Faithful Heroes: George Muller, depended on God to provide all his needs

George Müller opened the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England. He cared for over 10,000 orphans in his lifetime.

George Muller

George Müller was born on September 27, 1805 in Kroppenstedt, Prussia {modern day Germany}. He was the son of Johann Friederich and Eleonore Hasse Müller.

His father worked as a tax collector. He had an older brother and after his mother died when he was fourteen and his father remarried, a half brother. He described his early years as a thief, liar, and gambler. He even stole government money from his father. He was even arrested for sneaking out of a hotel without paying.

He entered seminary at the University of Halle in Germany, but did not have a relationship with the Lord.

George Muller

In 1825, at a prayer meeting one evening he gave his life to God and a “swift transformation began in his behavior.” He later said, “I have no doubt … that He began a work of grace in me. Even though I scarcely had any knowledge of who God truly was, that evening was the turning point in my life.”

Not long thereafter, he began preaching in nearby churches and developed the desire to become a missionary. His father became upset that he was to become a missionary and cut off his support. But Müller trusted God to provide for the remainder of his schooling.

Upon completion of school, he became so ill that he was unable to serve in the German army for a year, which was mandatory. He was soon free to travel to England as a missionary.

George Muller

On March 19, 1829, he arrived in London, England to work with the Jews.

Within two months, he had fallen ill and thought he would not survive. He was sent to Teignmouth to recuperate and met Henry Craik, who would become his lifelong friend.

For the remainder of the year he remained ill and began to question is association with the London Society he was there to work with. By the end of the year, he was preaching. In early 1830, his association with the London Society was officially ended and several churches asked him to become their minister.

George Muller quote

He became minister of Ebenezer Chapel in Devon, England. He quickly renounced his salary and the renting of church pews. He wanted people to give out of desire and not duty.

On October 7, 1830, he married Mary Groves. The couple would have four children. Two were still born, one son died at fifteen months and a daughter that reached adulthood.

On May 25, 1832, he began his ministry at Bethesda Chapel, where he would remain until his death. Henry Craik also shared the pastorial duties there.

As he walked the streets, he saw the children with no parents living on the streets or in poorhouses. He also noticed how they were treated badly and began to feel God calling him to open an orphanage to care for the children.

George Muller

In 1834, he founded the “he Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad, with the goal of aiding Christian schools and missionaries; distributing the Bible and Christian tracts; and providing Day-schools, Sunday-schools and Adult-schools, all upon a Scriptural foundation”. Within a year, he had five day schools up and running.

In 1836, he and his wife opened their own rented home to about thirty orphaned girls. Three more houses for boys, girls and young children were soon opened.

George Muller

In 1849, he opened a home for three hundred children at Ashley Down in Bristol, England. Over the next two decade, he built four more homes.

He is said to never request financial support or go into debt to build the homes and provide food for the children. He depended on God to provide. He is said to have prayed specific prayers about everything and often provided numerous examples of how God provided.

“Müller’s faith in God strengthened day by day and he spent hours in daily prayer and Bible reading. Indeed, it was his practice, in later years, to read through the entire Bible four times a year.”

George Muller quote

Upon leaving the orphanage, every child was provided iwth a Bible and two changes of clothing. Müller ensured the children were well educated and attended Bible study and prayer each morning after breakfast.

When a child was ready to leave the orphanage, Müller is said to make an effort to secure apprenticeships, professional training, and domestic service positions.

He even went so far as to employ an inspector to maintain high standards of the orphanages.

His wife, Mary, died on February 6, 1870. On November 30, 1871, he married Susannah Grace Sanger. For the next seventeen years, the couple traveled the world as missionaries and preaching the gospel.

George Muller

His sermons were translated into the host language, if the area did not speak English, French or German {which were the three languages he could speak}.

In 1890, his last surviving child, Lydia, died. Her husband, James Wright, would succeed him as head of the Institute.

His wife, Susannah, died on January 13, 1894. Just as he had preached Mary’s funeral, he now preached Susannah’s.

At age 92, not long before he died, he wrote, “I have been able, every day and all the day to work, and that with ease, as seventy years since.”

George Müller entered glory on March 10, 1898 in Bristol, England. ” He led a prayer meeting at his church on the evening of Wednesday, March 9, 1898. The next day a cup of tea was taken to him at seven in the morning but no answer came to the knock on the door. He was found dead on the floor beside his bed.”

George Muller monument

By the end of his life he had read his Bible from end to end almost 200 times. He never took a salary, a loan or went in debt. He trusted God to provide the money needed. Neither he nor his orphans ever went hungry.

The George Müller Foundation {now known as a Charitable Trust} continues today.

The movie The Obstacle of Comfort was made about his life.

 

 

 

 

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