History of ActionOverseas
The passion born in the leaders of the Apostolic Church for missionary work stem from the last command of Jesus (Mark 16 v 15) ‘…and He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. This passion inspired them to embark on a missionary programme that has resulted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ touching the lives of people all over the world. The theme for the 2016 Centenary Conference in the Cheltenham was ‘taking the whole gospel to the whole world’ – this was an affirmation and re-launch of this purpose. Missionary endeavour has been a hallmark of the Apostolic Church since its inception.
Our national mission department was originally established in 1922. The phrase used to encapsulate their original vision, ‘Belting the Globe,’ is now being realised as almost one hundred nations in the world have Apostolic churches.
The first missionaries approved by the apostles and sent to Argentina, were Pastor & Mrs J Hollis and Evangelist D Morris. They sailed from Liverpool on 13th July 1922. The most memorable of their converts was a member of the Louis Palo family, a family that is still being used by God to spread the gospel all around the world. On 30th August 1922 Pastor DP Williams and three other apostles sailed from Liverpool bound for New York and went on to visit Philadelphia.
Missionaries have been sent to the continents of Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa and North & South America and Canada. Nigeria is one of the most successful mission fields and now has approximately 5 million members. The Apostolic Church is established in Ghana, Burkina Faso, The DRC, Cameroon, Toga, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
Doors of opportunity then opened in Africa and mission fields were established in Malawi and Mozambique. In the 1990’s new fields were opened in Chile and Latvia. In 1987 Pastor Granville Johnson gave a prophetic word that the ‘hammer and sickle’ on the communist flag would be replaced by the Cross – this came to pass in 1989 as Communism collapsed in the Soviet Union. The Gospel was readily received in many areas of eastern Europe after the Berlin Wall came down. In 1990 Pastor Ken Rees and Pastor Ernest Williams visited Latvia.
Recent ActionOverseas Chairmen have been pastors Eric Parker (2007-2016), Peter Vincent and Philip Powell. We thank God for their leadership and the faithful service of generations of men and women. His Kingdom is advancing!
Today ActionOverseas has active work in Europe (Belgium, France, Hungary and Ukraine), Asia (Laos, Vietnam, Burma, and Thailand), Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa), and in Brazil. Pastor Alan and Sandra Skene have been serving as residential missionaries in Malawi since 2000.
Currently ActionOverseas has targeted involvement where Stuart Wood (Africa), Mark Andrews (Asia), Nigel Bainbridge (Eastern Europe) and Eric Parker (Western Europe) act as Regional Missioners.