2016
CMA History, Continued… C&MA History Part III—Education for Missionaries and Workers Last month, we learned how A.B. Simpson left the “safe” job as Pastor of the 13th Street Presbyterian Church in NYC, grew in his faith, felt led to call a small band of faithful prayer partners together into a fellowship group; the formation of the Gospel Tabernacle, and later, combining two organizations into the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The importance of PRAYER, GIVING and SENDING were paramount. The rapid growth of the organization and sending hundreds of missionaries meant there had to be provision for adequate training of leaders and mission candidates. In 1889, the Gospel Tabernacle purchased property and built a new facility with room for the church activities, but also for a Missionary Training Institute. This building was soundly constructed and in use until the mid-1970s. However, by 1896, the Institute had outgrown its building. Costly building sites in the Big City suggested a move 20 miles up the Hudson River, to Nyack, NY. In April 1897 the cornerstone was laid for the new building. More and more missionary candidates were trained, and SENT. By 1912, despite the loss of many missionaries in China during the Boxer Rebellion of 1899-1900, the Alliance had workers throughout China, plus Tibet, French Indochina, the Philippines, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Jerusalem, Palestine, French Guinea and were moving into French Congo and the newly formed Syro-Arabian state. Canadian involvement in the Alliance began to increase noticeably around 1900. Robert A. Jaffray sailed for China in that year, and based his operations in Kwangsi Province for the next 33 years. In 1927, he visited the East Indies (now Indonesia) and found a blank canvas—no Christian witness. During the Great Depression, at age 57 he moved his operations from China, and somehow managed to open up a work in Makassar, despite his own failing health. Today his legacy remains in the Jaffray Bible Training School in Makassar. During the years we had Dr. Bill Conley and Anita Conley here with us, we heard often of this facility and the land of Indonesia, where the Conleys served as Alliance Missionaries. For those who never had the privilege of knowing Bill, here is an excerpt from his obituary. The Rev. Dr. William W. Conley Sr., servant/minister of Jesus went safely home to be with the LORD, leaving in triumph from Grand Village Lodge on March 27, 2010. Born on Oct. 31, 1917 to Alexander and Sarah Conley in Rutherford, N.J., his rich and blessed life included service as U.S. Army Chaplain in the 111th Airborne and 82nd Airborne Divisions, missionary to Indonesia under The Christian and Missionary Alliance, Missions Professor at Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minn., and pastor. He graduated from Nyack College, N.Y., the University of Minnesota, and Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. In his retirement in northern Minnesota, friendships at the YMCA, Kiwanis, and several community churches continued his on-going heart to introduce and confirm the sufficiency of Jesus as LORD. Anita Conley has just recently moved to Fairbanks Alaska to live with her son Caleb and family. Besides the Nyack training facility and the Jaffray Bible School, the Alliance gradually added several schools. Toccoa Falls Bible Institute was founded in 1906; the St. Paul Bible Institute in 1916.General Council in 1920 recommended each District have its own two-year Bible School. They became: the Simpson Bible Institute in Seattle in 1921; Boston Bible Training School, 1922; Whiteside Memorial Bible School in Pittsburgh, 1923; Beulah Beach (Ohio) Bible Institute in 1925; the Canadian Bible Institute in Toronto and the Great West Bible Institute in Edmonton, both in 1924. Today, there are over 100 Alliance Bible Schools around the world. Crown College in Minnesota is the successor of the St. Paul Bible Institute. See http://www.cmalliance.org/ministries/education for a list of the current seminaries, and colleges operated by the C&MA.