It began with prayer May 24, 1943.
It began with prayer May 24, 1943. In a deep passion to bring the love of God to the nations. In an unswerving commitment to the truth of the Scriptures.
World War II was raging, but there in Chicago, on Monday, May 24, 1943 at 1:43 in the afternoon, about 50 Baptist pastors and other concerned people gathered at the Central YMCA auditorium, 19 South LaSalle Street in Chicago. And they prayed. On through the afternoon they discussed their concerns and they prayed.
The Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society
At that time, just as the world was engulfed in war, churches were in conflict over the historic beliefs of the Christian faith. As some churches turned toward theological “liberalism,” questioning the essential beliefs of Christianity, others sought to “conserve” the truth of the Bible.
These “conservatives” were not comfortable in churches that questioned the authority of Scripture or the deity of Christ. They questioned the propriety of sending missionaries through agencies that did not share such basic Christian beliefs. These conservatives established churches, schools, publishing companies, and missionary organizations, which are still thriving today. They are still proclaiming the truth of the Scriptures and the self-sacrificing love of God.
It was in this historical context, wrestling with these questions of faith, that those 50 concerned Christian leaders met that May afternoon in 1943 to discuss their options, and to pray.
There, on their knees in prayer, they took a step of faith. The Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society was born, incorporated seven months later, to assist churches in sending, funding, and caring for missionaries. In time, the organization came to be known as CBInternational, and now, WorldVenture.
The first 10 years, ending in 1953, became known as the Ten Miracle Years. Beginning with no personnel, no fields and no funds, the organization grew to 300 missionaries on four continents. After six decades of ministry, hundreds of thousands of people all over the world have come into the family of God – a result of the faith of those early 50 who prayed. Thousands of churches have been planted and church leaders equipped. Many around the world have been touched by our acts of compassion.
Things have changed in all areas of life since the founding of the mission, not just in technology, communication, and transportation, but also in the U.S. culture and churches.
Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society (CBFMS) changed its name to CBInternational in 1994 and then to WorldVenture in the first decade of this century. The mission also moved its original location in Chicago to Wheaton, Illinois and then to Littleton, Colorado.
Yet with all this change, God’s heart remains constant and WorldVenture’s commitment to make disciples of all peoples has not changed. More than ever global missions needs sharp minds and capable people willing to represent Christ globally. It has been said by the last two WorldVenture presidents on sober reflection concerning the future of the mission that “the best days for WorldVenture lie in the future.” We are convinced of this.
Today, with more than 500 missionaries in 63 countries, WorldVenture is still expanding the harvest, taking the love of God to the nations. It is our vision to see people of all nations transformed by Jesus Christ through partnership with His church.