Contributions of William Owen Carver to the Missions Movement among Southern Baptists: William Owen Carver Was Professor of Christian Missions at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1896 to 1943. More Than Anyone Else, He Shaped the Theology of Mission for Southern Baptists

By Barnette, Henlee | Baptist History and Heritage, Spring 2004 | Go to article overview

Contributions of William Owen Carver to the Missions Movement among Southern Baptists: William Owen Carver Was Professor of Christian Missions at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1896 to 1943. More Than Anyone Else, He Shaped the Theology of Mission for Southern Baptists


Barnette, Henlee, Baptist History and Heritage


He became head of the seminary's department of missions in 1900, helped in the establishment of the Woman's Missionary Union Training School in 1907 (changed to the Carver School of Missions and Social Work in 1953), and wrote more than twenty books that both laid the theological and philosophical ground for Southern Baptists in missions and motivated thousands of students, pastors, and lay persons to support missions. Most notable of these books is his Missions in the Plan of the Ages (1909). Carver attracted to his classes, especially at the graduate level, some of the brightest and best students in the seminary. Many of his students traveled all over the world to carry the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

Carver's Students in Asia

Many of Carver's students went to Asia and served as missionaries; founded colleges, mission schools, seminaries, churches; and served as professors and pastors. In Japan, Charles K. Dozier founded the Baptist academy, Seinan Gakuin University and Seminary, in 1906. He served as the school's professor and president. Dozier also served as pastor of churches in Japan. His two children became missionaries in Japan. At his death, Dozier's last words were: "Seinan, be true to Christ."

Another of Carver's students, Roger Capps, played a significant role in founding the Baptist seminary in Singapore. Today, it is the only Baptist seminary related to Southern Baptists that has a woman for dean. Capps and his wife Janice served in Singapore until reassigned by the Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to mission and education ministry in Europe.

Winston and Margaret Crawley began their service as missionaries in 1947. They first went to China briefly until forced out by the communists. They then moved to the Philippines and served in 1947-1954. They helped found the Philippine Baptist Seminary in Baguio, and Crawley served as an area director of Southern Baptist missions in the orient and as one of the vice presidents of the Foreign Mission Board (FMB). In retirement, he taught in Baptist seminaries in Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

Eugene and Louise Hill went to South China in 1935, where he served as both professor and president of the Graves Theological Seminary. Later, he became the FMB's secretary for missionary education, a position he held until retirement.

Beginning in 1948, George and Helen Hays served in Japan, where he was professor and had administrative duties in the Japan Baptist Seminary. Hays also served as the Foreign Mission Board's area director for Far East Asia. Glenn and Polly Morris served as missionaries in China until forced out by the communists in 1952. He then participated in founding the Thailand Baptist Seminary in Bangkok and served as both professor and president. He later was professor at the Baptist seminary in Hong Kong.

Carl and Jeanette Hunker began their ministry in China. They served there from 1946 to 1949 and then served in the Philippines for four years. In 1952, they went to Taiwan, where he was a professor and vice president of the Taiwan Baptist Seminary. He became president of the seminary in 1965 and served in that position until 1981. Baptist seminaries in East and Southeast Asia founded the no-campus Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary for advanced study, pooling the faculties and libraries of eight seminaries, and Hunker served concurrently as its president. In 1999, SBC International Mission Board cut ties with the Asia seminary when it forged a partnership with Mercer University.

Maxfield and Dorothy Garrott went as a missionary in Japan in 1934. Dorothy was Carver's daughter, and her husband served as president of and professor in the Seinan Gakuin Baptist Seminary in Fukuoka. Also serving in Japan at the seminary were Tucker and Elizabeth Callaway and Robert and Kathleen Culpepper. The Callaways began their work at the Japanese seminary in 1947 and later moved on to work in Africa; and the Culpeppers, who were sent to Japan in 1950, later relocated in North Carolina where he was on faculty at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. …

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