First International Congress on World Evangelization

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Palais de Beaulieu

The First International Congress on World Evangelization held from July 16–25 July 1974, is sometimes also called the "Lausanne Congress", "Lausanne '74", or "ICOWE".

The conference is noted for producing the Lausanne Covenant, one of the documents in modern evangelical Christianity. The drafting committee of the covenant was headed by John Stott of England.[1]

The congress was a conference of some 2,700 evangelical Christian leaders that was held in the Palais de Beaulieu in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1974 to discuss the progress, resources and methods of evangelizing the world. The conference was called by a committee headed by U.S. evangelist Billy Graham and brought together religious leaders from 150 nations.[2] The reports and papers at the congress helped to illustrate the shift of Christianity's center of gravity from Europe and North America to Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Lausanne was selected for the congress in October, 1972. The congress office opened in April 1973. The theme of the congress was "Let the earth hear His voice." The congress started as a plan announced by Billy Graham in August 1972 to hold an international congress on evangelism as a follow-up to the 1966 World Congress on Evangelism held in Berlin, West Germany.[3]

After the congress, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization was established.

The Second International Congress on World Evangelization (often called "Lausanne II" or "Lausanne '89") was held fifteen years later in Manila.

The movement claims to follow in the footsteps of the 1910 World Missionary Conference. The Third International Congress on World Evangelization was therefore held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 16–25 October 2010.[4]


  • "Let the Earth Hear His Voice", World Wide Publications, 1975. This is the Congress compendium containing the texts of pre-Congress working papers and plenary session remarks.
  • "Reaching All", a six-cassette series of reports, excerpts and interviews for commercial distribution and radio broadcast.
  • An eighteen-cassette series of conference plenary sessions was produced by World Wide Publications for commercial distribution.
  • The Billy Graham Center's archives at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois contains the conference archives, including tapes of all sessions, and all documentation. 500 College Ave., 3rd floor,Wheaton, IL 60187-5593, U.S.A. (630) 752-5910, E-mail:

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