“I will lay my bones by the Ganges that India might know there is one who cares.”

Alexander Duff did care for the people of India. He cared enough to move to the foreign field of India to share Jesus with them. His life was very impactful and influenced the way ministry was done.

Duff was born in Scotland to Auchnahagh and Jean Rattray. His father was a farmer and a gardener. He attended the local school and later studied at the University of St. Andrews where he helped start the student missionary society. Duff was passionate about missions, even as a young person! But it all started when he agreed to become the Church of Scotland’s first missionary to India. He was ordained in 1829 and after two shipwrecks he arrived in Calcutta in 1830. He was finally able to start the work he was called to do. 

Duff approached ministry in India in a way that had never been done before. Previous missionaries in India had typically worked with the low-caste people meaning that the higher castes had never been reached. Duff set out to evangelize this disregarded group of people. However, he knew that the traditional methods of outreach might not work so he thought of a way for the high-caste Hindus and Muslims to hear the gospel. He decided to provide western education, something he knew they would be interested in. 

Duff started a school that offered all kinds of subjects as well as the Bible. Shortly thereafter the school grew into a missionary college called the General Assembly’s Institution. Due to bad health, Duff had to go back to Britain. But while he was gone, the church he planned to start was approved. Returning to India six years later, he set out to start the Free Church Institution. With the help of Sir Henry Lawrence, they were able to lead a a bunch of people to Christ including many young men from high caste! 

Alexander Duff stepped out in faith and saw God work through the schools and churches he started. He cared for the people of India and wanted to see them come to know Christ. Would you pray that people would be raised up to go to India and consider giving your life so that more lives can be changed by the gospel?