Heroes of the Faith: Charles Thomas Studd

Charles Thomas Studd was born on December 2, 1860 in Spratton, England.

Charles Thomas Studd in his cricket uniform

He came to Christ when a visiting preacher visited their home. “According to his conversion narrative, the preacher asked him if he believed God’s promises to give believers eternal life, and as Charles would only go so far as to profess he believed Jesus Christ died, the guest pressed the point, and Charles then believed on the Lord Jesus for salvation. Charles later recalled the moment:

“I got down on my knees and I did say ‘thank you’ to God. And right then and there joy and peace came into my soul. I knew then what it was to be ‘born again,’ and the Bible which had been so dry to me before, became everything.”

He was a cricketer and played against Australia for England in the 1882 match. He gained popularity for his skills on the field.

In 1883, he graduated from Trinity College in Cambridge, England.

The following year, one of his brothers became seriously ill and he had to admit he was in an “unhappy backslidden state.”

Charles Thomas Studd

As a result of the experience he said, “I know that cricket would not last, and honour would not last, and nothing in this world would last, but it was worthwhile living for the world to come.”

He became part of the Cambridge Seven missionaries to China. His father died while he was in China and he specified his inheritance be split among the Moody Bible Institute, George Muller mission work, Salvation Army in India and the work of the poor at Whitechapel.

He married Priscilla Stewart in 1888 while in China. The couple would have four daughters and two sons who died in infancy.

He spent ten years in China suffering “great hardships to reach remote areas where the gospel had never been heard before.”

Charles Thomas Studd

Upon returning to England, he made a visit to America to join his brother and share of his ministry experiences.

He set up the Heart of Africa Mission {now the Worldwide Evangelistic Crusade}.

Studd enjoyed writing poems and wrote the poem “Only One Life, ‘Twill Soon Be Past” which has become famous. This inspired the song titled Only One Life by Lanny Wolfe. He also wrote several books.

He established four mission stations in the Belgian Congo in 1913.

His wife Priscilla died in 1929.

He died on July 16, 1931 in Ibambi, Belgian Congo.


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