Wilson Carlile

1847-1942. Founder of the Church Army.* His successful business career was virtually ruined by the economic difficulties of 1873, and this led to serious thought and his conversion. Almost immediately he showed great concern for the “roughs” of society and great skill in presenting the Gospel message vividly. After study at the London College of Divinity he was ordained in 1880 to a Kensington parish, where he combined remarkable ability, imagination, and efficiency, with a certain musical talent, in evangelism of the poorest areas, especially through open-air and after-church meetings. He began to train lay preachers, and this led to the foundation of the Church Army in 1882, in which he played a dynamic part until the end of his life.