Army Involved in World Evangelization
S.A. Joins World Evangelical Fellowship
Lt. Colonel Earl Robinson
by Lt. Colonel Earl Robinson
The Salvation Army, as an international movement, has been accepted as an associate member of the World Evangelical Fellowship.
The certificate of membership reads as follows:
‘This is to certify that…
The Salvation Army is an associate member and is joined with other national alliances, regional associations, and groupings worldwide in a shared identity for fellowship in the gospel (Philippians 1:5), a united voice for defense and confirmation of the gospel (Philippians 1:7), and a combined effort for the furtherance of the gospel (Philippians 1:2).’
The certificate, which was granted in February of this year, was signed by the International Director of the World Evangelical Fellowship, Dr. Jun Vencer from the Philippines.
The Evangelical Alliance
The World Evangelical Fellowship grew out of a dream of a global association of evangelicals more than 150 years ago. Following a period of fragmentation and suspicion of any attempts to unite amongst evangelicals, the spiritual revivals of the 19th century created a desire for closer church fellowship and the rediscovery of biblical unity in Europe and North America.
That desire led to a General Conference, in 1846 in London, England. More than 800 leaders from 52 ‘bodies of Christians’ met for 13 days. Before they departed, delegates decided to form a ‘confederation’ under the name, The Evangelical Alliance, agreeing on a doctrinal statement on basic evangelical views. That statement had many similarities to the eleven statements of faith of The Salvation Army.
While the British Evangelical Alliance tried to keep the vision of the confederation alive, the full realization of the dream did not take place until 1951, when an International Convention of Evangelicals was held in Holland, an event which turned out to be one of the most significant international evangelical conclaves since 1846.
Ninety-two men and women from 21 countries voted to establish the World Evangelical Fellowship with the threefold purpose outlined in the membership certificate.
Visible global unity
Today, the World Evangelical Fellowship, with headquarters in Singapore, embraces 150 million evangelicals in 112 national and regional fellowships, representing an estimated 600,000 churches.
It is regarded by many as the primary movement for visible global unity and solidarity among evangelicals and The Salvation Army in many territories is well represented amongst its member bodies which are known simply as the ‘Evangelical Alliance,’ as in Europe.
The Secretary for International External Relationships at International Headquarters has been invited by the World Evangelical Fellowship to represent The Salvation Army at the September 1999 WEF Summit Conference. It is hoped that we will be well-represented at the next WEF Assembly which is scheduled for the first two weeks of May 2001.