Alliance World Fellowship
- The Alliance World Fellowship is a network of Evangelical missions and independent churches in some 100 countries.The Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) can be traced to the 1883 formation of the Missionary Union for the Evangelization of the World by Presbyterian minister Albert Benjamin Simpson (1843-1919). Two years earlier, Simpson had been healed of a heart disorder at the camp meeting at old orchard Beach, Maine. several months later, he was rebaptized by immersion in a Baptist chapel in New York City, following which he resigned from the Presbyterian Church and began an independent evangelistic ministry focused on evangelism, the promotion of holiness of life, Christian healing, and missionary activity around the world. in 1887, those who had been attracted to his work created two organizations, the Christian Alliance and the Evangelical Missionary Alliance; they later merged as the Christian and Missionary Alliance.The CMA sent out its first missionaries in 1887, the Cassidys to China and Helen Dawley to India. Over the next several years 20 additional missionaries were commissioned. it was to become one of the most expansive missionary programs of any Protestant denomination. in the 20th century, missions were started in more than 100 countries. in recent debates, the CMA, like most successful Western missionary churches, began a process of transforming its missions into autonomous churches under indigenous leadership. out of that transformation came the Alliance World Fellowship (AWF), a network of evangelical churches raised up through the ministry of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The Division of overseas Ministries of the CMA took the lead in 1975 by bringing national leaders of former CMA churches to a meeting at Nyack, New York, where the AMF was formally established. in 1979, the CMA reported that it supported 890 missionaries and was in fellowship with 4,453 overseas local churches with 332,443 baptized church members.The AWF meets quadrennially It provides much needed leadership education and the exchange of specialists in ministry. The fellowship also promotes the common theological heritage that all the churches share and works toward keeping the unity of belief they have come to appreciate. The AMF is headed by an executive committee with an elected president. in response to appeals from member churches, the group hired a full-time executive director in 1991, and began setting up theological and mission commissions to help member churches. As the new century began, the AMF claimed some 2 million members in churches in 50 countries.Further reading:■ Alliance World Fellowship. Available online. URL: http://www.allianceworldfellowship.org■ H. D. Ayer, The Christian and Missionary Alliance: An Annotated Bibliography of Textual Sources (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2001)■ G. P Pardington, Twenty-five Wonderful Years (New York: Garland, 1984).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.
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