The South American Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. (SAMS-USA), an evangelical association in only its third year of operation, has projected a hundred-fold increase in its original budget. That announcement, by board chairman Richard Kew, is indicative of the rapid growth of this tiny missionary society within the three-million-member Episcopal Church (U.S. total).
Founded in 1976 with a budget of $4,000, the society has placed three missionaries in South America; has two more doing deputation work in the United States; has purchased a building in Wantaugh, New York, for its national headquarters; and last month hired a second full-time home administrator to direct regional operations out of Charlestown, South Carolina.
“We’ve only tapped about 10 per cent of the dioceses in the country,” said Kew, who is assistant rector of Christ Church in Hamilton, Massachusetts. “In 1979 we’re projecting a budget of just under $400,000.”
The new missionary effort has functioned in harmony with the New York-based World Missions Executive Board of the Episcopal Church. “They’ve been very supportive of this evangelical effort,” Kew said.
SAMS-USA is the North American branch of an international society based primarily in Great Britain and Australia. Kew, himself a transplanted Briton, said that SAMS-UK and SAMS-Australia have approximately 150 missionaries in the field. The original society was founded in 1843, “but for some reason there never was a U.S. branch,” Kew said.
The idea for a U.S. branch grew from a meeting in fall, 1976, of the Fellowship of Witness, an evangelical association within the denomination, at Kew’s Christ Church. Urbana ’76, one of the triennial student missions conferences sponsored by Inter-Varsity ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more