Small-Town Preacher with a Worldwide Vision
Gloomy and fatalistic high Calvinism held sway in the pulpits of England when Andrew Fuller was born in Wicken, Cambridgeshire, England, Feb. 6, l754. When about fourteen years of age he first became the subject of religious exercises. This question arose in his mind, What is faith? He could not answer it, but he satisfied himself that it did not require an immediate response, and that he would learn in the future what it was. Nevertheless he was not as indifferent about his soul as in former times, and occasionally he was very unhappy. Once, with some boys in a blacksmith’s shop, while they were singing foolish songs, the words addressed to Elijah seemed to pierce his soul, — What doest thou here, Elijah? And he arose and left his companions. It was then in 1769, Andrew Fuller became a genuine believer in Christ. He was baptized and joined the church in Soham where his family attended. Fuller never received formal theological training, but his extraordinary gifting was apparent as he began preaching in the church at age 17. He soon became pastor of a little Baptist church at Soham where he served until 1782. He then became the pastor of a vigorous church in Kettering, Northhamptonshire and remained there until his death.
Andrew Fuller’s deep concern for evangelism and world missions led to the formation of the Baptist Missionary Society on October 2, 1792. Fuller and a small assembly of pastors, including William Carey and John Thomas who later went to India joined together to form the society.
To recognize his contributions in theology, Princeton University awarded him a D.D. in 1798 and Yale did the same in 1805. He declined both. Andrew Fuller contracted tuberculosis and passed away at age 61 on May 7, 1815.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 186 – 187