George Washington Carver (1864-1943), was born a slave, but he managed to get an education as a scientist. His master, Moses Carver, was a German American immigrant, who had purchased George’s parents, Mary and Giles, from William P. McGinnis on October 9, 1855, for $700. When George was a week old, he, a sister, and his mother were kidnapped by night raiders from Arkansas. George’s brother, James, was rushed to safety from the kidnappers. The kidnappers sold the slaves in Kentucky. Moses Carver hired John Bentley to find them, but he found only the infant George. Moses negotiated with the raiders to gain the boy’s return, and rewarded Bentley. After slavery was abolished, Moses Carver and his wife, Susan, raised George and his older brother, James, as their own children. They encouraged George to continue his intellectual pursuits, and “Aunt Susan” taught him the basics of reading and writing. At that time he became born again!
This is his testimony, in his own words: “I was just a mere boy when converted, hardly ten years old. There isn’t much of a story to it. God just came into my heart one afternoon while I was alone in the ‘loft’ of our big barn while I was shelling corn to carry to the mill to be ground into meal. A dear little white boy, one of our neighbors, about my age came by one Saturday morning, and in talking and playing he told me he was going to Sunday school tomorrow morning. I was eager to know what a Sunday school was. He said they sang hymns and prayed. I asked him what prayer was and what they said. I do not remember what he said; only remember that as soon as he left I climbed up into the ‘loft,’ knelt down by the barrel of corn and prayed as best I could. I do not remember what I said. I only recall that I felt so good that I prayed several times before I quit. My brother and myself were the only colored children in that neighborhood and of course, we could not go to church or Sunday school, or school of any kind. That was my simple conversion, and I have tried to keep the faith”
Carver applied to several colleges before being accepted at Highland University in Highland, Kansas. When he arrived, however, they refused to let him attend because of his race. He prayed! He trusted God! He persevered. He worked hard! He earned money by odd jobs. Little by little people observed his humility, hard work, and his extraordinary creative mind.
In early 1888, miraculously, Carver obtained a $300 loan at the Bank of Ness City for education. In 1890, Carver started studying art and piano at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. His art teacher, Etta Budd, recognized Carver’s talent for painting flowers and plants; she encouraged him to study botany at Iowa State Agricultural College (now Iowa State University) in Ames.
When he began there in 1891, he was the first black student at Iowa State. He graduated with Bachelor degree in Agriculture. Carver received his Master of Science degree in 1896. Carver taught as the first black lecturer at Iowa State. He was the most prominent black scientist of the early 20th century. Both Simpson College and Selma University awarded him honorary doctorates of science in his lifetime. Iowa State later awarded him a doctorate of humane letters posthumously in 1994.
His secret was his walk with God. He said that the hunger of his heart was to discover the secrets of the universe. But, he said, God said to me, ‘George, that’s too big for you. I’ve got something more your size. You take a peanut and work on that. And so he began to investigate what God has hidden in a peanut. He found over 330 different products that could be made from the peanut, revolutionizing the technology of his day.
Dr. Carver became famous and wealthy. But in his heart, he always remained a simple, Bible-believing servant of God who relied upon Him to open his mind to truth. This beautiful testimony is to the glory of God and for your encouragement!

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