1. Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton [e, p, s]
This is the definitive biography on Martin Luther. Luther’s life makes for fantastic reading as Western civilization and church history take sharp turns.
2. The Life and Diary of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards [y, l, e, p, s]
Edwards was enraptured by young David Brainerd, missionary to the Indians. This is his diary and biography. It is quite good.
3. A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards by George Marsden [y, l, e, p, s]
Edwards is considered to be the greatest thinker in American history. He started at Yale at age 14 and completed his graduate degrees at 19. He was instrumental in the First Great Awakening. He was a great husband and father. He was the 2nd President of Princeton and much more. There are a few good biographies of Jonathan Edwards, this one is brief, readable, and excellent.
4. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions by Ruth Tucker [c, y, l, e, p, s]
Missionary biography can be quite comical. The history of missions reads like a comedy of errors, tragedies, and crazy stories that leave you with the inescapable conclusion that God is real and He is advancing His kingdom despite us.
5. John Calvin: Pilgrim and Pastor by William Godfrey [y, l, e, p, s]
There are about a half dozen good biographies on John Calvin. I can vouch that this one is quite good.
6. Biography Set by John Piper [c, y, l, e, p, s]
This is a set of 5 books with multiple biographies each. Brief, readable, and commendable. The audio/text of these can also be found through a link below.
7. John G. Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides compiled by James Paton [y, l, e, p, s]
8. Through Gates of Splendor by Elizabeth Elliot [c, y, l, e, p, s]
Elliot writes of the martyrdom of her husband Jim and four others at the hands of the Waodani and then recounts their conversion to Christ. Tens of thousands of missionaries look to this event and the Life Magazine article about their death as the moment in time they decided to pursue a life of overseas missions.
9. Autobiography of George Mueller by George Mueller [y, l, e, p, s]
This guy lived a radical life.
Charles Spurgeon was a fascinating person and fantastic preacher.
I would also commend to you these biographies from Desiring God Ministries. At their annual Pastor’s Conference, John Piper delivers a biography of some person in church history. They are concise, excellent, moving, and I highly recommend working your way through them, either on the web or in audio format.
(c=children; y=young adult; l=lay leader; e=elder; p=pastor; s=scholar)