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History of The Advance

60 Years of sharing through The Advance

New Vision, New Hope

If ever a world needed a new vision, a new hope, surely it was the world that immediately followed World War II. After the horrors of war and the evils of the Nazi Holocaust, amid the hunger, ruined cities and scorched villages, hope was hard to find.

History It was then that the people of the Methodist Church offered hope.

In 1948, the General Conference declared a commitment to "a world-wide Advance in which Methodists may share in a ministry of relief and in carrying the Gospel of Christ to the peoples of the earth." This was Methodism at its best: an interdependent (or connectional) commitment to making a major impact for Christ in a suffering world.

From the start, churches and individuals who gave to The Advance understood that 100 percent of their gifts would go to projects The Advance supported. In the early years, those projects were focused on post-war relief efforts, especially in camps for displaced persons. In the first year, Advance funding enabled the Methodist Committee on Relief (MCOR, now UMCOR) to feed 12,000 children per week and send food, clothing and medicine to 32 countries.

The Work Expands

Soon the work of The Advance spread to Asia, Africa and the Americas as the work expanded beyond war-related relief to support long-term projects such as the construction of churches, hospitals, parsonages, missionary residences and U.S. community centers.

By 1956, the General Conference viewed The Advance as a continuing source of funding and made provisions to regulate the ways in which The Advance funds were collected and designated.

In the decades since, The Advance has been a lifeline for tens of thousands of mission endeavors throughout the world. United Methodists have given $1.2 billion through The Advance-and each of those dollars has found its way to the work for which it was given.

Making a Difference

Sixty years later, backed by a strong sense of connection, the people of The United Methodist Church still are committed to making a difference for Christ in a suffering world.

History Timeline: 60 Years of The Advance

The Advance has been a lifeline for tens of thousands of mission endeavors. View this timeline as a webpage or
PDF: Portable Document File Download and print a graphical version PDF (1 pp, 850K)

This child attends the Shade and Fresh Water Program that serves children with Christian education and recreation. A New Advance for a New Century

by Larry M. Goodpaster
New World Outlook,
November/December 2007
Anniversaries mark unique moments in time. They are a human way of remembering a significant event.

Pass It On. Celebrate 60 Years of The Advance

by Jodi Cataldo
New World Outlook,
November/December 2007
Resources to use to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of The Advance for Christ and His Church.