John Bunyan was born in Elstow, England, in November 1628. Two times his life was spared, once when he was in the army and a soldier who took his place in battle was killed, and once when he fell out of a boat and nearly drowned. He believed, and the world can testify to the truth, that God spared his life for a special purpose.
A few years after he married his first wife, she died, leaving him with four young children. Four years later, he married his second wife, Elizabeth. By this time, he had published two works and was formally recognized as a preacher.
On November 12, 1660, he was scheduled to preach in the little town of Lower Samsell. When he arrived, he was informed that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. Unwilling to denounce his Christian faith and his calling to the ministry, he was imprisoned for twelve years. Among the many writings he published during his imprisonment are The Holy City, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, and the most famous, The Pilgrims Progress.
After his release, he continued to write and publish stirring works that have endured through time. Among these classics are The Holy War, Visions of Heaven and Hell, and Journey to Hell: The Life and Death of Mr. Badman. After traveling through a rainstorm in an effort to reconcile a young man and his father, Bunyan died on August 31, 1688, and was buried in Bunhill Fields.