Faith Promise: 1950's theme

Nazarene missions in the 1950s

E-mail received from a local church:
"I'm planning our upcoming Faith Promise with a 50's theme. I obviously have found 50's prices and what was popular in the secular world at that time. However, I would like to do a comparison of where Nazarene missions "was" in the 50's versus where it is now. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks so much in advance."

Facts to help you

I like your creativity! The 1950s theme would work for Faith Promise Conventions in almost any church. Here's what the 1950s looked like from the perspective of Nazarene missions:

  • In 1952, there were 38,994 Nazarenes in World Mission regions
  • In 1952, the Church of the Nazarene was in 32 world areas. By 1959 we were in 38.
  • In 1952, there were 301 Nazarene missionaries on the field
  • In the 1950s, there were no regular or Phase Four districts in Nazarene world mission areas.
  • In 1952, the name of what is now Nazarene Missions International (NMI) was changed from Women's Foreign Missionary Society to Nazarene Foreign Missionary Society. At that time, men were admitted to membership for the first time.
  • The first Alabaster offering report was in 1950 when $46,600 was received.
  • Paul Orjala went to Haiti in 1950 (he went on to teach at Nazarene Seminary in Kansas City for a number of years). Don Owens (later Nazarene General Superintendent) went to Korea in the early 1950's. The Eckels were in Japan. Wanda (later NMI director) and Sidney Knox went to Papua New Guinea in 1955. William and Betty Sedat were in Guatemala.
  • Mary Scott became executive director of what is now NMI in 1950.
  • In 1948, Alfredo Del Rosso from Italy became the first non-U.S./non-British/non-Canadian to speak at a General Assembly. He spoke again at the General Assembly in 1952.
  • The countries entered by the Church of the Nazarene in the 1950s:
    • 1950 -- Haiti, Jordan, Lebanon
    • 1952 -- New Zealand
    • 1953 -- Panama
    • 1955 -- Papua New Guinea
    • 1956 -- Taiwan
    • 1957 -- Malawi
    • 1958 -- Brazil, West Germany
  • We Nazarenes hit the ground running in Haiti. We now have almost 500 churches in that one small country. West Germany also became the base for reaching into the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland (where the European Nazarene Bible College was begun in the 1960s).
  • The idea of local churches giving 10% to missions emerged in 1949. By 1952 there were three 10% districts.
  • The 1952-56 quadrennial theme for Nazarene missions was "I must work -- for the night cometh." The 1956-1960 quadrennial theme was "Up! This is the day!"
  • In 1952 Helen Temple became editor of The Other Sheep (now online as Engage) magazine for the Nazarene Department of World Mission. In addition to editing the magazine, Temple went on to write more than 60 books of missionary stories for adults and children.
  • The first reading books for children appeared in 1957.
  • We began the Spanish-language radio broadcast in 1953, the first "foreign" language Nazarene broadcast. In 1956 a Nazarene radio program was developed in Japan.
  • In 1954, the NMI sponsored a $100,000 offering to open the work in Papua New Guinea.
  • In 1956, the "Star Society" program was inaugurated for those local church groups now called Nazarene Missions International or NMI. The five points of the star were:
    • Membership
    • Subscriptions to monthly Other Sheep missions magazine
    • Missionary book readers
    • Prayer and Fasting league members
    • Successful completion of study book lessons

SNU missions course materials and syllabi

Cultural Anthropology    Introduction to Missions    Linguistics    Missions Strategies    Modern Missionary Movement (History of Missions)    Nazarene Missions    Church Growth and Christian Missions    Theology of Missions    Traditional Religions    World Religions
 Top of page|My Home Page|Master List\Index||SNU Home Page|Scripture index

Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma City, OK 73132  |  Phone: 405-740-4149 - Fax: 405-491-6658
Copyright © 2002 - Last Updated: January 6, 2015 | URL:

You have permission to reprint what you just read. Use it in your ezine, at your web site or in your newsletter. Please include the following footer:

Article by Howard Culbertson. For more original content like this, visit: