NAZARENE MISSIONS INTERNATIONAL HISTORY 
In response to Christ’s Great Commission, missionary organizations were established by various groups and denominations. Nazarene Missions International (NMI) traces its origin primarily to the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America (APCA), when in April 1899, the Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS) was founded. 

The WMS was officially recognized as an auxiliary organization of the Church of the Nazarene in 1915 at the fourth General Assembly. It was recommended that there be an organization in each local church to increase knowledge and interest in missions by prayer, by obtaining special speakers, and by keeping in touch with the missionaries; and to cooperate with the (local) Church Board in raising their apportionments (for missions). 

The first General WMS Convention was held in June 1928; and it was at that Convention, the General Council members were elected by the Convention (prior to that the Council was elected by members of the General Assembly). 

The name of the ministry has changed over the course of its history: 1928—Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS), 1952—Nazarene Foreign Missionary Society (reflecting the introduction of men, youth, and children into the organization), 1964—Nazarene World Missionary Society, 1980—Nazarene World Mission Society (reflecting the international aspect of the organization), and 2001—Nazarene Missions International (NMI). 

The purpose of NMI shall be to mobilize the Church of the Nazarene in missions through 1) praying, 2) giving, 3) educating, and 4) engaging children and youth.
NMI is a direct line for missions in the local church and has often been described as “the face of mission in the local church.” In every sense of the word, NMI is the denomination’s organizational representative, dedicated to the cause of world evangelization. While other departments also support missions, it is the distinctive task of NMI to bring each mission area into the local church in such a vital way that every Nazarene will be glad to be a part of global outreach, spreading the good news of full salvation (holiness) to the ends of the earth. NMI provides the infrastructure, the spiritual dynamic vehicle, whereby the local church is mobilized in mission. 

NMI HISTORY TIMELINE
 

  • 1899
    • Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS) organized in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1915
    • Organization officially recognized on the general level (natal date of organization—October 8, 1915)
  • 1916
    • General Board of Foreign Missions appoints committee of three (Susan Fitkin, Ada Bresee, and Eva Benson) to prepare a constitution and bylaws
  • 1919
    • First meeting of the appointed Woman’s General Missionary Committee—Executive Committee elected
    • Memorial Roll introduced
    • Relief and Retirement Fund established
    • Rev. Mrs. Susan N. Fitkin became general president
  • 1920
    • First WMS page in The Other Sheep
  • 1921
    • First missionary picture set published
    • Mrs. Ada Bresee appointed the first Box Work (LINKS) secretary
  • 1923
    • The WMS Constitution officially adopted and placed in the Manual
    • Woman’s General Missionary Committee changed to Woman’s General Missionary Council and the 16 members elected by the General Assembly
    • Missionary Pamphlets/Leaflets (became books) initiated
  • 1924
    • Requirements for Standard and Superior Societies established
    • Prayer and Fasting League introduced
  • 1927
    • First adult study book published
  • 1928
    • First General WMS Convention held in June in Columbus, Ohio
    • Global Council members elected by the Convention instead of General Assembly
    • Name changed to Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS)
  • 1940
    • Twenty-fifth anniversary year
  • 1946
    • First issue of General Council Tidings
  • 1948
    • Rev. Mrs. Susan Fitkin retires (Project—Fitkin Bible Training School)
    • Dr. Louise R. Chapman elected general president
  • 1949
    • Alabaster giving launched
    • Ten Percent Giving introduced
  • 1950
    • Dr. Mary L. Scott became executive secretary
  • 1952
    • Men became active members
    • Name changed to Nazarene Foreign Missionary Society (NFMS)
    • Star Society introduced (replaced Standard Society)
  • 1953
    • Prayer Chart introduced
    • First offering for Spanish Broadcast (World Mission Broadcast)
  • 1955
    • Fortieth Anniversary Project—Offering to open Nazarene work in Papua New Guinea (received in 1954)
  • 1958
    • Saturday Night SKYWATCH—Prayer
    • Children’s lessons appear in Junior Topics
  • 1964
    • Dr. Louise Chapman retires (Project—Africa Literature Fund)
    • Rhoda Olsen elected general president
    • Name changed to Nazarene World Missionary Society (NWMS)
    • Executive secretary became chief executive officer
  • 1965
    • Fiftieth Anniversary Project—Papua New Guinea hospital
    • NMI reading book tapes began
  • 1972
    • Bea Oliver elected general president
    • First men elected to the General Council (Dr. Paul Gamertsfelder and Dr. Morris Weigelt)
  • 1974
    • Men in Missions (Work & Witness) program introduced by the General Council
  • 1975
    • Dr. Mary Scott retires
    • Mrs. Wanda Knox became executive secretary
    • The Other Sheep changed to World Mission magazine
  • 1976
    • Distinguished Service Award introduced
    • Box Work expanded to LINKS
    • Mission Award introduced (replaced Star Society)
    • Number of international representatives expanded on the General Council
  • 1980
    • Lela Jackson elected general president
    • Dr. Phyllis H. Perkins became general director (title changed from executive secretary)
    • General Council Tidings changed to Focus;
    • Name changed to Nazarene World Mission Society
  • 1981
    • Prayer Mobilization Line introduced
  • 1982
    • Venezuela Project
  • 1983
    • Revision of Children’s Mission Education curriculum
  • 1985
    • Revision of Youth Mission Education curriculum
    • Mission Award program revised
    • Men in Missions program becomes Work & Witness program
  • 1986
    • Dr. Nina G. Gunter elected general director
    • Nazarene Compassionate Ministries added to NWMS Calendar of Emphases
    • First issue of HeartLine
  • 1987
    • First issue of International Mission Education Journal (Wanda Knox Memorial Project)
    • Local and District Resource notebooks introduced
    • LINKS became international
  • 1988
    • “Kids’ World” page introduced in World Mission magazine
    • Youth and children groups are given mission names (AMBASSADORS—Children, ACTION—Youth)
    • Medical Plan became international
  • 1989
    • First Million Hours of Prayer plan for General Assembly and Conventions
    • “Hong Kong and Beyond,” NMI 75th Anniversary project, introduced; goal: $750,000
    • Barbara Flemming elected general president
    • Meet Your Missionaries book changed to “Missionary Prayer Box”
  • 1990
    • NMI 75th Anniversary celebrated (Project—Hong Kong and Beyond— $885,484)
    • First District Presidents’ Gathering
    • Global Glimpses introduced
  • 1991
    • First Youth Mission Commitment Day observed by NMI and NYI
    • Award of Excellence began (World Evangelism Fund Overpayment Plan)
    • Bibles for Russia project
  • 1992
    • 100th Birthday Project Offering for World Evangelism Broadcast—in honor of Dr. Louise Chapman’s 100th birthday
  • 1993
    • First issue of international cookbook
    • Praying Through the Window, an interdenominational prayer effort for the 10/40 Window introduced, and NMI encourages participation
  • 1994
    • Alabaster Love Building Program put into place
    • MedCare Paks Project instituted in cooperation with NCM
    • NMI 2000 Committee met to identify and discuss direction for NMI in the 21st century
    • 80th Anniversary Project—NMI International Student Scholarship Fund—initiated in honor of the celebration in 1995—$350,000
  • 1995
    • Youth Mission Commitment Day 2 held
    • NMI and Global Mission Department team to produce World Mission Video Magazine
    • NMI website and Global Information Network set up on the Internet
    • Prayer Mobilization Line expanded to E-mail and website
    • NMI 80th Anniversary celebrated
    • Casa Robles 50th Anniversary Project (to provide items for the missionary retirement center in 1996)—$150,000
  • 1996
    • Regional program coordinators put in place on each world mission region
    • Nazarene World Week of Prayer first observed
    • Mission education point in Mission Award program expanded to include learning processes in addition to reading books and curriculum
    • Casa Robles 50th Anniversary celebrated (October 12)
  • 1997
    • “Wings for the Gospel”—Denomination-wide NWMS/Children’s Ministries joint project for Nazarene Mission Aviation initiated—$502,000
    • Beverlee Borbe elected general president
    • The name “World Evangelism Fund” replaces “General Budget”
    • NMI participates in International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church for the first time
    • Children’s Alabaster Box introduced
    • “World Evangelism Broadcast” replaces “World Mission Radio”
  • 1998
    • Organized prayer for the JESUS Film Harvest Partners ministry initiated
  • 1999
    • Youth Mission Commitment Day 3 held
    • Mission Connection replaces Focus
  • 2000
    • 100th Birthday Project Offering for World Evangelism Broadcast—in honor of Dr. Louise Chapman’s 100th birthday
    • Crisis Care Kits program replaces MedCare Paks
  • 2001
    • Gifts from the Heart, a new avenue of Medical Plan giving, introduced
    • Name changed to Nazarene Missions International
    • Rev. Eunice Brubaker elected general president
  • 2002
    • “Mission Award” changed to “Mission Priority One”
  • 2003
    • Mission call coordinator added as an NMI council position
    • Emergency Medical Plan Offering received in May
    • Witness on Wheels, cooperative offering project between NMI and Children’s Ministries—$400,000
    • “World Evangelism Broadcast” becomes “World Mission Broadcast”
    • NMI Fast Facts introduced, using statistics from the general NMI director’s report
  • 2004
    • District NMI Presidents’ Work & Witness trip to Brazil
    • Memorial Roll for Children introduced
    • “Books for Pastors—Tools for Ministry,” NMI 90th anniversary project for 2004-05, initiated—amount given: $2.6 million
    • Membership secretary deleted as an NMI council position, as it is everyone’s role to include people as members in NMI
  • 2005
    • School Pal-Paks, a cooperative project with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, initiated
    • “Medical Plan” name changed to “Missionary Health Care”
    • Mission Priority One program revised to be more simple and international
    • NMI Constitution reorganized
    • NMI 90th Anniversary celebrated; ‘Books for Pastors’ project extended through 2006
    • Dr. Daniel D. Ketchum elected global director (formerly “general director”)—the first male global NMI director
  • 2006
    • GenNEXT liaison added as member of NMI Office staff
    • NMI leaders encouraged to mentor young people to plan for future mission leaders
  • 2008
    • Prayer Vision Tour for district NMI presidents to Ethiopia and Kenya
  • 2009
    • Funding the Mission giving plan implemented
    • Rev. Jennifer Brown elected global president—the first president elected from outside the USA/Canada Region
  • 2010
    • Living Mission—the revised adult mission education curriculum—is introduced
    • Living Mission Facebook page initiated
    • Mission Immersion introduced for high-school juniors and seniors; trip to Guatemala
  • 2011
    • Prayer Mobilization Line Facebook page initiated
    • Nazarene Missions International Facebook page initiated
  • 2012
    • NMI Mission Books offered in eBook formats
    • Youth component of Living Mission introduced
    • Global NMI Handbook released
    • Prayer Vision Journey for district NMI presidents to Sri Lanka and India
    • Mission Immersion to Kenya
    • Alabaster giving reaches US $100 million since the offering’s inception
    • Prayer Mobilization Line expanded to include Spanish translation
  • 2013
    • Wesleyan-Holiness Digital Library, product of “Books for Pastors” project, goes live
    • Global NMI Convention takes place globally via live streaming video in 11 sites
    • Dr. Philip Weatherill elected global president—the first male president
    • • Fast Facts released in multiple languages
  • 2014
    • “100 Years, One Mission, Eternal Opportunities,” NMI 100th Anniversary project, initiated—goal: global participation
    • Mission Immersion age limits expanded—high-school juniors and seniors to Quito Ecuador, high-school freshman and sophomores to El Paso, Texas
  • 2015
    • Lola Brickey elected global NMI director
    • NMI 100th Anniversary celebrated
  • 2017
    • The new constitution was adopted