The Christian and Missionary Alliance

Albert Benjamin Simpson was a Canadian preacher, theologian, author, and founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), an evangelical Protestant denomination with an emphasis on global evangelism.

In December 1873, at age 30, Simpson left Canada and assumed the pulpit of the largest Presbyterian church in Louisville, Kentucky, the Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church.  It was in Louisville that he first conceived of preaching the gospel to the common man by building a simple tabernacle structure for that purpose.  Despite his success at the Chestnut Street Church, Simpson was frustrated by their reluctance to embrace this burden for wider evangelistic endeavour.

 

Simpson, motivated by the spiritual needs of the metropolitan multitudes in North America, as well as by those of the unevangelized peoples in other lands, became the driving force behind the creation of the C&MA in 1887.  He was compelled by a sense of urgency to take this message to all nations because of Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (KJV).

 

Initially, the Christian and Missionary Alliance was not founded as a denomination, but as an organized movement of world evangelism.  It began as two distinct parachurch organizations: The Christian Alliance, which focused on the pursuit and promotion of the Higher Christian life, and The Evangelical Missionary Alliance, which focused on mobilizing ‘consecrated’ Christians in the work of foreign missionary efforts.  These two groups amalgamated in 1897 to form The Christian and Missionary Alliance.

 

By 1965, the churches adopted a denominational function and established a formal statement of faith.  This new mission society soon became a major evangelical movement.  Today it is a growing missionary denomination committed to evangelism around the world through church planting.

 

As of 2006, there are 440 C&MA churches in Canada, 59 of which are multicultural, and approximately 120,000 members.  In the United States, there are 2,010 churches and approximately 417,000 members.  Approximately 600 of those churches are described as intercultural.  The C&MA 2004 annual report estimated that outside of the U.S. and Canada, C&MA membership exceeds three million.  There are National C&MA churches from 44 different countries that form the Alliance World Fellowship.  There are Alliance works in 15 other countries where the national church is in a developmental stage.

 

For more information on the C&MA, click here.