|Johann Georg Ferdinand Müller (1805–1898), born in Kroppenstaedt near Halberstadt, was a
Christian evangelist and director of orphanages in Bristol, England. He cared for over ten thousand
orphans in his lifetime and was well-known for establishing 117 schools to provide an education to
the children. The English aristocracy accused him of raising the poor above their natural station in life.
Müller started out his life as a petty thief and a gambler. He turned his life around and studied
divinity in the University of Halle and soon began preaching regularly in nearby churches. In 1828,
Müller became the pastor of Ebenezer Chapel in Devon, England and married. During his time as the
pastor here, he refused a regular salary and eliminated the practise of renting of church pews. Müller
moved to Bristol in 1832 where he preached until his death.
In 1834, with no governmental support, he founded the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home
and Abroad to aid Christian schools and missionaries and distribute the Bible. He never made
requests for financial support and took only unsolicited gifts, and by the time of his death, it had
supported the orphanages and distributed hundreds of thousands of Bibles and other religious texts. It
also supported other "faith missionaries" around the world, and the work continues to this day.
His charges had a tight schedule. They were well-dressed, well-fed and well-educated. In 1871 an
article in The Times stated that since 1836, 23,000 children had been educated in his schools and
many thousands had been educated in other schools at the expense of the orphanage. In 1875, at the
age of 70, Müller began missionary travels, preaching (in English, French, and German) in the US,
India, Australia, Japan, China, and nearly 40 other countries. For 17 years, the he travelled over
200,000 miles. In 1898, he died in England. After his life, his work was continued by The George
Müller Foundation, which was renamed The George Müller Charitable Trust in 2009.