(Adapted from a biography by Ed Reese)

George Mueller has proved to the world the truth of Philippians 4:19 and he will always be remembered as the man who got things from God. His testimony is an inspiration to Christians everywhere. Three weeks after his marriage, he and his wife decided to depend on God alone to supply their needs–never again to approach people about them. His salary was made up of pew-rents. Now he felt led to relinquish this completely. Wishing that all support be spontaneous, he put a box in the chapel for his needs; determining never to run into debt, and to get his needs supplied only by requests to God Himself. This was October, 1830. When he died, in March 1898, 68 years later, he had obtained from God more than anyone else who ever lived — seven and a half million dollars.

On October 7, 1830, George Muller married to a certain Mary Groves. Three weeks after their marriage, they decided to depend upon God alone to provide their needs as already indicated. They carried it to the extent that they would not give definite answers to inquiries as to whether or not they were in need of money at any particular moment. At the time of need, there would always seem to be funds available from some source, both in regards to their private income, and to the funds for his vast projects soon to be discussed. No matter how pressing was the need, George simply renewed his prayers, and either money or food always came in time to save the situation. On February 19, 1832, he records an instance of healing by faith. Suffering from a gastric ulcer, he believed God could heal him and four days later he was as well as ever.

It was on February 25, 1834, that George Mueller founded a new Missionary Institution which he called “The Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad.” It had four objectives:

  1. To assist Sunday Schools, Day Schools and Adult Schools, and where possible to start new ones.
  2. To sell Bibles and Testaments to the poor at low prices, and if necessary, to give them free of cost.
  3. To aid missionary effort. (This was to provide financial aid to free-lance missionaries.)
  4. To circulate tracts in English and in various foreign languages.

The Orphan House became a fifth objective, and the most well known enterprise, yet it is right to point out that Mueller was greatly used in developing the other objectives as well.

For some time he had been thinking about starting an orphanage in Bristol. On December 9, 1835 he presented his burden at a public meeting. No collection was taken, but someone handed him ten shillings and a Christian woman offered herself for the work. After five days of prayer $300 came in and it seemed they might now have enough money to rent a house, equip and furnish it. The other request was for Christian people to work with the children. His basic aim was to have a work — something to point to as visible proof that God hears and answers prayer. His heart went out to the many ragged children running wild in the streets, but that was a secondary reason for starting the orphanage.

He rented Number 6 Wilson Street, where he himself had been living, and on April 11, 1836, the doors of the orphanage opened with 26 children. These were girls between seven and twelve years old.

The second House was opened on November 28, 1836, to care for children from babyhood to seven years of age. In September, 1837, a third house was opened for boys over seven years of age.

The years 1828 to 1843 were years of great trials for Mueller. Nevertheless, Mueller never encountered a debt. God supernaturally provided for everyone. A well-known story indicates the live that was lived:

One morning the plates and cups and bowls on the table were empty. There was no food in the larder, and no money to buy food. The children were standing waiting for their morning meal, when Mueller said, “Children, you know we must be in time for school.” Lifting his hand he said, “Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat.” There was a knock on the door. The baker stood there, and said, “Mr. Mueller, I couldn’t sleep last night. Somehow I felt you didn’t have bread for breakfast and the Lord wanted me to send you some. So I got up at 2 a.m. and baked some fresh bread, and have brought it.” Mueller thanked the man. No sooner had this transpired when there was a second knock at the door. It was the milkman. He announced that his milk cart had broken down right in front of the Orphanage, and he would like to give the children his cans of fresh milk so he could empty his wagon and repair it. No wonder, years later, when Mueller was to travel the world as an evangelist, he would be heralded as “the man who gets things from God!”

By March, 1843, he felt the need for a second home for girls. On July, 1844, the fourth house on Wilson Street was opened — the total of his homeless waifs now being 130. A letter received on October 30, 1845, changed his entire ministry…he was now age 40. Basically, it was a letter from a local resident complaining that the noise of the children was a nuisance. They were vastly over-crowded and there was not enough space for land cultivation, washing clothes, etc. He gave the letter much thought, listing the pros and cons. If he were to leave, he would have to build a structure to hold at least 300 orphans at a cost of $60,000. On his 36th day of prayer over the dilemma, the first $6,000 came in for a building program. By June, 1848, he received all of the $60,000 which he needed. He had begun to build the previous year on July 5, 1847, at a placed called Ashley Downs as the bulk of the money had been sent in. Building Number 1 was opened in June, 1849, and housed 300 children with staff sufficient to teach and care for them. It was a seven-acre site and finally cost about $90,000 as legal expenses, furnishings, and land purchase brought the price up higher than anticipated. The old houses on Wilson Street emptied and everyone was now under one roof.

In 1850, he felt the need for a second orphanage. Donations began to come in miraculously again and finally, on November 12, 1857, a second building housing 400 children at a cost of $126,000 was built. Number 3 opened on March 12, 1862, housing 450 children, and costing over $138,000. It was housed on 11 1/2 acres. Number 4 was opened November 5, 1868, and Number 5 on January 6, 1870. These last two cost over $300,000 and housed 450 each. From 1848 to 1874, money came in to improve and expand the work which went from 130 orphans to 2,050 during this time and up to 13 acres.

In the midst of all the building, it must be noted that Mueller was also an example of giving to the Lord’s work. His own personal income varied around $12,000 a year, of which he kept for himself $1,800, giving the rest away.

His fellow worker, Henry Craik, died on January 22, 1866, followed by the death of his wife on February 6, 1870. She was 72 and had suffered from rheumatic fever. Mueller remarried on November 30, 1871, to a Susannah Grace Sangar, whom he had known for 25 years as a consistent Christian. He was 66 and she in her late forties, a perfect companion for him in his ministries still ahead.

Mueller decided to fulfil the many requests for his appearance around the world. Turning the work over to his son-in-law James Wright, from 1875 to 1892, Mueller made 16 preaching trips to various sectors of the world. He and his wife travelled 200,000 miles in 17 years of world-wide evangelism efforts, in 42 countries, preaching to 3 million people.

It was on January 13, 1894 that his second wife passed away after 23 years of marriage. He was now 89 years old, and was living out his days in Orphan House #3. He preached his last sermon on Isaiah’s Vision, March 6, 1898 at Alma Road Chapel in Clifton. On March 10, 1898 the maid went to his room, and found him dead on the floor by the side of his bed. The funeral in Bristol on March 14th has never been surpassed there as tens of thousands lined the streets. The grief of the orphans was evident. He was buried by the side of his two wives.

God used Mueller to touch the lives of many, including most notably, that of J. Hudson Taylor. His most moving reunion with an orphan was on October 19, 1878 when a 71 year old widow met him…she had been his first orphan over 57 years previously. 10,023 other orphans were to follow her there and have Daddy Mueller rear them. Mueller read the Bible through over 200 times, half of these times on his knees. He said he knew of some 50,000 specific answers to prayer. …. requests to God alone!

Over 3,000 of his orphans were won to Christ through his ministry.

(The full biography can be viewed at

Preacher Clement Chew