15 Faith-Filled Humanitarians Who Revolutionized the World!

This blog post is all about faith-filled humanitarians

Many Christians feel a call over their life to be humanitarians and help bring hope to those in need.

This is the reason why I’m so excited about this post. I hope it inspires you to venture into your calling!❤️

One thing you’ll understand when you read this post is that these faith-filled humanitarians took action!

Friends, taking action is a crucial part of having faith.

P.S. I have a lovely curated video at the end of this post that contains Bible verses. This is a must-watch!

Ready? Let’s go

The meaning of “humanitarians.”

Merriam-Webster states that “Humanitarian” is an adjective that describes a person who promotes human welfare and social reform.

Humanitarians are typically highly compassionate individuals, striving to improve the world through their efforts.

They can come from all walks of life, ranging from:

  • Doctors who tend to medical needs in disaster zones.
  • Volunteers that provide aid to those in need.
  • OR even everyday citizens who help out their neighbors.

Humanitarians work hard to make a difference in the lives of others, and we’re truly blessed to have them among us.

Famous humanitarians & those unknown

When we think of humanitarians, we think of those who are operating in faraway places, providing much-needed relief to people living in countries affected by war and disaster.

But there is another kind of humanitarian that often goes overlooked – the ones working right here in our own backyards.

These local heroes can be found in shelters, soup kitchens, homeless initiatives, fire stations, or other volunteer organizations operating in our communities.

They may not be saving lives in a war-torn country thousands of miles away, but their efforts here at home should never go unappreciated. 🤗

Why faith-filled humanitarians or Christian humanitarians are special.

Faith-filled Humanitarians or Christian Humanitarians are special, and here’s why:

  • They embody a Biblical mandate to serve those around us.
  • They are guided by certain spiritual principles that are rooted in scripture.
  • Christian Humanitarians approach their work with a spiritual dimension, often relying on prayer and faith to guide them in their service mission.
  • They provide godly emotional support to those in need, which can be just as important as tangible forms of assistance.
  • They make incredible sacrifices, often in dangerous environments, to help the less fortunate.
  • Christian Humanitarians offer support without judgment and seek to treat those in need with respect and compassion.
  • They believe service is essential to living out their faith, and their commitment to this ideal should be celebrated and admired.

15 Faith-Filled Humanitarians Who Revolutionized the World!

I’m excited to present these 15 Faith-filled Humanitarians or Christian Humanitarians who have made significant contributions to the lives of many worldwide.

Although they come from various denominations within our faith, we can all agree that their compassion for others exemplifies God’s love and grace bestowed on us.

Ready? Here is the list!

1. Richard Wurmbrand

Richard Wurmbrand was a Romanian Christian pastor, author, and human rights activist who was imprisoned for 14 years by the Communist government of Romania for his faith.

Born in Bucharest to Jewish parents, Richard converted to Christianity at age 19 and became an ordained minister.

He founded the “Voice of the Martyrs” organization which helped smuggle Bibles into communist countries and aided persecuted Christians.

Richard was also a prolific author, having written over 20 books about his experiences as a prisoner and his faith.

Key Achievements:

  • He founded the “Voice of the Martyrs” organization to provide aid and support to persecuted Christians around the world.
  • He was imprisoned for 14 years by the Romanian government for his Christian faith, during which time he wrote over 20 books about his experiences as a prisoner and his faith.
  • He was awarded an honorary degree from Princeton Theological Seminary for his advocacy of religious liberty.
  • Authored numerous books about spiritual persecution, including “Tortured for Christ,” “He Leadeth Me,” and “In God’s Underground.”
  • He testified before Congress about the persecution of Christians under communism. In his Washington D.C. address, he showed the scars from his torture.

Credit: www.israelmyglory.org

2. Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie (Cornelia) Ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who, along with her family, risked their lives to save Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Born in Amsterdam to a devoutly religious family, Corrie was inspired by her father’s work as a pastor to serve God and help others.

She joined the Dutch Resistance and worked closely with other underground networks to hide and protect Jews from the Nazi regime.

The father was a watchmaker and jeweler, and their watch shop (Beje/ Barteljorisstraat House) became a shelter for the Jewish Community.

Key Achievements:

  • She risked her life to save hundreds of Jews during in Netherlands by providing them shelter in her home or finding refuge in other safe houses.
  • Corrie was arrested and sent to a prison for helping Jews escape the Nazis.
  • Wrote “The Hiding Place,” an autobiographical account of her experiences during the war, which was later turned into a musical.
  • She received numerous awards for her humanitarian efforts, including the “Righteous Among the Nations” award from Israel, which is given to non-Jews that risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
  • She spoke against religious persecution and injustice at events and conferences worldwide, inspiring many with her story of courage and faith in God.

Credit: Holocaust Encyclopedia, Hidingplacemusical.com & www.biography.com

3. Catherine Booth

Catherine Booth was a British Salvation Army leader and Christian Evangelical preacher who devoted her life to fighting for social justice.

She is known as the “Mother of The Salvation Army” and is remembered for her activism and advocacy of justice for the poor.

Key Achievements:

  • She founded The Salvation Army with her husband, William Booth, in 1865.
  • She delivered powerful sermons throughout England advocating for social justice, particularly women’s rights.
  • She was outspoken on women’s rights to preach the gospel.
  • In 1859, she created pamphlets titled “Woman’s Right to Preach the Gospel,” etc.” This was to defend Revivalist Phoebe Palmer- mother of the Holiness movement.
  • Became a prominent figure in the fight against poverty by providing food, shelter, and clothing to those in need.

Credit: Salvation Army & Brittanica

4. Lord Shaftesbury (Antony Ashley Cooper)

Lord Shaftesbury was a Christian Evangelical British politician, social reformer, and philanthropist who championed workers’ rights in Great Britain during the 19th century.

He is remembered for his activism and advocacy of justice for the poor.

Key Achievements:

  • He improved the mental health services for patients in the 1820s who were in awful conditions.
  • He helped pass numerous pieces of legislation to improve conditions for factory workers, including the Ten Hours Act in 1847, which limited working hours to 10 per day.
  • Led campaigns against child labor and supported improving hygiene and sanitation conditions for factory workers.
  • He founded the Ragged Schools Union to provide education to those who would otherwise be excluded from formal schooling.

Credit: Brittanica & Encyclopedia

5. Clarence Jordan

Clarence Jordan was an American Baptist minister, farmer, and civil rights activist who sought to bridge the gap between Christian faith and social & economic justice.

Clarence grew up in Talbotton, Georgia, and studied at University of Georgia, obtaining a degree in agriculture. His passion for social justice stemmed from his strong Christian faith, which was inspired by the love and acceptance he found in Jesus Christ.

His work has been credited with helping to reduce racial tension during the segregation era in the South.

Key Achievements:

  • Founded Koinonia Farm, a multi-racial intentional community of Christians who sought to model God’s love and justice through their lives.
  • He had a Ph.D. in New Testament Greek (no wonder he named the farm Koinonia which means “communion” or “partnership” in Greek🙏🏾).
  • Advocated for racial reconciliation.
  • Koinonia Partners’ house-building program later evolved into Habitat for Humanity in 1976, thanks to Koinonia members Millard and Linda Fuller.
  • He has numerous published works.

Credit: www.koinoniafarm.org & New Georgia Encyclopedia

6. Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael was a British Protestant Christian missionary who served in India for over 55 years.

Born in Northern Ireland, Amy felt a strong calling to serve God and began rescuing vulnerable children from temple exploitation.

Amy was known for her unwavering faith in the face of adversity, her gentle spirit, and her selfless devotion to serving those in need.

Key Achievements:

  • Founded Dohnavur Fellowship, an orphanage that provided home and loving care to over numerous children abandoned or enslaved by their families.
  • Established a medical clinic to provide quality health care services to the residents of Dohnavur Fellowship and its surrounding villages.
  • Dohnavur initially started by rescuing girls but later expanded to care for boys too.
  • Spoke out against child marriage, caste oppression, and other injustices occurring in India during her lifetime.
  • She was awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind Medal for her contributions to the welfare of the Indian people.

Credit: www.ligonier.org & School of Theology & this Nottingham Article

7. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an Civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and a leader best known for advancing civil rights in the United States.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, he attended Morehouse College and later received a Ph.D. from Boston University.

Key Achievements:

  • Led the civil rights movement in the U.S., advocating for racial equality and ending segregation.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, together with other iconic Civil rights leaders.
  • He gave his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. This was during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
  • Organized non-violent protests and demonstrations throughout the South to promote racial equality.
  • He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his efforts toward achieving peace and justice through nonviolence.
  • According to the Nobel Peace Prize website, Dr. King was “the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize.”
  • He wrote several books, including “Stride Toward Freedom,” which outlined his philosophy of non-violent resistance.
  • He was tragically assassinated in 1968, however his legacy of fighting for racial equality and justice lives on.
  • He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously, by President Jimmy Carter in 1977.

Credit: The King Center & Nobel Peace Prize

8. Oscar Romero

Oscar Romero was an Archbishop of El Salvador who devoted his life to promoting peace, justice, and human rights.

He was born into a poor family in El Salvador and received a degree in philosophy from the National University of El Salvador.

After being ordained as a priest in 1942, Romero quickly rose to the Catholic Church’s ranks and was appointed Archbishop of El Salvador in 1977.

As a result, he became a vocal critic of the oppressive Salvadoran government and advocated for social justice for those suffering from poverty and violence.

Key Achievements:

  • Spoke out against injustice, corruption, and human rights abuses committed by the Salvadoran government.
  • In 1979, he was nominated for a Nobel peace prize.
  • He denounced the assassination of Catholic Priests.
  • He led a number of peaceful protests and demonstrations to oppose the oppressive regime. i.e. at one point wrote to the President of El Salvador!
  • Called for an end to all violence and urged all sides to embrace reconciliation and dialogue.
  • Helped establish a network of churches to support those affected by poverty, violence, and displacement.
  • He was assassinated in 1980 while celebrating Mass, but his legacy inspires people worldwide.

Credit: Catholic Agency for Overseas Development

9. Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu is a South African Anglican Archbishop, and social rights activist best known for his role in the anti-apartheid movement.

Desmond was born to a poor family in Klerksdorp, South Africa, and was deeply inspired by his faith to fight injustice.

He became an outspoken critic of the apartheid regime and emerged as a critical figure in the struggle against racial segregation and discrimination.

Key Achievements:

  • Led the struggle against apartheid and helped bring about its eventual repeal in 1994.
  • Was an active African National Congress (ANC) member and played a crucial role in developing its non-violent resistance strategy.
  • He played a major part in the negotiations, leading to the transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa.
  • He was appointed the first black Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986, making him a powerful symbol of hope and change during this critical period in South African history.
  • He has received numerous awards for his activism, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
  • He was appointed the first chairperson of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, investigating human rights abuses committed during apartheid.
  • Spoke out against injustice around the world, drawing attention to relevant issues such as poverty and the plight of refugees.

Credit: Britannica

10. Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot was an American Christian writer and speaker best known for her writings on suffering, faith, and spiritual growth.

Born in 1926 in Pennsylvania, Elisabeth had a difficult upbringing as her father passed away when she was young. Despite this setback, she found solace in her faith and decided to pursue a career in writing.

She was married to Jim Elliot, and they traveled to Ecuador, where some tribesmen killed Jim. Even so, she didn’t give up and later built relationships with the tribesmen.

She dedicated her life to spreading the message of God’s love and mercy, inspiring countless people around the world with her books and sermons.

Key Achievements:

  • Wrote dozens of books on faith, suffering, and spiritual growth.
  • She was an influential figure in the modern evangelical movement in America.
  • Established a ministry that focused on equipping people with Biblical knowledge.
  • She spoke at conferences and events around the world, in a bid to share her message of hope and encouragement.
  • Was a regular contributor to the radio show “Gateway to Joy” for over 25 years.
  • She authored several best-selling books that have impacted countless lives worldwide.
  • She founded several organizations dedicated to supporting and equipping Christian families with Biblical knowledge.
  • Was a passionate advocate for evangelism and missions, inspiring many to take action and make an impact in their communities.
  • Her example of courage and faith has inspired countless people worldwide to stand firm in their beliefs despite adversity.

Credit: www.elisabethelliot.org

11. Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer was a German theologian, philosopher, gifted musician, and medical doctor who devoted his life to helping those in need.

He is best known for establishing a hospital in the African jungle, providing free medical care to those in need.

Born in 1875, Albert had a passion for theology and philosophy from an early age and dedicated his life to working for social justice and humanitarian relief.

He advocated for non-violent resistance, believing peaceful means were the most effective way to bring about social change.

Key Achievements:

  • He established a hospital in Africa, providing free medical care to those in need.
  • He gave benefit concerts in Europe to fundraise for his charitable work in Africa.
  • He was awarded the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless efforts in advocating for social justice and humanitarian relief.
  • He founded an organization dedicated to providing medical, educational support, and economic to impoverished communities worldwide.
  • A pioneering figure in the fields of philosophy and theology, producing works that have impacted countless individuals around the world

Credit: Britannica

12. William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce was an Evangelical Christian, English politician, and philanthropist.

He devoted his life to the cause of abolitionism, advocating for the freedom of enslaved people in the United Kingdom and abroad.

Key Achievements:

  • He was one of the most influential figures in British history, advocating for social justice and human rights.
  • In 1807, the House of Commons spoke in favor of abolition and paid tribute to Wilberforce for his efforts.
  • Wilberforce’s tireless abolition efforts helped to end the slave trade in 1807 via a 283-16 vote. Wilberforce is said to have “sat with his head bowed” to weep over the huge win. (Wow, the passion!)
  • His efforts eventually led to the passing of the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833.
  • William had a lifelong commitment to social justice and human rights, becoming one of the most influential figures in British history.

Credit: Wilberforce School

13. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Pastor and German theologian instrumental in the German resistance movement during World War II.

Born in 1906, Dietrich was a committed Christian who believed that individuals must take action to oppose evil and injustice.

His book “The Cost of Discipleship” is one of the most influential works in Christian theology, inspiring Christians around the world with his message of faith and courage in the face of adversity.

Key Achievements:

  • He has authored numerous works on theology, inspiring Christians around the world with his message of faith and courage.
  • He strongly advocated non-violent resistance, believing peaceful protest was an effective tool for change.
  • He played a crucial role in the German resistance movement during World War II, helping to undermine Nazi efforts to control the church.
  • He founded a seminary that trained pastors for service in the German resistance movement.
  • He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, giving his life as a martyr for what he believed in.
  • He was crucial in developing ecumenism, advocating for greater unity within Christianity.

Credit: Bonhoeffer Society

14. Elizabeth Fry

Elizabeth Fry was a prominent English advocate for prison reform and social welfare in the 1800s.

She was a Quaker and devoted her life to helping ill-treated prisoners and the poor.

She was an early pioneer of humanitarianism, advocating for better prison conditions and seeking to improve the lives of women and children in disadvantaged communities.

Key Achievements:

  • She raised awareness on prison reform, advocating for better conditions and treatment of inmates. In particular, the Newgate prison was overcrowded and had women and children.
  • Her humanitarian efforts helped improve the lives of women and children in disadvantaged communities.
  • She founded a lobbying association with 12 other women to improve prison conditions.
  • She inspected prisons to ensure that the conditions were humane.
  • She was an outspoken critic and advocated for better treatment of prisoners throughout Europe and beyond. i.e., She visited convict ships leaving for Australia.

Credit: Christianity Today & Elizabethfry.co.uk

15. Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was an African-American abolitionist and Christian Evangelist.

She dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of African Americans and women, making her an important figure in both the abolition and suffrage movements.

Key Achievements:

  • Born Isabella Baumfree, she changed her name to Sojourner Truth in 1843 when she dedicated her life to the service of God.
  • She had a “monumental” contribution to the suffrage movement.
  • Delivered one of the most famous speeches of the 19th century, “Ain’t I a Woman?” at The Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851.
  • She became an abolitionist and worked closely with William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and other abolitionists of the time.
  • Ran a recruitment drive 1864 to encourage African-Americans to join the Union Army during the Civil War.
  • Her impressive civil work afforded her the chance to meet President Lincoln in 1864!

Credit: Women’s History

Bible Verses to Inspire Faith-Filled Humanitarians (Video)

Please watch this beautifully curated video that I created to motivate you!

It’s a MUST-WATCH (sorry for the caps, lol) and has moving Bible verses!

And that’s it, folks, Faith-Filled Humanitarians

Friends, I know my list wasn’t exhaustive.😭 I had to shrink my list from my original 30 to 15. Why? Because I wanted to give a short but power-packed list that had variety.

You’ve seen people who advocated for humane prison conditions, better living conditions for the poor, child labor laws, abolitionists, missionaries, civil rights heroes, women’s rights advocates, etc.

I hope this post can share the joy and beauty of Christian humanitarianism.

P.S. I spent many hours watching documentaries and reading through many encyclopedias. If this post has blessed you, please share it so it can bless someone else.❤️Friend-I really appreciate it!🤗

P.P.S. You may also like the following post, “7 Essential Tips for Christian Mission Trips to Africa!


Heather Chesiyna_Signature_MOS

4 thoughts on “15 Faith-Filled Humanitarians Who Revolutionized the World!”

  1. Hi again,
    I am amazed at the work of the above mentioned humanitarian workers. What they have achieved is so inspiring and somehow make the things that we do fade in the background, since most of us have “good” circumstances and doing good to others often comes with help of others.
    Most of the above mentioned people reached these great achievements in the midst of not-so-nice circumstances.

    Being directed by the Lord to start a Soup Kitchen for kids in need of food started 23 years ago . I started cooking food and serving it from the back of my small Nissan 1400 truck 23 years ago. At first not much help or enthusiasm from anybody was offered but I knew that the Lord spoke and I just had to do something. At my first show up with the food, 44 children came for a meal. Now today 2023, the soup kitchen still functions on the premises of a school in the informal settlement of my town where I live. Around 1,300 kids per day receives a plate of food. This effort is definitely not just me. Being in this community so long many of the local businesses churches and individuals, and supporters have come on board to join hands so that these children can have one plate of food per day every school day of the year.
    Some years ago I received the Melvin Jones Humanitarian award but in reality even though I carry the vision for this work such an award should go to all the individuals, donors and businesses that make it possible for such a project to exist. After reading your blog, I am again inspired to continue with all my different efforts to better the lives of others. May the Lord always receive all the Glory and thanksgiving.
    Stay well

    • Linda, Thank you so much for your comprehensive overview of your humanitarian background. The Melvin Jones Humanitarian Award is the highest honor of the association. So I know you have indeed been a beacon of hope and influence in your community. The willingness of others, i.e., local businesses, churches, and individuals, to partner with you speaks volumes. I am so motivated by your story.

      I wrote this blog post to motivate myself as well because I have a deep desire to do humanitarian work. When I was 18, I worked in an orphanage in Kenya, radically changing my life. Since then, I’ve been praying for an opportunity to work in that capacity and environment. I pray that the Lord grants me renewed energy and vision.

      For me, my takeaway is your extensive history in the Lord calling and directing you into starting the soup kitchen. This is definitely a God appointment, and it truly is a testament- that He is working through you. I pray that the Lord extends your boundaries so they fall into pleasant places. Blessings, Heather.

      Psalms 16:5-8 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

  2. It was because of reading Rev. Wurmbrand’s book Tortured FOr Christ that I felt called to go to Romania which led to me doing what I do now with refugees and immigrants

    • Oh wow, that must’ve been quite the inspiration! Thank you so much for that information, it gives a beautiful background of the passion that you have in your ministry! Thanks for sharing and God bless you!


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