The Charis Story


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1708: Movement Begins in Germany

Alexander Mack founded the Brethren Movement in Schwarzenau, Germany.

The original eight Brethren.

1719: First Wave of Immigration to America

Early Brethren in America

Building of the first Brethren in America


1900: Mission Efforts Begin

Plaque commemorating the organization of the Foreign Missionary Society of the Brethren Church (known today as Encompass World Partners) in Winona Lake, IN.

Jacob C. Cassel: Founder of Brethren Missions

1909: Argentina

In front of the Grace Brethren Church in Rio Cuarto, Bible coach workers prepare for a tent meeting in 1932.

Leadership Training at the Brethren Bible Institute in Argentina.


1918: Central African Republic

Brethren missionary James Gribble and family.

One mission research center listed the Central African Republic as the most evangelized country on the planet.


1949: Brazil

Missionary Bill Burke and his boat the Vamos, used to spread the Gospel to islands on the Amazon River.

Ministry began in the city of Belem, near the mouth of the Amazon. Efforts later expanded south to the city of Uberlandia and the surrounding region.


1951: Mexico

Efforts in Mexico began along the border with the United States, and later expanded south to Mexico City.

A Bible Institute was founded in 1960, providing training for pastors and leaders.

1951: France

Efforts centered around the Chateau de Sait-Albain

Baptisms at the Chateau


1966: Chad

Graduates of the Chadean School of Evangelism

Evangelist Dadjé Samuel, founder of the Chadean School of Evangelism

1968: Germany

Missionaries Roger and Nancy Peugh began holding Bible studies and worship services in their home.

A Church was planted in the city of Stuttgart, and later another began in Leonberg.


1980: United Kingdom

British youth at summer camp.

Grace Bible Fellowship of Solihull, England (Easter 1983)

1983: Guatemala

1984: Japan

Ministry in Japan began in Hoya City (Greater Tokyo).

NorthStar, a mountain lodge in the Japanese Alps, seeks to reach the Japanese through extreme sports and outdoor activities.

1984: The Philippines

Greater Manila Church Meeting

Celebrating 10 years of Grace Brethren Churches in the Philippines

1986: Uruguay


1994: Charis Gathering in Saint-Albain, France

Charis coordinator Florent Varak of France leads the Charis gathering at the Chateau de St. Albain.

Charis delegates discuss topics of common interest.

Charis delegates discuss topics of common interest.

The Participants of the 1994 Charis Gathering.

1996: Charis Gathering in Toronto, Canada

International delegates and Encompass staff arrive at the 1996 Charis Gathering.

The Participants of the 1996 Charis Gathering.

1997: Cambodia

Ministry in Cambodia began through a partnership between Vek Huong Taing and Grace Brethren Missions.

Outreach has extended from larger cities to the surrounding villages.

1999: Charis Gathering in Carlos Paz, Argentina

The Participants of the 1999 Charis Gathering.

Delegates from Latin America and Africa at the 1999 Charis Gathering.

1999: Chile


2003: Cameroon

Evangelist Delphi Wilingang and school of evangelism students in Toubouro, Northern Cameroon.

A crew from the Church of Santa Barbara, Yaounde, builds a bridge as a way to reach out to their community.

2005: Nigeria

President of Churches Enoch Kolarambaye and Evangelist Clison Djendode pose with school of evangelism students.

2017 Woman's Conference in Nigeria

2008: Charis Gathering in Bad Homburg, Germany

The Participants of the 2008 Charis Leadership Encounter.

The theme of the encounter was “Faithful Stewards of God’s Grace,” based on 1 Peter 4:10.


2010: Charis Gathering in Saint-Albain, France

The Participants of the 2010 Charis Gathering.

Members of the Charis Steering Committee

2011: Bahamas

2015: Charis Gathering in Bangkok, Thailand

The Participants of the 2015 Charis International Leadership Encounter.

Delegates discuss the Charis Commitment to Common Identity.

The Charis Alliance