An outcome of the reorganization of the Nazarene General Board and its Headquarters operation in the 1970s and 1980s was a change in terminology used to designate the leaders and their areas of responsibility. Initial steps in 1976 introduced the title of executive director in place of executive secretary. That was later amended to simply director. This was followed by the change from Department to Division with reference to the Headquarters operation of the church. ("Department" now referred only to an organizational unit of the General Board.)
Since the change of title took place during the tenure of Jerald Johnson, the accounts of his administration and that of his successor, L. Guy Nees, have been placed together under this separate chapter heading.
Jerald D. Johnson, 1973-80Though the somewhat revolutionary new Nazarene mission field structure outlined in the previous chapter had been worked out by E. S. Phillips, the implementation was left largely to his successor, Jerald D. Johnson. The coming to office of this new leader marked a watershed in world mission activity in the church. Ahead lay a period of innovative change and marked expansion of the missionary program that caught the wave of internationalization launched by E. S. Phillips. New concepts, new structures, and new methods were introduced, and new fields were opened with increasing speed. It was a time of dramatic and exciting activity.
Dr. Johnson, a native Nebraskan and graduate of Northwest Nazarene College, had highly successful early pastorates in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, and Eugene, Oregon. In 1958 he was called to pioneer the work of the Church of the Nazarene in West Germany. He became the first superintendent of the European District (later Middle European). In that role, he was a leader in the establishment in 1965 of the European Nazarene College near Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
After national leadership had been well established in Europe, Dr. Johnson returned to the United States in 1969 and after a brief pastorate in San Jose, Calif., was called to the College Church in Nampa, Idaho. He was soon elected to fill a vacancy on the General Board from the Northwest Zone and thus became a member of the Department of World Missions. It was a providential turn of events that helped in a measure to prepare him for the office to which he was later elevated.
Although officially elected in September 1973, Dr. Johnson did not take office until October 15, three days after the death of his predecessor. In the four-week interim he commuted to Kansas City between Sundays to talk with Dr. Phillips concerning the various aspects of the task he was about to assume. Though Dr. Phillips was physically weak he did all he could to orient Jerald Johnson to the complex details of the office he was about to assume.
In line with the department's change of name from Foreign Missions to World Missions, consummated in 1964, an early move by Dr. Johnson was to have the name of the missionary magazine, Other Sheep, changed to World Mission. This took place with the September 1974 issue.
Another early action was to appoint assistants in two vital areas:
- Someone to provide a pastoral ministry to the missionary family;
- A public relations person to handle deputation schedules, tours, information, and so on.
Two former missionaries, William Vaughters and James Hudson, respectively, were selected for these new posts.
To an even greater degree than his predecessors, Dr. Johnson felt that personal visits to the fields were essential to an adequate understanding of his responsibility. He mounted a large world map on his office wall and began inserting pins at the places he visited. By the end of 1974 there were 26 pins on the map. Before his seven-year term was over, he had visited every world mission field at least once.
The Student Mission Corps received Dr. Johnson's full support, and 72 young people were sent out in the summer of 1974.
As was expected, a dramatic upturn was taking place in the status of world mission districts. In one year, 14 districts moved up from national-mission to full mission status, and there were now 38 national superintendents.
A new publication, Inter Mission, was introduced, which was geared specifically to missionary families. Some significant additions were made to mission policy, particularly with respect to short-term missionaries who were offering themselves in increasing numbers for limited service.
Another significant development in 1975 was the establishing of specific formulas for the disbursement of General Budget funds. Although a strict proportionate division of money received for the General Budget had not heretofore been established, a rule of thumb that had developed over the years was that 80 percent of the General Budget should go to world evangelism (basically World Missions and Home Missions). The remaining 20 percent was to cover all other general interests including administration and Headquarters operations.
Now an additional formula was emerging whereby the 80 percent going to world evangelism, plus Alabaster giving, would be divided roughly 80/20 between World Missions and Home Missions.
In 1976 still another dimension was added to mission financing when field budgets were divided into two parts: (1) national, and (2) missionary. This was an important step in the process of indigenization and self-support.
In 1975 a famine crisis in Haiti was met by the creation of a Hunger Fund, which financed a planeload of food and vitamins to that stricken nation. When on February 4, 1976, a devastating earthquake struck Guatemala, two airplanes were dispatched carrying not only 1,000 pounds of medical supplies but also medical personnel (three doctors and a nurse) to put them to use. Tents and 2,500 blankets were also flown in. This occasioned a broadening of the name to Hunger and Disaster Fund. Response to other needs as they were made known was immediate and generous churchwide.
Supporting further the compassion phase of missions, in 1975 the Nazarene Medical Action Fellowship was formed (later called the Nazarene Medical-Dental Fellowship and now the Nazarene Health Care Fellowship). This was a formalization of a movement already active whereby doctors were giving blocks of time to serve, at their own expense, in mission hospitals. This organization of medical people (potentially 500 in number) set about to expand its effectivenessby not only having medical people donate their time and expertise but also by supplying equipment and medicines needed in the hospitals and clinics overseas.
Not unrelated was the emergence of another lay-involvement program known as Work and Witness. It was an outgrowth of the Men in Missions assignment of Dr. Paul Gamertsfelder, the first man to be elected to the NWMS (now NMI) General Council (1972). In spontaneous response to emergency situations such as the Guatemala earthquake in 1976, and the growing awareness of the need for places of worship in the rapidly expanding mission fields, more and more teams were going out at their own expense to build churches, schools, and parsonages. In 1980 it was reported that 765 teams had gone out the previous year, investing close to $1 million in travel expense and construction materials. (See Chapter 6 for a more extensive report on both Work and Witness and Compassionate Ministries.)
Steps in Internationalization
To facilitate jurisdiction and development of the spreading missionary work, Dr. Johnson proposed at the General Board session in January 1976 the creation of three Intercontinental Zones:
- Zone I: Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (including the Cape Verde Islands)
- Zone II: Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the islands of the Pacific (Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines)
- Zone III: Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, South America
These divisions were not unlike those set up for similar reasons back in 1924, though at that time India and the Near East were included with Africa. There were of course comparatively few fields then. This earlier plan had had to be abandoned in 1926, chiefly because of a financial shortage, but the logic of the supervision arrangement was still valid.
The concept of Intercontinental Zones was approved, and Rev. Darrell Teare, then superintendent of the work in New Zealand, was placed in charge of Zone I plus the South Pacific, and Rev. James Hudson, longtime missionary to Guatemala, was assigned to Zone III plus Asia.
Each zone was to have two representatives on the General Board. This was the first time that there was official representation on this august body from mission areas.
At the same time, representation at the General Assembly was worked out for all mission and regular districts. Since there were already 31 mission districts and 2 regular ones on world mission fields, this portended a significant alteration in the balance of delegates from home and world mission 'districts. As a result, of the total of 701 elected delegates at the 1976 General Assembly, 128 were from world mission areas, or 18 percent. Such representation was not out of line with the membership on world mission fields, which in 1976 stood at 130,892. This was 21.6 percent of the total world membership at that time of 605,185.
"Internationalization" was becoming a catchword as the concept of a worldwide church evolved. The general superintendents, in their report to the General Board in February 1976, wrote: "We are definitely committed to the idea of greater and faster movement toward internationalization in the Church of the Nazarene, and it is our plan to bring a proposal that there be a Commission to study total internationalization of the Church."1
Such a Commission on Internationalization was indeed ordered by the General Assembly in June 1976. This representative group of ministers and laymen was instructed to explore all areas of the subject, including government, theology, finance, and ethical standards, and to report back to the 1980 General Assembly. The challenge before them was to create a worldwide fellowship that would encompass the whole spectrum of cultural settings yet retain the key Nazarene distinctives of holiness doctrine and practice.
There were parallel moves in other areas that reflected the spirit of the day. In 1975 the Latin Publications Division, which had been working largely in the Spanish and Portuguese languages, was renamed the International Publications Board with a mandate to coordinate translation and printing programs throughout the world.
At the General Assembly in 1976, as noted earlier, the name of the department was modified from Department of World Missions to Department of World Mission to more precisely define the unified task of the church. At the same time there was a reassignment of some of the fields between Home Mission and World Mission responsibility. The Latin American districts in the United States and the North American Indian work, once under the Department of World Mission, were transferred to Home Missions jurisdiction. At the same time, the South African European District, Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, and the entire European work were placed under World Mission. This, in effect, anticipated the restructuring presaged by the creation of the Intercontinental Zones and the more extensive restructuring the Internationalization Commission was working on.
One more step in the integrating process was the first International District Superintendents Conference held in Kansas City, January 3-7, 1978. Fifty-eight superintendents from World Mission districts attended this historic meeting.
In his report to the General Board in February 1977, Dr. Johnson enunciated an evolving concept concerning the deployment of missionary personnel. Flexibility was the key word.The established pattern of entering a country and settling in for a timeless period of missionary-guided development is no longer assured us. Missionaries must go, not knowing whether they will stay a lifetime or two or three years....br> We are developing a fluid missionary program, geared to planting the church, developing national leadership, and transferring responsibility for reproduction and growth to them as rapidly as possible.2
The basic premise of this policy, that a call to missionary service was a call to serve anywhere, referred not only to the place of initial assignment but to the possibility of reassignment as needs arose. Usually this meant movement within a language group so that missionaries were not having to constantly master new tongues. A clear example was the moving of the Earl Mostellers from Cape Verde to Brazil, to Portugal, and then to the Azores, all Portuguese-speaking. But this was not always the case, as with the Jack Rileys, who served among four different language groups in Africa.
Another 1976 development, which was a significant year in world mission strategy, was the establishment of an Advisory Council on Education (ACE). Its purpose was to coordinate all mission school programs, establishing uniform standards and curricula. This group was constituted as a permanent council of the department with Dr. John E. Riley as its professional consultant. Under the council's jurisdiction were 35 ministerial training schools, 4 high schools, and 136 elementary schools.
Four levels of ministerial training schools were established: (1) G-level (graduate); (2) U-level (college or university -- beyond high school); (3) A-level (advanced or high school); (4) M-level (middle or elementary). Although achievement levels in various cultural settings were difficult to standardize, the attempt was made to establish minimal requirements. A Basic Accreditation Manual was prepared to give guidance in this area. To further assist the schools, a second manual, A Guide to Self-Evaluation, was provided as a preparation for some sort of accreditation policy.
The missionary policy book needed extensive revision to keep up with the many innovations and adjustments being instituted. A major move was to place all items subject to frequent change, such as salary matters and medical coverages, in separate booklets. Sections were added concerning such new activities as the International Publications Board and the Work and Witness program.
In 1978, 17 Mission to the World conferences were held on 11 United States districts in which Alabaster giving received special emphasis. Such building funds were needed particularly in areas not reachable by Work and Witness teams. In fact, a secondary result of the conferences was the redoubling of interest in the Work and Witness program. The following year, 76 teams were involved with 1,500 people participating.
The REAP ProgramIn December 1979 the Department of World Mission took a radically new step in outreach to new areas. An international training team called REAP (Resource for Evangelism And Projects) met in Kansas City December 6-12 "to develop a strategy for evangelizing new areas when resident missionaries are not possible."3 The purpose was to train and indoctrinate new groups who expressed a desire to unite with the Church of the Nazarene.
Members of the team were Wilfredo Manaois of the Philippines; Farrell Chapman of Trinidad/Tobago; Neville Bartle, New Zealand missionary to New Guinea; and Donald Owens and Paul Orjala, both at that time on the faculty of Nazarene Theological Seminary. John Riley, retired president of Northwest Nazarene College, served as convener. Since the first assignment had to do with preparing training programs for Nigeria and South India, Samson Udokpan of Nigeria and Rev. and Mrs. Bronell Greer of India were called in as resource persons.
Since visas could not be obtained for missionaries to enter these countries, the plan was to send in a REAP team on visitors' visas to provide up to three weeks of intensive training programs for pastors and key laypeople in Nazarene doctrine, organization, and administration. This would be repeated two or three times a year. The first such training program was conducted in South India in February 1980, with 120 attending. This was followed by a similar training session in Nigeria where a group of about 10 churches under the leadership of Rev. Udokpan's brother, Rev. Udoh, had already assumed the Nazarene name for their group.
Similar sessions with churches in other world areas were projected, and pilot investigations were conducted. But for all its promise and idealism, the REAP program failed to gain momentum and did not survive as a viable missionary strategy.
By the time of the 1980 General Assembly when Dr. Johnson was elected to the Board of General Superintendents, membership in world mission areas had grown to 173,491, a 24.5 percent gain during the quadrennium. Eight districts had met the qualifications for regular or Phase 4 status. Thirty-six had reached Phase 3, 31 Phase 2, while 22 were at Phase 1 level. In addition there were 13 pioneer areas. There were now 70 national superintendents.
In what proved to be his farewell report as executive director of the Department of World Mission, Dr. Johnson quoted excerpts from an analysis prepared by the director of the U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena, Calif. It stated that though a quarter of the world's 4 billion population were Christians (in name at least), over half (2.4 billion) lived outside of direct contact with Christians. More disturbing was the fact that 91 percent of the missionary force was involved in maintaining and strengthening the established churches with only 9 percent engaged in pioneering cross-cultural evangelism. It was both a warning and a challenge lest Nazarene missionary endeavor become equally ingrown.4
The almost seven years in which Dr. Johnson served saw a number of significant changes take place under his innovative leadership. But above all he will be remembered as the architect of internationalization. He had introduced the earlier concept of Intercontinental Zones, which led to the formation of the Commission on Internationalization in 1976 on which he was a leading voice. The basic structure of regional administration that this commission devised was ready for submission and ratification by the time of the 1980 General Assembly. The implementation of its provisions was the task of his successor.
L. Guy Nees, 1980-86
In August 1980 Dr. L. Guy Nees, then president of Mount Vernon Nazarene College, was elected director of the Division of World Mission. He was a man of broad experience in the church both in pastoral and administrative posts. He had served some of its most prestigious churches including the "mother church," Los Angeles First. He had served as president of two of its colleges -- Canadian Nazarene College and Mount Vernon Nazarene College -- and was chairman of the board of Pasadena College at the time of its historic move to San Diego. For 11 years Nees had been superintendent of the Los Angeles District.
He had served several terms on the General Board but, uniquely, had not been a member of its Department of World Mission. In all his assignments he had showed himself a man of "steady strength and caring spirit."5
The immediate and pressing task that Dr. Nees faced was to put into place the administrative structure ordered by the Commission on Internationalization. But there were three other goals that he set for himself to accomplish during his term of service:
- To refine the educational policy, particularly as related to the training of ministers on world mission fields
- To clarify the missionary policy book, which over the years had become somewhat cluttered and confusing
- To set up a viable pension program for retiring missionaries.
1. Internationalization The starting point for the restructuring of the World Mission program was the monumental report of the Commission on Internationalization to the 20th General Assembly with its recommendations and its cautions. It addressed not only the administrative aspects but also theological and cultural implications. Excerpts of its major provisions were as follows:The Commission affirms the biblically sound and historically expressed theological position of the Church of the Nazarene in the "Agreed Statement of Belief" (Manual 25-25.8), and in the Articles of Faith (Manual 1-21), with specific emphasis on the church's distinctive doctrine of entire sanctification in Article X (Manual 13-14). The Commission expresses concern that this stated position be clearly articulated as non-negotiable in all doctrinal statements pertaining to the process of internationalization... .
The Church of the Nazarene as an international expression of the body of Christ, acknowledges its responsibility to seek ways to particularize the Christian life so as to lead to a holiness ethic. The historical ethical standards of the church . . . should be followed carefully and conscientiously as guides and helps to holy living.. . .
Culturally conditioned adaptations shall be referred to and approved by the Board of General Superintendents" (Manual 32.2).... The Commission recommends the continuing study of the emerging needs for cultural adaptations... .
We urge every district to strive toward full financial support at the earliest possible time... .
The organizational structure through which internationalization of the Church of the Nazarene is to be realized is ... by means of division into world regions which will have final amenability to the General Assembly.
The Commission therefore recomends: The creation of the following six church regions out of the existing three intercontinental zones:
- Europe and the Middle East
- Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
- South America
- South Pacific
That the General Assembly delegates from each church region nominate by majority vote in caucus the exact number of representatives for election to the General Board by the General Assembly which would then vote an electing ballot on the slate presented by the regions. Nominees shall be from mission and regular districts... .
Our final goal shall be to involve all in the total program of the church with rights, privileges, and responsibilities without limitation or stigma because of culture, color, or area of origin.6
The implementation of this statement of policy and the working out of the administrative details was no simple procedure. Not only was there the selection of directors and the establishment of regional offices, but the task of communicating to the missionary staffs and national leaders the implications of the new format and securing their cooperation.
Some of the elements of restructure were already in place. James Hudson had been serving as a coordinator for Dr. Johnson, principally in Latin America. In July 1981 he was officially assigned the directorship of the combined regions of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean (which came to be known as the MAC Region) and the South America Region. Richard Zanner, who in July 1980 had been named coordinator for the African work and in addition had recently become superintendent of the South Africa European District, was named director of the Africa Region.
The Asian and South Pacific regions were combined under Donald Owens in June 1981. He was a former missionary to Korea and at the time a missions professor at Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City. He moved to Manila in the summer of 1981. To his assignment was added the responsibility of launching the proposed Asia-Pacific graduate seminary. Property for this institution had already been purchased in Manila.
Initially, Dr. Nees himself assumed responsibility for the Europe and Middle East Region.
Statistically, in 1981, the six regions presented the following membership profile:
Africa 35,840 Asian 42,550 Europe/Middle East 6,219 Mexico/Central America/Caribbean 80,554 South America 16,780 South Pacific 3,536 Total 185,479
By 1982 the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Seminary had become such a demanding task that Dr. Owens asked to be relieved of some of his other duties. Thus, in January 1983 the South Pacific Region was assigned to Darrell Teare, who combined this with his role as superintendent of the Hawaii Pacific District, to which he had been elected in 1979.
Also in 1982 Thomas Schofield, district superintendent of the British Isles South District, took on the added duty of assistant to Dr. Nees for the Europe/Middle East Region. The following year, May 1983, he became the full-time director.
In July 1983 the original format that called for making South America a separate region was carried out, and Louie Bustle, who a few years before had been transferred from the Dominican Republic to Lima, Peru, was appointed director. Then, in November 1985, after Dr. Owens became president of Mid-America Nazarene College in Olathe, Kans., George Rench, mission director in Indonesia and former missionary to Taiwan, became Asian regional director.
Dr. Nees felt strongly that the regional leaders should live in the areas to which they were assigned, and establish regional offices there. Accordingly, the Africa office was set up in Florida, Transvaal; the Asian office in Manila; the Europe/Middle East office in Bolton, England; the MAC office in Guatemala City; the South America office in Quito, Ecuador; and the South Pacific office in Honolulu.
The stated intent of the original commission was that periodically the geographical structure of the regions should be reexamined and alterations be made if it seemed appropriate. In line with this, a realignment of the regions was worked out and officially ratified by the General Board in February 1986, as follows:
Region Director Territory Africa Richard Zanner Countries of the African continent except those bordering the Mediterranean, plus the Republic of Cape Verde Asia-Pacific George Rench Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, islands of the Pacific, continental Asia as far west as and including Burma Eurasia Thomas Schofield British Isles, continental Europe, countries of Africa bordering the Mediterranean, Middle East, subcontinent of Asia east to and including India Caribbean James Hudson Countries of the Caribbean plus Belize, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Bermuda Mexico-Central America Jerry Porter Mexico, all of Central America except Belize South America Louie Bustle All of South America except Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana
In connection with the adoption of the report of the Commission on Internationalization, the 1980 General Assembly adopted the following resolution:That, as early as is practicable following the General Assembly, the general superintendent in jurisdiction shall call for a meeting of the General Board members, district superintendents, and college presidents (or equivalent) of the following six church regions to give suggestions for study of the involvement and service of the departments of the General Board in world areas, and that the results of these studies be forwarded to the General Board. The role of the General Board members on their regions shall be included on the agenda.7
This somewhat vague recommendation became the seed idea for what developed into six regional conferences conducted during 1983-84. To the originally suggested delegate group were added the mission directors and leaders of the auxiliaries (mission, youth and Sunday school). The general directors of these three divisions (Mrs. Phyllis Brown, Larry Leonard, and Phil Riley) were invited to participate, as was Bennett Dudney of the International Publications Board and Ray Hendrix of International Radio.
The format was to consist of two days of study and discussion on topics of mutual concern, addressing the need for cooperation and understanding. Each night, including the opening session, was to be an inspirational rally open to the public. In his introductory letter to the regional leaders, Dr. Nees pleaded for openness and freedom of expression. He suggested an unstructured program with a minimum of formal presentations. "Let's just talk to one another," he said.
At the opening session of each conference Dr. Nees read a statement of purpose. Among other things he said: "it is not our intent to develop the Church of the Nazarene into a federation of national churches [as some other denominations have done].... The purpose of these regional conferences and any others that follow is intended to knit us closer together rather than separate us."
Coming as they did in the 75th anniversary year of the denomination, they were billed as Diamond Jubilee Regional Conferences. A feature of several rallies was the ordination of a large group of elders. For example, in Africa there were 34 and in South America a number of Aguaruna Indian pastors. The conference locations and dates were as follows:
Region Location Date Asian Seoul, Korea Apr. 12-14, 1983 Europe/Middle East Hanau, W Germany Oct. 31 -- Nov. 2, 1983 Africa Manzini, Swaziland Dec. 13-15, 1983 South Pacific Brisbane, Australia Jan. 11-13, 1984 MAC Monterrey, Mexico Jan. 17-19, 1984 South America Lima, Peru Jan. 31 -- Feb. 2, 1984
The conferences proved to be of immense value for both the Headquarters personnel and the district leaders. Bridges of understanding were built, and a sense of unity of purpose was developed.
2. Educational Policy
In 1976 under Dr. Johnson's leadership an Advisory Council on Education (ACE) had been established, and under the guidance of Dr. John Riley, educational consultant, groundwork was laid in terms of policy and standardization.
Building on this foundation, on February 15, 1983, a new Committee on Theological Education was called together to explore more deeply the ministerial training programs in World Mission areas. The members of the committee were L. Guy Nees, chairman; Phyllis H. Brown, secretary; Mark R. Moore, Donald S. Metz, Charles R. Gailey, and Charles W. Gates. At the May 14, 1984, quarterly meeting, the name of the committee was expanded to World Mission Committee on Theological Education, which was in turn reduced to the acronym WOMEC.
There were 35 theological institutions under WOMEC's purview (see list in Appendix A of printed book). These schools represented a wide range of academic levels, size, and facilities, but all were strategic in the on-going of the work. The steady increase in the number of churches required a supply of trained pastors to serve them. In fact, it was roughly estimated that already 500 churches were without pastors. An accelerated education program was needed.
It was also important that this training be received in the national setting and under national auspices so that the language and cultural barriers would be minimized. Administratively, the goal set by WOMEC was to have a minimum of 50 percent of the governing boards to be nonmissionary. Only 16 of the presidents/directors of the 35 institutions were nationals, but the intent was to increase this number as quickly as possible.
Three manuals were developed by the committee: (1) Handbook for Accreditation: Curriculum and Degree Granting Processes for Nazarene World Area Theological Education Institutions; (2) A Basic Accreditation Manual; and (3) A Guide to Self Evaluation. Manuals 2 and 3 were extensions of earlier manuals prepared by ACE. WOMEC was, in effect, the accrediting agency for Nazarene international theological institutions. But it also provided motivation and resources for the schools in addition to monitoring their progress. Its function was basically advisory as it sought to achieve the broad goal stated by Dr. Nees: "To upgrade and standardize the educational program in world mission areas."
The establishment of the Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary in Manila, the first graduate-level seminary for the denomination outside of the United States, along with the promotion of various extension programs, the development of the Africa Nazarene Theological College by combining three campuses under one administration, and the establishment of Seminario Nazareno Mexicano, A.C., in Mexico City were major achievements in the area of theological education during the quinquennium.
A unique project of WOMEC, sponsored by Dr. Mark Moore, was the "Books for Enrichment" campaign in which North American colleges were encouraged to "adopt" a G- or U-level institution abroad and augment its library holdings by sending duplicate volumes from their own libraries.
Using the "GUAM" formula, the 35 theological training schools under WOMEC in 1985 were classified as follows:
World Mission, "developed into a conference of monumental significance and proportions."9 (See chapter 6 for an elaboration of this and other phases of Compassionate Ministries.)
Not unrelated to this was the creation of an organization now called Mission Corps. Heretofore, noncareer missionary work had been largely confined to medical personnel and some builders. The plan was to involve persons of other skills and professions in short-term service on mission fields. Teachers, nurses, clerical workers, computer programmers, architects, and the like were inspired to offer themselves for periods of two months to a year wherever the need arose -- all at their own expense.
In July 1985 a group of 25 of these dedicated people gathered in Pasadena, Calif., for a 14-day orientation with 15 well-qualified instructors. After the conference several went immediately to assignments in various parts of the world, while others remained on a stand-by basis should a call for their specific skills arise.
Dr. Nees was as convinced as his predecessors that nothing could take the place of personal contact with the mission field to adequately understand his assignment. His 1981 journeys took him to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Europe, and Africa. Eight days of this last trip were spent in Nigeria, where a promising opening for the church was being explored.
In 1982 Dr. Nees visited 21 fields, including a trip into mainland China in October. (The story of this attempt to reach the former Nazarene field in North China is told in Part Two of the printed volume under "China.") In 1983, 20 fields were visited, and in 1984, 12 more. His last trip was to Cyprus for the dedication of the new training center there.
The Goal of 75 Fields
As the 75th anniversary of the denomination in 1983 approached, the idea was conceived of bringing the total number of world mission fields to 75 by the anniversary year 1983-84. This would necessitate opening five new fields. The plan had dramatic appeal and interest was high as the five targeted areas were announced: the Azores (in the mid-Atlantic), Botswana (in the heart of southern Africa), Kenya (in east central Africa), Suriname (on the northeast coast of South America), and Burma (in southern Asia).
Preliminary contacts to some degree had been made with each of these countries, which gave some assurance of success, but more intensive exploratory work remained to be done. It was well into 1984 before work had begun in all five, and some were not officially organized until even later. (See Part Two of the printed volume for the detailed stories of how each of these fields was developed.)
Prospective fields continued to open. Significantly, there were two in the Middle East -- and Cyprus. Two different groups in Egypt had expressed interest in aligning themselves with the Church of the Nazarene, and both consisted of several churches. By the end of 1985 negotiations were still pending but showed great promise.
When the California group, Investments Eternal, was given options from Dr. Nees concerning another missionary project, they chose Cyprus. The church needed some neutral place to establish a ministerial training center for the Middle East, and this nearby island offered an excellent base. The building purchased provided a missionary home with adequate basement space for an education center. This was not planned to be an organized church, though that was a possibility. Rev and Mrs. Jamil Qandah, graduates of European Nazarene Bible College, were placed in charge.
An interesting comparison of the missionary statistics since 1908 appeared in the minutes of the General Board for February 1983, the 75th anniversary year. The figures for each 25-year span were given as follows:
Year Countries Missionaries 1908 6 19 1933 16 85 1958 34 329 1983 69 553
By 1985 these figures had climbed to 74 and 620 respectively, still one short of the anniversary goal of 75 countries although not all the new fields had been officially organized.
As Dr. Nees's term of service drew to a close (officially at the General Board meeting in February 1986), there was no slackening of vision or perspective. Goals for decadal growth were proposed as follows:
- 20 new countries
- 72 new districts
- 2,200 new churches
- 224 new missionaries
- 400,000 new members
With such projections, the membership in world mission areas, which already constituted 30 percent of the denomination's total, could well be in the majority by the turn of the 21st century. At present rates of growth, this was not an unrealistic expectation.
The 1980-85 quinquennium had indeed been an active one on the World Mission scene. Work had been established in 13 new areas. There were now 3,106 organized churches with a total membership of 247,244. This represented a 45.5 percent increase for the five years.
A New Director
Elected to fill the office of director of the World Mission Division upon Dr. Nees 's retirement was Dr. Robert H. Scott, most recently superintendent of the Southern California District, where he had served since 1975. He had pastored churches earlier at Santa Ana, Sacramento, and Fresno, all in California. For over seven years he had been a member of the Department of World Mission of the General Board and since 1983 its chairman. He assumed his new office on March 1, 1986.
1Proceedings of the General Board, 1976, 17.
2Proceedings of the General Board, 1977, 133.
3World Mission, July 1980, 3.
4Journal of the 20th General Assembly, Church of the Nazarene, 1980, 515.
5World Mission, R. Franklin Cook, ed., March 1986, 1.
6Journal of the 20th General Assembly, 11-12.
8Interview with David Hayse.
9World Mission, January 1986, 10.
SNU missions course materials and syllabiCultural 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
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