10 Missionary Biographies to be Inspired

missionary biographies

Being a missionary is hard work, and it can be encouraging to hear stories of faithful men and women of God in the mission field. These missionary biographies tell the stores of men and women in Christian missions. These biographies are great for people looking to enter the mission field, active missionaries, or parents and teachers looking to teach their kids about the lives of missionaries.

Through Gates of Splendor – Elisabeth Elliot

Through Gates of Splendor

Through Gates of Splendor is about missionary Elisabeth Elliot and the story of Operation Auca: an initiative by five missionaries to reach the Huaorani Tribe of Ecuador, including Elisabeth’s husband Jim Elliot. The people of the Huaorani Tribe famously killed these missionaries. This biography tells a beautiful story of redemption, restoration, and forgiveness after a terrible tragedy.

Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret – Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret

Hudson Taylor was a famous missionary who reached people for Jesus in China and founded the China Inland Mission (now called OMF). This missionary biography, written by Hudson Taylor’s son, gives us insight into the spiritual life and practices of Hudson Taylor. This is a must read for anyone considering missions or those already involved in missions. And more than that, it is an encouragement to all believers.

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The Little Woman – Gladys Aylward

Gladys Aylward Little Women

The Little Woman is a missionary biography about the famous missionary, Gladys Aylward. She left her home in England to answer God’s call for her to move to China. She left home with no support board and no money to be faithful to God’s call. With the Sino-Japanese War waging around her, she struggled to bring the basics of life and the fullness of God to orphaned children. Time after time, God triumphed over impossible situations, and drew people to himself.

Bruchko – Bruce Olsen


Bruchko is an autobiography that tells the story of Bruce Olsen’s kidnapping by communist guerrillas and his nine month captivity. During his time in captivity, Olsen was able to share the love of Jesus with his captors. This amazing biography shows us that God can bring amazing things out of even the darkest situations.

Mary Slessor: A Life on the Altar for God – Bruce Mclannen

Mary Slessor a Life on the altar for God

This missionary biography tells us the story of Mary Slessor. Mary was a missionary whose life story is an amazing inspiration. She felt a call to missions and set sail for West Africa in 1876. Bruce McLennan shares this remarkable story of a woman who shared the gospel, stood up against inequality and impacted Calabar with the hope of Jesus.

A Chance to Die : Amy Carmichael – Elisabeth Elliot

Amy Carmichael a chance to die

A Chance to Die is a vibrant portrayal of Amy Carmichael. She was an Irish missionary and writer who spent 53 years in South India without furlough. There she became known as “Amma”, or “mother”, as she founded the Dohnavur Fellowship, a refuge for underprivileged children. Amy’s life of obedience and courage stands as a model for all who claim the name of Christ. 

Something Beautiful for God – Malcom Muggeridge

Mother Teresa something beautiful for God

This missionary biography is the work that introduced Mother Teresa of Calcutta to the Western world. Malcolm Muggeridge tells us the story of a lady whose love for Christ and the needy has deeply impacted many lives. Mother Teresa’s life was filled with struggle and heartache, but she loved and served God faithfully nonetheless.

Christian Heros: Then and Now – Janet and Geoff Benge

Christian heros then and now

The Christian Heros: Then and Now series by YWAM are a series of biographies about some of the most famous and successful missionaries. Learn about Nate Saint, Corrie Ten Boom, George Muller, and more! These missionary biographies give us opportunities to see how God works through the lives of those who follow him. 

The Heavenly Man – Brother Yun

the heavenly man

The Heavenly Man is an autobiography of how God took a boy from a poor village in Henan, China and placed him on the front line for Jesus. Brother Yun is a house church leader in China, where Christianity is heavily monitored by the government. Because of this, he was imprisoned for many years because of his faith. This biography shows us how God can use people against the odds to share the gospel.

Eric Liddell : Pure Gold – David McCasland

Pure gold Eric Liddell

Pure Gold tells the story of the Scottish Olympian turned missionary to China. Eric Liddell risked becoming a national disgrace at the 1924 Paris Olympics when he refused to run on a Sunday because it was the Sabbath. With his faith on full display at the International Olympic Games, Liddell demonstrated great faith. That faith took him to China, where he became a missionary. 


The call to missions is a mighty one. If you want to explore the ins and outs of missionary work, Communitas International wants to equip you to plant churches and make disciples.

At Communitas, many of our partners spend a year or two at an existing project or church plant to prepare and train to launch their own project in a new city. If this sounds like a good fit for you, contact one of our mission coaches for an inspiring conversation here.

A missionary’s ministry is incredibly important and cannot be categorized by just one thing. Every person has unique gifts and talents when it comes to missionary work and living out God’s special calling on their lives. But all partners love God, love people, and engage in deep and intentional relationships wherever they go!

The call of the Great Commission is that EVERYONE should hear the good news of Jesus! And that is God’s calling for YOU and for ME. Church planters and missionaries serve in churches and communities, and they are passionate about extending their reach and sharing the love of Jesus to people no matter where they are, whether that’s in America, Europe, South America, and beyond! 

Join us today on this dynamic adventure! Let’s go!