World Gospel Mission Celebrates 100th Anniversary

( [email protected] ) Jun 25, 2010 02:23 PM EDT

An international missionary-sending organization founded by missionaries to China is celebrating its 100th anniversary this week.

World Gospel Mission, with staff now serving in more than 17 countries on six continents, began its four-day celebration on Thursday at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind. Attendees include missionaries from around the world, international guests, supporters, as well as representatives from China who came to know Christ through the group’s early missionaries.

The focus during the centennial anniversary gathering will be supporting a new generation of international missionaries.

“Even as we celebrate what God has done through World Gospel Mission over the last 100 years, we can’t for a moment take our eyes off of what lies ahead,” said WGM President Hubert Harriman. “We must equip the men and women from our fields who have answered the call to missions.”

In 1910, the Rev. Cecil Troxel and his wife, Ellen, along with the Rev. Woodford Taylor and his wife, Harriet, served as WGM’s first missionaries. The two couples and two national Christians ministered in China with the Missionary Department of the National Association for the Promotion of Holiness under the Christian Holiness Association.

Then in 1926, the missionary department separated from the Christian Holiness Association and became incorporated in Illinois as The Missionary Society of the National Association for the Promotion of Holiness. The organization’s name was later changed to the National Holiness Missionary Society and then was officially renamed in 1954 to World Gospel Mission.

Its headquarters in 1952 was relocated from Chicago to Marion, Ind., after Marion businessman Merlin J. Loew donated a former YMCA building.

At the 100th anniversary celebration this week, one of the main focuses will be to raise funds to help support international missionaries from Africa and Latin America who are attending the event. During breakout sessions on Friday, attendees can meet with the African and Latino missionaries and hear about their experiences with evangelism, church planting and outreach to college students.

“We are excited to welcome more international missionaries into the WGM team, and we want to encourage our U.S.-based supporters to be a part of their ministries,” said Harriman. “They are being used by God in amazing ways.”

The interdenominational missions agency has some 300 missionaries and support staff around the world.