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What are your favorite Christian biographies?

In the Cover to Cover episode Jesus Among Secular Gods: Chapter 4, Pt. 2, Shawn and Ivy discussed the importance of reading Christian biographies. I’m looking for reading material and would appreciate recommendations. What are your favorite biographies?


Gladys Aylward - “The Small Woman” - remarkable British missionary - was a lowly and humble parlor maid who ate meager rations to save money for a one-way ticket on the Trans-Siberial Railway to carry the gospel to China.

This indomitable little woman who had been turned down by the China Inland Mission (they said she was too old to learn Chinese) would soon be fluently speaking seven Shansi dialects.

She narrowly escaped being kidnapped in Russia, single handedly stopped a prison riot in Yang Cheng, shared the gospel with rough-necked muleteers, began an orphanage for cast-off children, converted the local mandarin to Christ, spied on the Japanese army after they invaded China and many other adventures.

But her most epic exploit was her month-long, desperate trek across the mountains leading 100 orphans through a Japanese infested countryside with a bounty on her head while suffering herself from Typhoid fever to reach safety in faraway Fufeng.

She is known in China as Ai Wei De (the “Virtuous One”). Several biographies of her life have been written, and a 1958 Hollywood movie (which Gladys deplored for all the liberties it took with her true story) brought her some notoriety. She died in 1970 in Taiwan where she founded the Gladys Aylward Orphanage.

I think you would really love reading her story - I certainly did over 30 years ago!


George Muller! Amazing faith and moving mountains in a world of orphaned children.


“Eric Liddell: Pure Gold” and “Shadow of the Almighty, the biography of Jim Elliot” are two of my favorites. Also “Billy Sunday: the Man and His Message” is another one that I really enjoyed.


I have a great fondness for George Muller! I read about him as a child in a series of for-kids Christian biographies. As an adult I’ve come back to him frequently. Next to my mother (who introduced me to him), he has probably made the biggest impact on my prayer life.