History of the Christadelphian Bible Missions

Initially the task of overseas preaching was undertaken by some very enthusiastic and active individuals with little or no support support from anyone else.

An enourmously significant change of outlook to overseas praching took place in the 1950s. In 1953 sister Lorraine Spence, from British Guiana, was holidaying in the United Kingdom and was so enthusiastic about the probably interest of people living in Georgetown to hear the message of the Bible that brethren Harry Whittaker and Alan Hayward decided to visit the Caribbean. When brother Harry spoke about the atom bomb (at the Georgetown Town Hall) there were 200 visitors and the next night there were 300. Of those who showed particular interest there were not only African Guianese and Indians, but also Portugese, Chinese and Jew.

Some sixteen months later the Christadelphian Bible Mission was formed in Britain. Among the resolutions that were adopted at that time was:

The special committee’s responsibilities will include organising appeals for funds, preparing advertisments for correspondence courses or other literature, following up any interest and planning for work abroad in the form of visits or emigration of brethren.”

The work of overseas preaching had suddenly been transformed so that it no longer depended upon individual enthusiasm of dedicated brethren and sisters speaking about the Gospel as they travelled around the world, although there was still a need for such enthusiasts. But now the way was prepared for them by advertising of literature in newspapers and magazines, the mailing of that literature and courses with the purpose of nurturing and developing the initial interest, and the keeping of records so that those who would be visiting far-flung lands could be provided with a list of names and information about their interests. Funds were sought from the whole brotherhood to support advertising, the printing of literature, the purchase of ecclesial halls and to meet welfare needs of the sick and impoverished. The CBM provided continuity of contact with the newly- formed ecclesias through correspondence and visits. Consequently ecclelesias in many parts of the world grew and importantly, were firmly estabelished.

In 2004 The Bible Missionary magazine, representing all three CBMs, was launched to provide news, information and articles supplied directly from brethren and sisters in mission areas as well as the traditional reports provided by fieldworkers.

History of the Australasian Bible Mission

When the ACBM was formed in 1961 it adopted similar aims to the CBM. Its responsibilities were to be in South and East Asia and the Pacific Islands and resulted in a number of enquiries, particularily from the Solomon Islands and Fiji. Later, when newspaper advertising was tried in India, there would be over a thousand replies to a single, small advertisement each time one was placed. It was clear that there was a much larger volume of response from some overseas countries than there was from Australia.

Suddenly there was a need for a different kind of preacher of the Gospel – someone who was willing to mail literature and correspondence courses, keep accurate records of what had been done, and answer questions that arose. Usually there were no replies to the material that was sent out, but occasionally a respondent would send pages and pages of questions, requiring pages and pages of aswers. In some Asian countries, notably China and Vietnam, newspaper advertising has not been possible at all. However, with the advent of the Internet it is possible to advertise more widely,and again there are occasionally expressions of considerable interest as people search for the Truth.


Into All the World (1998)

Into all the World

This is Brother Stanley Owen’s personal history of the work of the CBM, ACBM and CBMA preaching abroad these last 50 years.

Read a Review by Andrew Walker
Purchase from The Christadelphian Office (£7.50)

 

Page Last Updated: May, 2016