Friday, March 14, 2008

George Carl

Less than a year after Wilbur Stover began foreign missionary work in India, George Carl began home mission work on the west coast. For nearly a half-century he gave vigorous leadership to church extension. In his work in Oregon, Washington, and California, he reached his appointments by boat, oxcart, dogcart, horse and buggy, wagon, and automobile. In addition to his preaching and spiritual leadership he built five churches.

When the church called him to the ministry he wanted to go to college to prepare himself better for church work, but the older Brethren talked him out of it. Instead he bought the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Preacher's Homiletic Commentary. These, along with attendance at the Bible class of a Dr. Brower, scholarly Brethren physician and minister, constituted his preparation for his significant ministry.

He moved his family to Washington in 1895 under General Mission Board sponsorship to serve a circuit of five preaching points. For 33 of the next 42 years he served under national and west coast district mission boards. His efforts involved much traveling, often over very primitive roads. On occasion he pitched a tent for his family in a vacant lot and held revival meetings while working during the week to construct a meetinghouse with his own hands. He helped establish seven congregations and built five meetinghouses, assisting in the construction of two others.

Sources: Meditations on Brethren Life, DeWitt and Mary Hartsough Miller
The Brethren Encyclopedia