, but I was sad when it ended. You ought to know this great man of God!
  95. The Sacred Anointing [Crossway], by Tony Sargent. A good treatment of Lloyd-Jones’ preaching.
  96. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a Family Portrait [Baker], by Christopher Catherwood (Lloyd-Jones’ grandson). A shorter treatment of his life if you don’t have the gumption to tackle the 2-volume work.
  97. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Chosen by God [Crossway], ed. by Christopher Catherwood. Essays on Lloyd-Jones’ life and ministry by men such as J. I. Packer, Carl Henry, John Stott, and others that knew him.
  98. Daws [NavPress], by Betty Lee Skinner. The story of Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators.
  99. That Man Barnhouse [Tyndale], by Margaret Barnhouse. The life of Donald Grey Barnhouse, an influential Presbyterian pastor, radio speaker, and author. He was quite a character!
  • The Tapestry [Word], by Edith Schaeffer. The interesting life of Francis and Edith Schaeffer, founders of L’Abri in Switzerland. He was a Christian philosopher and writer. She wrote this before his death from cancer in 1984.
  1. Francis Shaeffer: An Authentic Life [Crossway], Colin Duriez. Sympathetic, shorter bio of Schaeffer.
  • The Letters of Francis Schaeffer [Crossway], ed. by Lane Dennis. Reading these letters gives you insight into the pastoral heart of this Christian thinker.
  • What is a Family? [Revell], by Edith Schaeffer. Not strictly a biography, but she weaves their family into this helpful book on the Christian family. Read after you’ve read The Tapestry.
  • A Severe Mercy [Harper & Row], by Sheldon Vanauken. Moving love story of a couple who met Christ through C. S. Lewis. You will need Kleenex nearby!
  • Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor [Crossway], D. A. Carson. A bio of Carson’s dad, a pastor/missionary in Quebec, who struggled with inadequacy, discouragement, and depression.
  • Billy Graham [McGraw Hill], by John Pollock. This is a 1966 biography of Graham. A more recent one is now available. Graham is an influential and interesting man, who has done much good and some bad.
  • I. Packer [Baker], by Alister McGrath. The life of the popular theologian, author of Knowing God.
  • I. Packer: An Evangelical Life [Crossway], Leland Ryken. A more recent bio of Packer. He was a godly man, yet in my judgment erred greatly by signing the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document.
  • The Pastor [Harper One], Eugene Peterson. An autobiography, with a chapter explaining how and why he translated The Message. Peterson was theologically undiscerning, but he has some helpful insights that are cross-grain to modern evangelicalism.
  • Joni [Zondervan], by Joni Eareckson Tada. A powerful story of God’s grace triumphing over tragedy.
  • John MacArthur, Iain Murray. Shows how God is blessing His Word through MacArthur’s worldwide ministry. If you compare yourself to MacArthur and his ministry (as I have done at times), you could easily get discouraged, though!
  • Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, Rosaria Butterfield. Story of a radical lesbian English professor who came to Christ and now is a pastor’s wife.


Missions Biographies/Histories:

  1. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya [Zondervan], by Ruth Tucker. A history of missions, giving short biographies of many missionary heroes. This is a powerful, life-changing book. Read it!
  2. Guardians of the Great Commission [Zondervan], by Ruth Tucker. A biographical history of women in missions. It is similar to the above, except that the author is grinding an axe for feminism, which I disagree with. But the stories are still inspiring and informative.
  3. A Heart for Mission: Five Pioneer Thinkers [Christian Focus], by Ron Davies. He covers the mission thinking of Jonathan Edwards, Cotton Mather, Richard Baxter, Jan Amos Comenius, & Count Zinzendorf.
  4. William Carey [Zondervan], by Mary Drewery. The “Father of Modern Missions.” Quite a story. His reluctant missionary wife went insane. He translated the Bible into over 35 languages!
  5. William Carey [Wakeman Trust]. by Pearce Carey. The best bio of Carey. Carey was an incredible man! You will be challenged!
  6. The Legacy of William Carey, by Vishal and Ruth Mangalwadi. Modern writers show how Carey helped change India’s culture.
  7. To the Golden Shore [Little, Brown], by Courtney Anderson. The moving story of Adoniram Judson, pioneer missionary to Burma, who endured incredible trials and setbacks. I’ve read it You won’t complain about your minor troubles again!
  8. My Heart in His Hands, Ann Judson [Evangelical Press], by Sharon James. Shows the suffering and perseverance of the Judson’s.
  9. The Life and Letters of Henry Martyn [Banner of Truth], by John Sargent. Martyn went to Iran in the early 1800’s, and died of tuberculosis in his early 30’s.
  10. For the Love of India [Evangelical Press], Jim Cromartie. Good treatment of Henry Martyn, whose short life was kind of sad.
  11. David Livingstone: The Truth Behind the Legend [Christian Focus], by Rob Mackenzie. Livingstone had amazing perseverance in spite of overwhelming difficulties.
  12. David Livingstone: His Life and Letters [Harper], by George Seaver. A thorough treatment, but the author is theologically liberal. He did not understand the need for conversion.
  13. Hudson Taylor [OMF], by Roger Steer. The most recent and readable treatment of the great pioneer missionary to China. Read it and you won’t be the same!
  14. Hudson Taylor & Maria [Zondervan], by John Pollock. Honest treatment of Taylor’s life up to Maria’s death. Moving!
  15. Hudson Taylor: God’s Man in China [OMF], by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor. An out of print earlier version is in two volumes: Hudson Taylor in Early Years: The Growth of a Soul; and, Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission: The Growth of a Work of God [The China Inland Mission]. This is a sympathetic “eulogy” type biography written by his son and daughter-in-law. Taylor’s faith and vision were amazing.
  16. It is Not Death to Die [Christian Focus], Jim Cromarty. Longer, helpful biography of Hudson Taylor.
  17. The Cambridge Seven [Christian Focus], John Pollock. He uses British language and cultural assumptions, which makes it a bit difficult for American readers. Interesting story of how God raised up 7 19th century British men for missions in China.
  18. John Paton Autobiography [Banner of Truth]. An amazing story of commitment and courage. He left Scotland to go to the New Hebrides Islands, where cannibals had killed and eaten missionaries. There is also a recent biography on Paton by Jim Cromarty, but I haven’t read it yet.
  19. John Paton [Banner of Truth], Paul Schlehlein. A shorter bio of Paton.
  20. Anthony Norris Groves [Kingsley Press] by G. H. Lang. Out of print, hard to find. Groves was George Muller’s brother-in-law. He went overland to Baghdad in the 19th
  21. Borden of Yale [Moody Press], by Mrs. Howard Taylor. Borden gave up his fortune to go to Cairo, where he got sick and died at 25.
  22. A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael [Revell], by Elisabeth Elliot. Carmichael was a strong missionary and devotional writer who suffered from illness greatly, but took in needy children and built a caring community in India.
  23. Mary Slessor of Calabar [George H. Duran Company] , W. P. Livingstone. The story of an amazing, courageous Scottish woman who lived alone in the midst of violent tribes in Nigeria.
  24. The Small Woman [Dutton], by Alan Burgess. The story of Gladys Aylward, featured in the film “Inn of the Sixth Happiness,” starring Ingrid Bergman. She went to China, lived by faith, and led a group of orphans on a long survival journey during the Japanese invasion. Quite a story!
  25. Jonathan Goforth [Bethany House], Rosalind Goforth. A zealous evangelist in China who saw thousands converted. His main quirk was buying into Finney’s unbiblical revival methods.
  26. Praying Hyde [Bethany House], Francis McGaw. Hyde devoted himself to much prayer, especially for India, where he served.
  27. Fire on the Mountains [SIM], by R. J. Davis. Story of an amazing revival in Ethiopia during WWII.
  28. Against the Tide, the Story of Watchman Nee [Christian Literature Crusade], by Angus Kinnear. Nee was a powerful preacher and church planter, imprisoned by the Communists.
  29. Three of China’s Mighty Men [OMF], by Leslie Lyall. The story of David Yang, Watchman Nee, and Wang Ming-dao, three men of great faith in the face of persecution.
  30. John and Betty Stam [Christian Focus], Vance Christie. Story of a courageous couple martyred in China in 1935.
  31. Bakht Singh of India [International Students], by Daniel Smith. My copy is missing! Available on Amazon (for $58!), but other bios on him are listed there, too. Story of a powerful evangelist and man of God. I heard him speak once at Biola.
  32. The Flying Scotsman [The History Press], by Sally Magnuson. The story of Eric Liddell, of “Chariots of Fire” fame.
  33. A Boy’s War [OMF], by David Michaelson. Story of a missionary boy separated from his parents, interned in a Japanese POW camp in China, where Eric Liddell was also a prisoner.
  34. Evidence Not Seen [Harper San Francisco], Darlene Deibler Rose. Amazing story of endurance and witness through suffering in a Japanese P.O.W. camp in World War 2.
  35. Gold Fears No Fire [OMF], by Ralph Toliver. Not strictly a biography, but a novel based on a composite of true stories in China. Shows what the saints there are going through. Gripping!
  36. Foreign Devil in China [WorldWide Publications], by John Pollock. The story of Dr. Nelson Bell, father-in-law of Billy Graham, missionary doctor to China.
  37. The Power to Save: A History of the Gospel in China [Evangelical Press], Bob Davey. Excellent. The early missionaries persevered against overwhelming odds. Chinese believers have suffered much.
  38. Mission to the Headhunters [Christian Focus], by Frank & Marie Drown. Missionaries to the tribes in Ecuador.
  39. Through Gates of Splendor [Spire], by Elisabeth Elliot. The story of the five missionaries to the Aucas who were martyred, including Jim Elliot, the author’s husband.
  40. Shadow of the Almighty [Zondervan], by Elisabeth Elliot. The story of her husband Jim, martyred at 28. This story will challenge you spiritually.
  41. The Savage My Kinsman [Harper], by Elisabeth Elliot. The story of how she and her young daughter lived among the tribe that murdered her husband.
  42. Singing in His Ways [Renewal Enterprises], Sanna Rossi. The story of Gospel Recordings founder Joy Ridderhof and two other women’s adventures in some remote and dangerous situations.
  43. Uncle Cam [Wycliffe], by James & Marti Hefley. The story of Cameron Townsend, founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators.
  44. At the Foot of the Snows [no publisher listed, on Amazon], David Watters. A couple who took the gospel to the unreached Kham people of Western Nepal and the suffering that the new believers endured for the sake of the gospel.
  45. Days of Glory, Seasons of Night [Zondervan], by Marilee Dunker. The story of Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision, told by his daughter. An agonizing story of a man who badly wounded his family, but accomplished much for the cause of missions.
  46. Bruchko [Creation House], by Bruce Olson. Story of a 19-year-old boy who went to South America and reached a murderous tribe. He is still living there, in his early 60’s now. Gripping!
  47. Peace Child [Revell], by Don Richardson. Story of how he and his young family reached a headhunting, cannibalistic tribe in Irian Jaya. (Also in video.) Amazing story!
  48. Lords of the Earth [Revell], by Don Richardson. Another amazing story of missionary courage in reaching a savage tribe in Irian Jaya. This should be a movie! The turn of events at the end is one of the most amazing stories in missions history!
  49. And the Word Came With Power [Multnomah], by Joanne Shetler with Patricia Purvis. How God used one woman to transform the Balangao people of the Philippines.
  50. The Good Seed [Promise Publishing Company], Marianna Slocum. Story of the gospel taking root among the Tzetal Indians in Chiapas, Mexico.
  51. Weak Thing in Moni Land [Christian Publications], William Cutts. How God used a man who had great physical limitations to spread the gospel in Irian Jaya.
  52. Give Me This Mountain [Christian Focus], Helen Roseveare. She was an English missionary medical doctor who suffered in the Congo under the rebels.
  53. Digging Ditches [Christian Focus], further stories and insights from Helen Roseveare, especially about how God works in the valleys of life, not just on the mountaintops.
  54. A Company of Heroes [Crossway], Tim Keesee. Excellent cameos of mostly modern missionaries serving in hard places.