Missionary Heroes – Charles and Carrie Furman
Charles Furman was trained at the Missionary Training Institute in Nyack, New York. In 1916, he arrived in Guatemala, Central America, to work under the umbrella of the Pennsylvania United Free Missionary Society. Furman married Carrie Smith in 1919, an evangelist in her own right.
The Furmans returned to Guatemala under the Primitive Methodists in 1929, leaving that denomination in 1934 and affiliating with the Church of God, along with 14 of the Primitive Methodist churches. Furman served as the general overseer for the next 14 years of the COG mission, which became one of the denomination’s largest overseas efforts. When he died of a heart attack in 1947 in Guatemala, he was recognized as the patriarch of a movement with 80 churches and 3,000 members. Today, the COG in Guatemala has 3,027 churches and 308,037 members, due in part to his ministry.
Carrie Furman, Charles’ wife, was an enthusiastic preacher and one of her most outstanding missionary projects was establishing a primary school in the capital of El Quiché. Her efforts met opposition in the beginning from superstitious and anti-Protestant elements in the town, but it was later given endorsement by the governor and considered one of the highest quality schools in the area. It was named, “La Esperanza,” or Hope School.