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289 – Oct. 16 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Wm. Ward

 

Other missionaries followed him

 

1798 – William Ward was appointed to serve as a printer, along with William Carey in India. Dr. Carey had translated the Bible into many languages in the area, and now was interested in a Javanese New Testament when he invited Gottlob Bruckner, a German, to come to India. Rev. Bruckner, with his two sons, made the journey in 1828. Little did he know that he would return to his wife three years later with only one son, having buried the other with a tropical fever. When the task was completed the missionary and his son boarded the ship with 2,000 Javanese Testaments, twenty thousand tracts, and a set of type faces with Javanese letters. Their ship was almost sunk in a typhoon, then arriving home soldiers seized all but a few of the Testaments, but he would not quit. Gottlob was born in 1783 on a farm in Germany. At age 20 he went to Berlin to seek his fortune and heard a gospel preacher and was saved. Through incredible trials he finally reached Semarang, Java in 1814 and became the pastor of a Dutch church and married his wife. While there Rev. and Mrs. Thomas Trowt, Baptist missionaries from England arrived, and they became great friends. It was Trowt that convinced Bruckner of believer’s baptism and when he immersed him the church folks turned him out of his pulpit. It was only six months later that Trowt died of a tropical fever. Bruckner died in 1857 and saw few direct results from his preaching, but other Christian missionaries followed him, and today there are more professing believers in Java than any place on earth where Islam is the strong majority religion. [S. Pearce Carey, William Carey (London: Hodder and Stoughton Limited, 1924), pp. 177, 410. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 566-68.]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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