BUSINESS/Organizations Pg 3
Often times when a need arises, a person with foresight and drive, forms an organization to service other human beings.
Many great organizations survived and flourished through the ages, first started by Christians.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international mutual aid fellowship whose stated purpose is to enable its members to "stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety." It was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio.
It helps 2 million people. It's emergence was inspired by the Christian "Oxford Group".
Co-founder Dr. Bob Smith said that AA's basic ideas came from their study of the Bible; the Steps, in essence meant "love and service."
Narcotics Anonymous is also based on the above mentioned 12-step program.
Christian Aid - 1945
• Christian Aid. Christian Aid is one of the biggest international development agencies in the world. It was formed and is still supported by the major Christian churches in the British Isles. Its headquarters are in London. It works with local partner organizations in over 70 countries around the world to help the world's poorest communities. Christian Aid states it works where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, nationality or race.
Richard John Adams OBE (born 28 October 1946) is a British businessman and social entrepreneur. He is the founder of the UK fair trade organisations Tearcraft and Traidcraft and of a number of social enterprises which promote environmentally responsible and ethical business.
After visiting small farmers in Gujarat, India, in 1973 Adams established Agrofax Labour Intensive Products, an agricultural imports company in London with distribution to the main wholesale markets. In 1974 this business began importing crafts from farming communities in Bangladesh, following which he founded Tearcraft which became the marketing arm of the UK relief and development charity, Tearfund.
Tearfund is a UK Christian relief and development agency based in Teddington. It currently works in around 50 countries, with a primary focus on supporting those in poverty and providing disaster relief for disadvantaged communities.
Tearfund states that it offers this support regardless of race or religious affiliation. However, they fulfil the work by operating largely through local Christian churches and other Christian partner organisations around the world.
INTERNATIONAL ORPHAN CARE
Amy Beatrice Carmichael (16 December 1867 – 18 January 1951) Pioneering international orphan care was a Protestant Christian missionary in India, Amy Beatrice Carmichael, who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur. She served in India for 55 years without furlough and wrote many books about the missionary work there.
Koinonia Farm est. 1942
The farm was founded in 1942 by two couples, Clarence and Florence Jordan and Martin and Mabel England, as a "demonstration plot for the Kingdom of God." For them, this meant following the example of the first Christian communities as described in the Acts of the Apostles, amid the poverty and racism of the rural South. The name Koinonia is an ancient Greek word, used often in the New Testament, meaning deep fellowship. Koinonia members divested themselves of personal wealth and joined a "common purse" economic system. They envisioned an interracial community where blacks and whites could live and work together in a spirit of partnership.
Based on their interpretation of the New Testament, Koinonia members committed to the following precepts:
Treat all human beings with dignity and justice
Choose love over violence
Share all possessions and live simply
Be stewards of the land and its natural resources
Other families joined, and visitors came to "serve a period of apprenticeship in developing community life on the teachings and principles of Jesus."
Koinonians, visitors, and neighbors farmed, worshipped and ate together, attended Bible studies and held summer youth camps. When resources allowed the hiring of seasonal help, black and white workers were paid equally. Additional spiritual stewards of the community in the earlier years included Connie Browne and Will Wittkamper.
During the Civil Rights Movement
These practices were a break with the prevailing culture of Jim Crow-era Georgia, and were challenged by many citizens of Sumter County, most intensely during the 1950s, and with diminishing intensity for years thereafter.
A boycott of the farm occurred during the mid-1950s. The local Chamber of Commerce met with the Full Members of The Farm to request that Koinonia sell its property and disband. The 1950s also saw acts of terrorism such as dynamiting Koinonia's roadside produce stand, firing shots into the compound, and threatening phone calls and letters.
The local Ku Klux Klan drove a 70+ car motorcade to the farm as an act of intimidation. Koinonia members discerned that their religious views called them to bear these acts nonviolently; members responded by writing editorials to the local newspaper clarifying the farm's position, maintaining an unarmed watch at the entrance to the community during the nights, and other acts of nonviolent witness.
The business's first slogan was "Help us ship the nuts out of Georgia!" The business evolved to include treats made in the farm's bakery. The Koinonia Catalog business continued after the boycott concluded, and still constitutes the largest source of earned income for Koinonia.
Habitat for Humanity International
Threats of physical violence dwindled in the late 1960s, but the population of Koinonia Farm was greatly diminished due to the stress of previous years.
Koinonia members searched for a new focus, and considered closing the farm experiment if none were found.
Millard and Linda Fuller had spent a month at Koinonia several years earlier. Millard had been an extremely successful businessman before he and his wife Linda rededicated their lives to Christianity, divested of their wealth, and sought ways to live out their faith.
Clarence Jordan, Millard Fuller, and other allies of Koinonia engaged in a series of meetings, out of which emerged a new direction for Koinonia.
Changing its name from Koinonia Farm to Koinonia Partners, the community refocused itself as a social service organization. The organization initiated several programs in partnership with its neighbors, chief among them Koinonia Partnership Housing, which organized the construction of affordable houses for low-income neighboring families previously living in shacks and dilapidated residences.
Using volunteer labor and monetary donations, Koinonia built 194 homes from 1969 to 1992, which families bought with 20-year, no-interest mortgages.
Mortgage payments were placed in a revolving Fund for Humanity. Payments into this fund were used to finance the construction of more houses. Of the houses built, 62 houses sit on Koinonia's property, forming two neighborhoods that surround the central community area; the remaining houses are located in the towns of Americus and Plains, all within Sumter County.
In 1976, they returned to Americus and founded the non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity International. Modeled after the Koinonia Partnership Housing program, this organization builds houses with families in need, then sells the houses to the families at no profit and no interest.
Habitat for Humanity volunteers and homeowners have built more than 500,000 houses in more than 100 countries.
OXFAM est. 1942
Oxfam is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty.
Oxfam was a pioneer of modern famine relief. It works to address famine and injustice on a worldwide scale. Founded by Quaker Christians in Oxford: in May 1942, Quaker Edith Pye established a national Famine Relief Committee and encouraged the setting up of a network of local famine relief committees, among the most energetic of which was the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief.
World Vision est. 1950
World Vision/World Vision International
World Vision International is an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization, and is founded by Dr. Robert Pierce.
The charity operated as a missionary service organization meeting emergency needs in crisis areas.
During the 1970s, World Vision began training families to build small farms by teaching agricultural skills aiming to make lasting effects in the communities they were helping by promoting self-reliance.
During the 1990s, World Vision International began focusing on the needs of children who had been orphaned in Uganda, Romania, and Somalia in response to AIDS, neglect, and civil war, respectively. World Vision began child sponsorship. They also began educating other African communities on AIDS after realizing its impact.
World Vision is one of largest relief and development agencies in the US.