1867 – 1951
Amy Carmichael was born on 16 December 1867 in Millisle, the oldest of three sisters and four brothers. When her father, a mill owner died the family moved to Belfast where Amy became involved in the city mission work that awakened in her a desire for missionary service. With the blessing of the chairman of the Keswick Convention she made her way to the mission field, starting in Japan.0
In 1893 she served the Japanese mission as ‘Keswick missionary’ developing health problems the following year. Despite these she journied to India in 1895, joining the fiery Rev. Thomas Walker of Tinnevelly District in 1896. In 1897 she formed the evangelizing ‘Woman’s Band’, taking in the first woman refugee the following year and the first girl refugee the year after that. In 1900 she moved to Dohnavur. It was there that she realized her life’s work – rescuing children from the ‘secret’ Hindu practice of temple prostitution. Dohnavur Fellowship, the name of her organization, was soon actively involved in the rescue, care, feeding, and education of hundreds of children. She and her co-workers, primarily converted Indian women, adopted Indian dress and voluntarily forsook marriage for the sake of their work.
The years 1903 to 1912 were years of growth. 1912 brought recognition from Queen Mary. In 1916 Amy founded the ‘Sisters of the common Life’, a spiritual support group. In 1918 she took in first baby boy, being awarded Kaiser-i-Hinds Medal for service to India. In 1925 she broke ties with all mission societies after a takeover attempt. In 1929 a hospital was added. In 1931 she was injured by a fall. In 1935 her health worsened and she became bed-ridden. A fall in 1948 immobilized her. She died 18 January 1951 and is buried at Dohnavur.
Amy’s published works included ‘Things as They Are’ (1903), ‘Gold Cord’ her Dohnavur Fellowship history (1932), ‘Windows’ (1937) and ‘Though the Mountains Shake’ (1943), both Dohnavur Fellowship updates.
The Circle has unveiled two plaques to Amy Carmichael –
Location of plaque: Baptist Church Millisle Date of unveiling: 14 November 2006
Location of plaque: Welcome Evangelical Church, Cambrai Street, Shankill Road, Belfast
Date of unveiling: 8 September 2007