The History of Fellowship of Missions
Officially organized as the Fellowship of Missions in 1969, FOM initially had its mainspring as far back as the first quarter of the 20th century when liberalism infiltrated many biblically sound denominations and mission agencies. During those years of the Modernist-Fundamentalist debates, many gospel-preaching churches left their liberal infested denominations and formed various church associations and mission agencies that were markedly defined as “fundamentalist.” Deep biblical convictions inhibited them from aligning with a movement that had separated itself from the fundamentals of the faith such as the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ; the virgin birth; the blood atonement; the bodily resurrection and the inerrancy of the Scriptures.
During the next half century, especially in the post-World War II era, “evangelicalism” developed as a less separatist offshoot of fundamentalism, with some Foreign Mission Associations accepting Pentecostal and charismatic-oriented mission agencies. It was during this era that the distinctly separatist missions sought a forum for mutual encouragement and dealing with common problems. The World Council of Churches had also come into existence representing the “liberal” wing of theology.
During the 50’s and 60’s many godly mission leaders sought to find a place of common ground for fundamental, separatist mission agencies whereby there could be a camaraderie in fellowship, accountability and encouragement to each other in declaring the Gospel of Jesus Christ among the nations. In the spring of 1969, informal meetings of mission agency heads and administrators were called together to discuss the possibility of establishing such an organization. In September, 1969, an official meeting declared the Fellowship of Missions into existence with a charter membership consisting of eight mission agencies.
God has had His hand upon this ministry over the years and today nearly thirty like-minded mission agencies representing some 2,000 missionaries serving on all six continents are partnering with the Fellowship of Missions. They participate together in learning, keeping abreast of global mission happenings and interacting with each other through annual CEO Retreats and Conferences. The goal of FOM is to remain faithful to God’s Word and the Great Commission, under His authority and with His presence, even unto the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20).