AEF International has culminated into a global mission organisation with different parts and activities in 11 countries. The organisation, which has over 200 national workers across Asia-Pacific, has a historical background in four eras.
The first era lasted from 1960-1969. It was the period where it all began. Our founder, Dr G.D James, was working under Malaysia Evangelistic Fellowship (MEF), which was an agency dedicated to Mass Evangelism and crusade. MEF was established in 1960 in Singapore. During this period, Singapore has not gained freedom as a state from Malaysia.
During this starting era, Dr G.D spread God’s word to many at his organised rallies in Churches and public places in Malaysia and Singapore. This yielded positive results as the message spread to South-east Asia and South Asia. There were organised large-scale crusades and rallies where people from all walks of life were attendants.
MEF promoted certain officials like Mr Tan Kok, Mr Leong Mok Chow, Lai Yong Thai, and K. T. Han to preach and hold public meetings in South-east Asia and Malaysia and Singapore. These men also preached at church rallies and small-scale crusades in different Chinese dialects and English languages.
The second era began in 1970 and ended in 1975. In those years, MEF transitioned into a local missionary sending agency. The organisation began receiving the Macedonian call from the neighbouring regions. Several representatives were sent out to various regions.
For instance, Mr Peck Hock Cheng was selected to go to Sarawak, Malaysia, to start a pioneer work among the Kelabit people. At the same time, Mr Herbert Won represented the organisation at Brunei. He was the first to carry out missionary work in a Muslim Community.
The Second Era also features the growth of local literature. Hence, the fellowship printed about 10 million copies of Gospel literature in various Asian languages from an offset printing machine gifted to them.
The Third Era
The Fourth Era
The Third Era between 1976 and 1990 marked the transitioning of MEF into a full-fledge local missionary organisation. At this time the vision and mission of the agency spread to India and Indonesia, and the agency also witnessed a change of name from Malaysia Evangelism fellowship (MEF) to Asia Evangelistic Fellowship (AEF).
AEF sponsorship branches were then opened in the United States, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. AEF International also organised its first conference of Directors in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1980. In 1977, AEF International established a Tamil Bible Institute in Johor Bahru (Malaysia). Likewise, in 1981 the Lawang Training Centre was founded in Lawang, East Java, Indonesia, and in 1982 came the Singapore School of Missions and Evangelism (SOME).
This era experienced a lot of activities, including very significant conferences like:
- Overseas Indian Congress on Evangelism (OICOE) in 1978
- The Conference of National Evangelists (CONE) in 1985.
- An India-wide Conference of National Evangelists (CONE) in Bombay, India, in 1987.
- The Love UK Mission was embarked on by 11 people, including Dr G.D James, where a month was spent on campaigning.
The era came to an end with establishing mission bases in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Nepal, and Burma (Myanmar). In 1989, Dr G. D James became the AEF Director for the Singapore branch and for AEF International. His son had to take up some of his other assignments. Regional Government was created, and the regional administrator for South Asia was Bro. K J Joseph.
The Fourth Era started in 1991 and is still operative to date. AEF International became official during this stage, and the international office was moved to Australia in 1995. A council was soon formed in 1997, and there was the appointment of persons in South Asia and East Asia as regional directors. During this period, Asia College of Ministry (ACOM) came into existence to oversee Biblical training in Nepal, Myanmar, and Malaysia in 2000. Sadly, Dr G D James passed away in 2003.
Activities continued and expanded to China, North East India, Solomon Islands, Vietnam, and Cambodia. By 2007, AEFI had established Destiny Communications to carry on a radio ministry in Asia, and in 2008, The GD James Training Centre and Destiny Newspaper ministries were launched.