Adoniram Judson (1788-1850) was an American Baptist missionary who converted much of Burma. A brilliant man, he became an atheist in college at the urging of a friend at Brown University. A few years later, as he stayed in an inn, he heard the groans of a dying man next door but in his heart viewed the stranger with contempt. The next morning, after the man died, Judson realized that it was his own college friend. Judson then converted to Christianity with a special passion.
At age 23, he traveled with his wife from New England to Calcutta, India, but they were diverted by the British East India Tea Company to Rangoon, Burma. There they spread Christianity in Burmese, translating the Bible for the local population.
During his life Judson helped establish 63 churches and 123 ministers. He helped baptize over 7,000 Christians in Burma. Judson himself was imprisoned during the Burmese War.
Judson once declared:
- How do Christians discharge this trust committed to them? They let three fourths of the world sleep the sleep of death, ignorant of the simple truth that a Savior died for them.
Judson University is named in his honor.