Best Christian Missionary Biographies [2023]

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In a world that celebrates wealth, fame, and power, few stories can ignite our souls and stir people’s hearts, like the stories of people who dedicated their lives to sharing the message of God’s love that resonates with our hearts. A Christian missionary biography offers a window into the lives of those who went on extraordinary journeys and sacrificed their comforts to bring hope to dark corners of the world. 

This article will explore the best Christian missionary biographies that inspired many generations and successfully captured the essence of faith and unwavering commitment to the Gospel. The tales of these remarkable people prove the power of faith and its impact on their lives.

Top Christian Missionary Biographies

God’s Hostage: A True Story

In this gripping biography, Andrew Brunson and Craig Borlase take readers emotionally through the imprisonment and persecution of Andrew Brunson in Turkey. This biography paints a compelling picture of his struggles and captures the physical and psychological toll of his time in Turkey. However, despite the challenges, this book reflects Brunson’s faith. Brunson inspires readers with his determination and resilience. The biography serves as a reminder of the strength of the human spirit in the midst of difficult circumstances.

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A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael

A Chance to Die is a captivating book by Elisabeth Elliot and explores the remarkable and historical life of Amy Carmichael. Through in-depth research and heartfelt storytelling, Elisabeth tells the story of Carmichael’s selfless missionary work in India. The book portrays Amy’s unwavering faith and her impact on countless lives. This insightful biography gives readers a glimpse into Amy’s character, spiritual journey, and struggle. 

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Comparison Table

Biography TitleAuthorSubjectTime PeriodHistorical Significance
God’s Hostage: A True StoryAndrew Brunson and Craig BorlaseAndrew BrunsonContemporaryModern-day Persecution
A Chance to DieElisabeth ElliotAmy Carmichael19th-20th centuryMissions in India
Gladys Aylward: Lifetime AdventureJanet & Geoff BengeGladys Aylward20th centuryMissionary in China
No Accidental MissionaryMarilyn FeldhausTesfai TesemaContemporaryConversion in Saudi Arabia
Jim Elliot: 1 Great PurposeJanet & Geoff BengeJim Elliot20th centuryEcuadorian Mission
His Faithfulness Reaches to the SkiesForrest Zander and Dwight CloughMissionary Pilot20th-21st centuryAviation Missions

Buying Guide

When choosing the best Christian missionary biography for you, the varieties in the market can be quite overwhelming. There are several stories of sacrifice, faith, and courage out there, so it can be confusing when choosing which is worth your time and effort.

Luckily, some factors can help you navigate through the many choices to ensure your missionary biography aligns with your goal and desire for spiritual growth.

Best Christian Missionary Biographies Recommendations

Several biographies provide you with a unique perspective into these missionary pioneers’ personal journeys, struggles, and triumphs. However, knowing the best Christian missionary biographies can be difficult. Luckily, we’ve rounded up the six best Christian missionary biographies today.

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1. God’s Hostage: A True Story

Gods Hostage

In 1993, Andrew Brunson traveled to one of the largest un-evangelized countries in the world, Turkey, to serve as a missionary. Although skeptical about the dangerous task ahead, he had no idea what God planned for him. 

God’s Hostage is a remarkable biography that dives into the true story of Andrew Brunson’s imprisonment, persecution, and triumph over adversity in Turkey. This book takes readers on an emotional journey that reflects the power of resilience and faith. 

This book portrays the injustice suffered by Andrew as he becomes a hostage in Turkey and is trapped in a legal system trying to break him.

Throughout the book, the authors take readers through the experiences and emotions of Andrew as he endures the physical and psychological torment meted out to him. We can easily feel the weight of uncertainty and isolation Andre felts while in captivity. 

This biography also gives readers a glimpse of Turkey and its pollical scene. It takes us through the complex web of international relations that determined Andrew’s faith and the tireless effort of his wife in trying to get him out.

Throughout the book, we see the power of unity as people from various backgrounds come together to advocate for justice for Andrew. 

This isn’t just a story of prosecution; it reflects the strength of the human spirit and Andrew’s resilience and faith as he is pushed to the extreme. This is an excellent read for anyone looking for a story of perseverance and hope. 

2. A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael

A Chance to Die

There are just a few people out there who do not know Amy Carmichael and her impact on the Christian missionary. Suppose you’re amongst those who have no idea who Amy Carmichael is. In that case, this Christian missionary biography by Elisabeth Elliot is masterfully written and provides insight into Amy’s life as a missionary and writer. 

This biography takes readers on an extraordinary journey through the trials, faith, and triumph of Amy, who dedicated her life to fully serving others and sharing the love of God. Elisabeth brings Amy’s story to life through her in-depth research.

Readers follow Amy’s life, from her childhood in Northern Ireland to her selfless work in South India. Every chapter in this biography provides insight into every part of Amy’s life.

This book also immerses readers in the world of many Christian missions, and you’ll get to witness Amy’s determination to rescue young girls from temple prostitution and her challenges as she challenges societal norms, risking her life in the process.

Elisabeth uses vivid descriptions to take readers through the mission fields to experience the emotions and sounds like Amy as she works to bring healing and hope to all. 

She also dives into Amy’s inner journey and spiritual growth in this book. Readers get insight into her unwavering commitment to God despite the overwhelming challenges she faces. Elisabeth intricately weaves in Amy’s writings so that her voice can resonate through the pages.

This way, you’ll have an insight into her head and understand her character better. 

3. Gladys Aylward: The Adventures of a Lifetime

The Adventure of a Lifetime

This Christian mission biography by Janet and Geoff Benge is an engaging biography that takes readers on a thrilling journey through the life of Gladys Aylward. This is a story of one woman’s faith, determination, and courage and the lasting impression it left on everyone around her.

From the beginning of the book, readers are carefully drawn into Aylward’s world, and the author skillfully transports readers into the challenges Gladys faced in early 20th-century China. The authors can vividly depict Aylward’s transformation from a working-class British woman to a missionary in China.

This biography stands out for many reasons, including how Gladys’s unrelenting spirit is portrayed. Even though she faced many obstacles, like cultural barriers, her faith and commitment to serving others stood strong. The book follows her journey across China and her efforts to rescue and care for orphaned children.

In this book, you’ll see how Gladys impacted many people and her dedication to education, social reforms, and the Gospel throughout her life. 

4. No Accidental Missionary

No Accidental Missionary

This biography tells the story of Tesfai Tesema and his transformation from being an enemy of Christianity to a devoted follower of Christ. It will surely capture readers and leave them inspired by the power of God’s grace. This biography takes readers on a remarkable journey that begins with Tesfai’s background in Eritrea and his early involvement in a radical religious group. 

The author showcases the personal challenges and struggles Tesfai faced over the years and his journey of questioning his ideals. The biography allows readers to follow Tesfai’s journey of discovery and personal transformation.

His encounter with Christ in Saudi Arabia became a significant moment that changed his life forever. As the story evolves, Tesfai’s new faith pushes him towards a mission to share the Gospel.

The book follows his involvement in missionary work and how he became an instrument of God’s love and grace. This Christian missionary biography reflects the transformative power of God’s love and reminds everyone that no one is beyond the power of God’s redeeming grace.

If you’re looking for a story of hope and the transformation that occurs when we encounter the love of Christ, this is the book for you.

5. Jim Elliot: One Great Purpose

One Great Purpose

This biography by Janet and Geoff Benge is quite insightful and provides readers with an account of the life and legacy of Jim Elliot. This book takes all readers on a journey through the story of Jim and how he devoted his life to serving God and making a difference. 

The book begins with Jim’s upbringing and his commitment to his faith. We get insight into Jim’s dedication, from his early days as a missionary student to his groundbreaking work in Ecuador.

Readers experience Jim’s determination, sacrificial love, and unwavering faith in facing challenges. The book also dives into Jim’s friendships, influence on those around him, and relationship with other missionaries.

We also gain insight into his struggles, doubts, and times he wrestled with his faith. This vulnerability makes Jim’s story even more relatable and allows readers to connect with him on a deeper level.

This book is an excellent pick for anyone looking for a deeper understanding of the power of faith and an example of a life fully lived with purpose.

6. His Faithfulness Reaches to the Skies

His Faithfulness Reaches to the Skies

If you’re looking for a story that lifts your faith, this Christian missionary biography by Forrest Zander and Dwight Clough is the right choice. It is a captivating book that takes readers on an inspiring and exciting journey through the life of a missionary pilot. It dives into the challenges and triumphs of serving in remote and inaccessible locations.

From the very start, you’ll be immersed in the world of missionary aviation and the dedication and faith needed to fulfill this calling. Through a heartfelt storytelling technique, Zander and Clough can bring this missionary pilot’s joys, experiences, and trials to life.

It is a biography that explores the commitment and faith of the pilot. It also follows his spiritual growth, personal sacrifices, and encounters that eventually shaped his life. 

Readers get to visit remote regions through the words on the pages. You also get to witness the life-changing impact of his services on the communities he serves and his spiritual journey.

This biography emphasizes the partnership and teamwork required to make a significant impact in the lives of those served. 

What is a missionary biography? 

A missionary biography is a book that tells the life story of someone who dedicated their lives to spreading the message of Christianity and serving people in various parts of the world. This book follows their experiences, challenges, accomplishments, and impact on the world.

Who were some of the most famous Christian missionaries? 

Some of the most famous missionaries are William Carey, Amy Carmichael Hudson Taylor, Paul the Apostle, and David Livingstone.

Why do you read missionary biographies? 

People read missionary biographies for different reasons. While some read for inspiration and encouragement, others read to understand these missionaries’ dedication and sacrifices. It also deepens your understanding of this global mission.

How can I be a good Christian missionary? 

To be a good Christian missionary, you need to develop a strong relationship with God, a heart of compassion for others, and a genuine desire to share the love and message of Christ.

What are the qualities of a true missionary? 

A true missionary’s top qualities include a deep and genuine faith in Christ, a passion for sharing the Gospel, and a servant’s heart. If you’re also wondering what skills does a missionary need? Then a missionary needs perseverance, resilience, and a willingness to face challenges to sell the Gospel. Effective communication skills and a commitment to lifelong learning also come into play.


These best Christian missionary biographies will remind us that we can leave a lasting impact when we surrender to a higher calling. It also reminds us all that we can be missionaries uniquely. Therefore, when next you’re looking for a book that inspires you to hold fast to your faith and remain committed in the face of challenges, grab one of these books and settle in. 

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