History of the C&MA
Founded in 1887 at Old Orchard, Maine, by Dr. Albert B. Simpson, a Canadian-born Presbyterian minister, the C&MA was originally established as an evangelical foreign missionary organisation that received support from an alliance of Christians from several denominations and nationalities.
A.B. Simpson entered the ministry at age 21, after graduating from Knox College in Toronto. He became pastor of the Knox Presbyterian Church, Toronto, and in his eight years there, saw some 750 persons added to the membership.
He then pastored a respected church in a major American city, but his spirit soon grew discontented as he assessed his congregation in light of the city and its need. During a time of fervent prayer, he became aware that before anything could happen in his church, something must first happen to him. As he sought and surrendered to God, Simpson experienced an anointing of the Spirit that transformed him and his ministry.
This experience not only revitalised his local evangelistic ministry but also touched his spirit with the plight of the unevangelised around the world. This burden for the whole world led him to accept a pulpit in New York. He wanted to be at the centre, in touch with the lives of those radiating to the ends of the earth.
He began publishing an illustrated magazine on foreign missions - believed to be the first of its kind. He founded the first bible institute in America in 1882 known as the Nyack Missionary College. He was the first to introduce the "faith promise" method for missionary support. Between 1884 and 1919 he sent 300 workers around the world including the Congo, West Africa, Jerusalem, the Philippines, Japan and South America.
The deep expression of his heart was revealed when he wrote:
"To the regions beyond I must go, I must go Where the story has never been told; To the millions that have never heard of His love, I must tell the sweet story of old"
This experience was at the heart of Simpson's "Fourfold Gospel"--the Alliance emphasis on the believer's relationship with Christ as Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King--and sparked what was to become the Christian and Missionary Alliance of today.
The Alliance entered Australia in 1969 and today is one of the most multi-ethnic denominations in Australia with 52 churches made up of 80 congregations operating in most states and territories.