The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Müller, George
MÜLLER, George, an English philanthropist, born at Kroppenstädt, Prussia, Sept. 27, 1805. He graduated at Halle, went to England in 1829, and in 1830 was settled as pastor over a small Independent chapel at Teignmouth. In a few months he relinquished his salary, believing that God would supply his wants in direct answer to prayer. In 1832 he became pastor at Bristol, refusing all salary except voluntary offerings. He established a free breakfast for all poor persons who would listen to religious reading while eating; but this was discontinued because the neighbors objected to the presence of so many beggars. In 1833 he opened two day schools, and before the end of the year had four schools in operation. In 1836 he determined to establish an orphanage, and hired a house for that purpose. By June, 1837, he had received £1,000 for his orphans, and considerable sums for other benevolent purposes. In 1838 he hired three houses, and supported 86 orphans. In 1842 he had ten schools and 96 orphans. In 1845 he determined to erect a building sufficient for all orphans that should be sent to him, and began to pray for £10,000, besides current expenses. In December a donation of £1,000 was sent to him; in July, 1846, he received a donation of £2,050; and up to January, 1847, he had received £9,284 besides current expenses. In 1850 the large orphan house was built and furnished at a cost of £15,000, and was immediately filled with 300 orphans. At this time his annual receipts for all his enterprises amounted to £8,000, all of which he says was received in direct answer to prayer, without application to a single person. Praying for still more funds, he received in January, 1851, a gift of £3,000; in March, 1852, one of £1,000, and another of £500; in the spring of 1853 one of £8,100, and in the autumn one of £5,200. Believing it wrong to run in debt, he laid all these aside until he should have enough to finish one building. In May, 1856, he had accumulated £29,297, and began to build; and by May, 1860, he had received £45,000 for his building fund alone. In March, 1862, two more houses had been built and furnished, and were occupied by 700 orphans, making 1,000 supported by him, besides numerous schools and other benevolent undertakings. His three houses being full, he began to pray for funds to build two more. These were finished in 1870, when the five houses contained 2,050 children, besides teachers and attendants. During the year ending May 26, 1874, he received £37,855 15s. 6d., with which 189 missionaries and 122 schools were supported in whole or in part, 2,261 orphans maintained, and 47,413 Bibles or parts of the Bible and 3,775,971 tracts and books distributed. Between October, 1830, and May, 1874, he had received in all £617,000, by which 38,800 children had been taught in schools in Great Britain, Spain, Italy, India, and British Guiana; 467,000 Bibles and Testaments had been distributed, 50,000,000 tracts circulated, 190 missionaries supported year by year, and 4,408 orphans brought up. The orphans, after being educated, are put out to service or apprenticed to trades. The five orphan houses, erected at a cost of £115,000, are vested in a board of trustees; but they have no endowments, as their founder believes that funds will be provided as required. He is also pastor of a church of 900 members, built up by his own labors.