“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; … For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” — Romans 8:19-20, 22 NKJV
The Independent Fundamental Churches of America was organized in 1930. William McCarrell, pastor of Cicero Bible Church in the Chicago area, met with 39 men representing Congregationalist, Presbyterian, Baptist, independent, and nondenominational churches. Early leaders of the IFCA included Dr. M.R. DeHaan, W.L. Pettingill, J.F. Walvoord, and J.O. Buswell, Jr.
Albert and Alma Fauth, Moody Bible Institute graduates, pastored Grace Memorial Church in Mt. Carmel, and in 1940 led the church to be one of 75 congregations affiliating with the IFCA. Pastor Fauth was endeavoring to qualify as a candidate for chaplaincy in the Army Air Corps.
Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan Dec. 7, 1941, many people with evangelical denominations and fellowships served as chaplains in the armed services.
General Douglas MacArthur signed the Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945, accepting the Japanese surrender, officially ending World War II.
As Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General MacArthur called for missionaries, Bibles, New Testaments, and Bible portions to be sent to Japan.
In a letter to Alfred Kunz, Executive Director of the Pocket Testament League, MacArthur wrote: “The magnificent and constructive work which the League is doing for the Japanese nation has my hearty endorsement. This demonstration of practical Christianity is making a vital contribution toward meeting the heart needs of this people by means of mass meetings with wide distribution of the Scriptures, which reveal the knowledge of God and His love through Jesus Christ.”
Responding to General MacArthur‘s request, the Pocket Testament League offered a million Gospels of John. But MacArthur requested many, many more — 10 million. The Pocket Testament League responded by sending a total of 11 million Gospels of John and New Testaments.
Albert Fauth had left Mount Carmel to pursue higher Christian education, endeavoring to become a chaplain during World War II. Then in 1946, God sent Charles and Mary Pedersen, who had been serving with IFCA ministries in the Chicago area, to pastor Grace Memorial Church. Pastor Pedersen used his God-given leadership to put together the Tri-State Youth Fellowship, with congregations from Mt. Carmel, Princeton, Owensville, Boonville, Evansville, and Oakland City.
Pastor Pedersen invited pastors with First Baptist, First Methodist, Evangelical United Brethren, Pentecostal Assembly of God, Church of God, Free Methodist, and others to each appoint two teenagers to serve on the student YFC council to launch Mount Carmel Youth for Christ in 1948.
While serving as associate director of Hendersonland (North Carolina) Youth for Christ, I was involved in commissioning Kenny Joseph (Bob Jones graduate) and Ed Reese (Moody graduate) in 1951 to go to Japan as missionaries.
Kenny Joseph wrote that in 1951, the big wave was “Win souls on the street. Mass evangelism. Evangelize or fossilize!” Youth for Christ held a World Congress, and the Pocket Testament League and Oriental Missionary Society conducted soul winning evangelistic outreaches, with 33,000 Japanese making decisions for Christ.
In our dynamic and constantly changing set of circumstances, the Pew Research Center describes distinctions between Millennials and Generation Z. 1996 is considered a transitional year. Pew Research reports: “The iPhone launched in 2007, when the oldest GenZers were 10. By the time they were in their teens, the primary means by which young Americans connected with the web was through mobile devices. …The implications of growing up in an ‘always on’ technological environment are only now coming into focus. Recent research has shown dramatic shifts in youth behaviors, attitudes and lifestyles — both positive and concerning.”
It is urgent that believers in this age group be committed to Christ, to share their faith one on one with every possible peer. The great need is for prayer and encouragement for the proclamation of the Gospel to and through teenagers.
“Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” — Romans 8:21 NKJV
To be a child of God, Jesus said: “You must be born again.” The glorious liberty is available to each person who is willing to turn to God from sin and personally “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” and then confess Him publicly. Have you? Will you share God’s love and His plan of salvation with 10-19 year-olds now?
“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.” — Proverbs 14:26 NKJV