SIM (Christian organization)

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SIM Logo.jpg
MottoBy Prayer.
Founded1893; 125 years ago (1893)
FoundersWalter Gowans
Rowland Bingham
Thomas Kent
TypeNon-profit, Christian
HeadquartersCharlotte, North Carolina, United States
  • Global
FieldsChristian Missionary Outreach
2,000 missionaries serving in more than 70 countries on 6 continents (2017)[1]

SIM is an international, interdenominational Evangelical Christian mission organization. It was established in 1893 by its three founders, Walter Gowans and Rowland Bingham of Canada and Thomas Kent of the United States. The initials originally stood for "Soudan Interior Mission," Soudan being an older spelling of the Sudan region of West Africa. After various name changes and mergers, the mission simply goes by "SIM" today. In French-speaking countries it is known as "Société Internationale Missionnaire." SIM is also a member of the Forum of Bible Agencies International. The main headquarters is in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States.


Sudan Interior Mission[edit]

In 1893 Walter Gowans, Rowland Bingham and Thomas Kent landed in Lagos, Nigeria. Their aim was to evangelize the "Soudan" region of Africa through the organization of the "Soudan Interior Mission." Gowans and Kent traveled to what is now Northern Nigeria with a Kru guide, Tom Coffee, but the two died of malaria.[2] Bingham survived and returned to his home in Canada.[3]

Bingham reorganized the mission in 1898 as the "African Industrial Mission," with a hope to be self-supporting through the production and trade of cotton.[4] In 1900, Bingham made a second attempt to establish a base in Africa but came down with fever and returned home. A third attempt in 1902 succeeded, which finally established a base 500 miles inland in Patigi, Nigeria. In 1906, the mission was once renamed "Sudan Interior Mission."[5]

After the initial base was set up, the mission branched out into other countries in West Africa, and then in the 1920s, to East Africa. Until 1998, SIM had worked in Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Togo.[3]

Andes Evangelical Mission[edit]

The work of Andes Evangelical Mission (AEM) began in 1907, when a couple from New Zealand began to work in Bolivia. AEM joined with SIM in 1982, and the work of SIM expanded to a new continent, South America.[3]

International Christian Fellowship[edit]

In the 1890s, two other small missions were formed to work in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), South India, and in the Philippines. In 1968, they joined forces and became the International Christian Fellowship (ICF). In 1989, ICF merged with SIM, which expanded the work of SIM to parts of Asia.[3]

Africa Evangelical Fellowship[edit]

AEF (Africa Evangelical Fellowship) was formed by Andrew Murray a Dutch Reformed minister, Spencer Walton and Martha Osborn-Howe in 1889 in Cape Town [6]

From this root, a mission, the Cape General Mission began. After the Boer War, the Mission, now known as the South African General Mission, began to expand into parts of southern Africa, and then to islands in the Indian Ocean.

In 1965, the mission became known as the Africa Evangelical Fellowship. In 1998, AEF joined with SIM, and the work of the newly merged Mission embraced Angola, Botswana, Gabon, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, bringing the total of countries in which SIM is active to more than 43.

In 1998, AEF merged with SIM.

Middle East Christian Outreach[edit]

In 2016, Middle East Christian Outreach joined hands with SIM.


Founded in 1972 by four mission societies (AIM, SUM, SIM, and MAF), Across has since gone through a number of transitions in response to the changing conditions in South Sudan and partners outside Sudan. [7] Across delivers literacy classes, Digital Audio Players (DAPs) (MP3 players) for literacy and social education, All Children Reading radio project (USAID)[8] and runs Sudan Literature Centre which publishes in local language literacy materials for children and Christian literature for Christian church in South Sudan[9].

It is renamed SIM International in 1980, SIM Society for International Ministries in 1992 and SIM in 2002. [10]

In 2017 SIM had more than 4,000 workers in over 70 countries [1]


Sending offices are located in Australia, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, France, India, South Korea, South Africa, South America, United Kingdom, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States. They partner with many local mission organizations. In Germany they have no office. So they partner with DMG interpersonal e.V.[11]


The purpose of SIM includes planting, strengthening and partnering with churches around the world in order to:

  • Evangelize
  • Disciple Christians into churches
  • Train and Equip churches in ministry and outreach


  1. ^ a b "SIM". SIM. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  2. ^ Geysbeek, Tim (April 2018). "From Sasstown to Zaria: Tom Coffee and the Kru Origins of the Soudan Interior Mission, 1893–1895". Studies in World Christianity. 24 (1): 46–65. doi:10.3366/swc.2018.0204.
  3. ^ a b c d "History". SIM UK. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  4. ^ Fiedler, Klaus (1994). The Story of Faith Missions: From Hudson Taylor to Present Day Africa. Oxford: Regnum. pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-1-870345-18-7.
  5. ^ Corwin, Gary R. (1999). "Bingham, Rowland Victor". In Gerald H. Anderson. Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-0-8028-4680-8.
  6. ^ George Thomas Kurian, Mark A. Lamport, Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Volume 5, Rowman & Littlefield, USA, 2016, p. 29
  7. ^ Hall, Rhys (7 July 2016). "Across Background". Across. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  8. ^ Hall, Rhys. "All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development". All Children Reading. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Sudan Literature Centre catalogue". Open Library. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  10. ^ George Thomas Kurian, Mark A. Lamport, Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Volume 5, Rowman & Littlefield, USA, 2016, p. 2121
  11. ^ Blöcher, Detlef. "How DMG partners with sending churches and mission organisations". DMG interpersonal e.V. Retrieved November 30, 2018.

External links[edit]