Ambassadors for Christ International (AFCI) was founded in 1948 when Australia’s leading evangelist John Ridley, together with a godly building contractor, became deeply concerned about the need for biblical preaching to build up the Australian churches and penetrate Australia’s secular society. The burden was for true revival in the churches and effective evangelism through the churches. Together they formed the Australian Institute of Evangelism to train young men and women biblical truths and practical evangelism.
As believers from nearby countries came to Australia to be trained, the vision spread to other parts of the world with an emphasis on building up local church leaders to more effectively reach their nations. With the international expansion and new teams being formed in other nations, the name was changed to Ambassadors for Christ International. Training local pastors in evangelism and church growth principles has been central to AFCI’s mission through the years and remains so today. The methods have changed over time, but the mission has remained the same.
The first International Director, Les Werry, was named shortly after the work expanded to other nations. Since that time, there have been four International Directors:
Les Werry (1960 – 1975)
Ian North (1975 – 1991)
Allan Gardner (1991 – 2002)
Paul Hanak (2002 – present)
Today, more than sixty years since its small beginning, the movement has become an international fellowship of people on six continents committed to fulfilling the Great Commission across all cultural and linguistic boundaries. AFCI currently has teams of nationals in 22 nations.