Father of Faith Missions: The Life & Times of Anthony Norris Groves

Modest and unobtrusive, Anthony Norris Groves did not consider himself a gifted evangelist. His name is not usually mentioned alongside William Carey and Hudson Taylor, but Groves had a pioneering influence that went beyond his personal reach. Drawing upon Groves’ own journals and letters in addition to copious scholarship, this book is both a journey into history and a reminder that God’s faithfulness is as true now as it was then.


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Anthony Norris Groves was an English dentist who read his New Testament very carefully. In it he found promises and instructions given by Jesus and wondered why no one seemed to have noticed them before. He thought that churches and missions might achieve more if they followed the methods of their Lord and his earliest disciples. It was a theory he would put to the test.

In 1829 he and his wife Mary sold their possessions, gave what they had to the poor and set off for the East, trusting simply in the care of their heavenly Father. They settled with their two small boys in a house with a courtyard in the old Muslim capital of Baghdad. Here they spoke about faith, hope, and love to anyone who would listen… until plague struck the city, followed by cholera, famine, floods and civil war!

Here is the story of a grand experiment in authentic Christianity, a story of faith, of hesitant faith, frustrated faith, courageous faith, faith that survived tears and finally won its reward… faith that inspired four generations of faith missions.

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