“If we are to know where we are going, we need to know where we have been.” Retiree Burnis Bushong used this paraphrased quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln to introduce his book R.U.N., Reaching the Unreached Now: A Brief History of World Gospel Mission. As we look ahead to another year, let’s gain inspiration and encouragement from our strong, steadfast history.
November 1910: Beatrice “Mother” Beezley became the first American staff member. Her title was Secretary of the China Bureau, and her office was simply her briefcase. On July 10, 1913, Mother Beezley and Iva Durham Vennard organized the first Prayer Band in Chicago. The group met for six hours every Friday to pray for missions.
1919: Call to Prayer was first published by Mrs. Beezley as a bimonthly magazine. In March 2009, the magazine was renamed The Call (www.wgm.org/call). It is now a quarterly resource that encourages readers to become missions active wherever they are.
Association and became incorporated in Illinois as The Missionary Society of the National Association for the Promotion of Holiness. In 1937, the organization’s name was changed to the National Holiness Missionary Society. The name officially became World Gospel Mission in 1954.
1946: WGM reported 102 missionaries on seven mission fields, including China, Kenya, India, Burundi, Honduras, Bolivia,
and the Texas/Mexico border.
1956: Men With Vision was founded as an outreach of WGM. Today, MWV has 15 active chapters in the U.S. In 1963, six young people served on the mission field, starting Summer Career Corps. This outreach later became known as the Volunteers In Action program. In 2015, WGM’s mobilization team appointed 13 missionary disciplesand sent out 28 Missionary Volunteer Partners, 30 VIA participants, and 64 ministry teams with 664 team members.
1967: WGM was actively working on 16 fields, including China, Kenya, India, Burundi, Honduras, Bolivia, Mexico, Japan, the American Indian Field, Taiwan, Lebanon, Peniel Missions, Egypt, Haiti, the Texas/Mexico border, and Brazil.
1969-1992: Ministries were started in Indonesia, Argentina, Nicaragua, Haitian American Ministries (in Florida), Israel, Tanzania, Paraguay, Hungary, and Uganda.
June 2010: WGM celebrated its 100th anniversary during International Celebration of Missions in Marion, Indiana. Partnering with local churches and Indiana Wesleyan University, WGM commemorated the past 100 years of doing God’s work together. An estimated 1,000 people from 19 different countries attended the milestone event.
Present: WGM partners with individuals, groups, and churches worldwide to make disciples of Christ and to encourage believers to become missions-active Christians. Visit www.wgm.org/locations and www.wgm.org/causes to learn more about where and how WGM’s nearly 240 missionaries are impacting the world with Christ’s love.
MORE: Take the children in your life on an in-depth trip down memory lane by following our Kids’ Curriculum for 2016: Time Travel Adventures (www.wgm.org/time-travel). Join siblings Bethany and Gabe and their tour guide, Dr. B, as they travel back in time to meet some WGM heroes, including the Troxels and Taylors, Ernie and Sue Steury, and Donald and Twana Hawk.