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The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) is an evangelical Christian denomination dedicated to the promulgation of the fourfold Gospel. Christ as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King. It is rooted in the vision of a Canadian Presbyterian minister, A. B. (Albert Benjamin) Simpson (1843-1919). After serving prestigious pastorates in Louisville KY (1874-1879) and New York City (1879-1881) Simpson left the Presbyterian Church to found a ministry in New York City to “the poor and neglected masses.” The fruit of these labors was the Gospel Tabernacle. Out of the Gospel Tabernacle emerged two fraternal organizations for the promotion of evangelism and “the higher Christian life.”
The International Missionary Alliance (IMA) was founded in 1887 as the Evangelical Missionary Alliance (EMA). Its major object was "to carry the Gospel 'to all nations', with special reference to the need of the destitute and unoccupied fields." It sought "to unite all Christians of evangelical denominations in its work." The organization’s name was changed to the International Missionary Alliance on its incorporation in November 1887 (Alliance Yearbook 1888, p. 52-55).
The Christian Alliance, which was also founded in 1887, saw itself as a "fraternal union of believers in cordial harmony with evangelical Christians of every name." It was responsible to hold annual conventions and form local "branches". These were seen as fellowships, not as churches, for the purpose of bearing testimony to the Fourfold Gospel, diffusing its truths, providing community for those who believed them, and praying for the evangelization of the world. (Alliance Yearbook 1888, p. 48-51).
On 31 March, 1897, the boards of the two organizations authorized a merger; it was made law on 1 April 1897 by a special act of the New York legislature and ratified by a special convention held 14-18 April at the Gospel Tabernacle. The aims of the newly-minted Christian and Missionary Alliance combined those of the original bodies: (as stated by the Fraternal Letter that resulted from the 1898 annual convention) the C&MA was "to preach a full Gospel at home and send missionaries; to carry the same glad tidings to the unevangelized regions beyond; to preserve our non-sectarian and interdenominational attitude; to study to confine the [administrative] machinery to that which is necessary…." (Pardington, George P. Twenty-five Wonderful Years, p. 74, 75).
By the 1920s the C&MA had taken root in both the United States and Canada. The best-known figure in the C&MA in the post-Simpson era was A. W. (Aiden Wilson) Tozer (1898-1963), whose devotional writings had an influence far beyond the Alliance. The C&MA officially became a denomination in 1974. Its missionary efforts have been quite successful: the Alliance now has around 6 million adherents worldwide, of whom only about 600,000 reside in Canada or the United States. The Alliance World Fellowship (AWF), a non-legislative body, was formed in 1975 "to facilitate cooperation among [these] churches as they work for the fulfillment of the Great Commission" (AWF website).
Nyack, NY, 1974-1989
Colorado Springs, CO, 1989-