NAMB History

This timeline indicates milestones of ministry over more than 165 years of sharing the gospel with North America.

1845

Newly formed Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) meeting at First Baptist Church, Augusta, Ga., establishes the Board of Domestic Missions to be based in Marion, Ala.

1847

First Southern Baptist involvement in chaplaincy begins at the University of Virginia.

1864

During the Civil War, the Board of Domestic Missions drops most of its missionary work to supply chaplains for the Confederacy.

1874

The Board of Domestic Missions becomes the Home Mission Board (HMB) of the SBC.

1882

HMB relocates to Atlanta, Ga.

1888

Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) is established as an auxiliary to the SBC. Annie Armstrong becomes the first corresponding secretary, rallying Baptist women to engage in domestic missions to “immigrants, blacks and Indians.”

1895

The first home mission offering is taken by WMU during a “Week of Self-denial for Home Missions,” raising more than $5,000.

1900

HMB approves first loan of $300 from a newly established church loan fund of $4,000.

1907

The Laymen’s Missionary Movement begins, which becomes the catalyst for the creation of the Brotherhood Commission.

1924

The Laymen’s Missionary Movement calls for a “Brotherhood” to be founded in each Southern Baptist church.

1925

HMB benefits from the Cooperative Program, established as the primary channel for supporting missions and ministries of the SBC.

1926

Southern Baptists involved in the Laymen’s Missionary Movement create the Baptist Brotherhood of the South.

1929

The HMB incurs a $2.5 million debt during the Great Depression and missionary forces plunge from 1,600 to 106.

1934

The annual missions offering taken to benefit home missions is named in honor of Annie Armstrong.

1938

SBC creates a Radio Committee to explore using radio in broadcasting “the Baptist message.”

1941

“The Baptist Hour” radio program launches and is broadcast for 13 weeks in 11 states. SBC begins endorsement of chaplains.

1944

Student summer missions, one of HMB’s first volunteer endeavors, begins with 11 summer missionaries.

1946

The Radio Committee is designated an agency of the SBC and renamed Radio Commission to be located in Atlanta, Ga.

1949

SBC requests Radio Commission to serve as central agency in producing audio-visual materials.

1950

Baptist Brotherhood of the South becomes the Brotherhood Commission of the SBC, with offices in Memphis, Tenn.

1951

Radio Commission expands into television.

1954

The Royal Ambassador movement, which had been sponsored and promoted by WMU since its birth as an organization, is moved from WMU to the Brotherhood Commission.
Radio Commission changes name to Radio and Television Commission (RTVC) and moves to Fort Worth, Texas.

1960

Work with ethnic/language-culture groups becomes HMB’s largest program in budget and number of missionaries.

1965

The HMB appoints the first US-2 missionaries (college graduates who volunteer for two years of missionary service).

1967

Texas Baptist Men respond to victims of Hurricane Beulah in the Rio Grande Valley. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is born.

1968

“Jot” series begins. Distributed by the RTVC, this syndicated four and one-half minute insert on local children’s programs seeks to teach children moral and ethical lessons.

1969

“Powerline” launches as a major radio thrust to reach teenagers through top 40 music. “Country Crossroads,” a country and western music radio program, also launches.

1977

Mission Service Corps is created to coordinate and promote self-funded missionary volunteers.

1982

The HMB supports more than 3,000 missionaries.

1984

The RTVC enters the satellite communications arena and expands its television ministry through the launch of American Christian Television System (ACTS), a cable television network.

The Brotherhood Commission begins coordination of disaster relief ministry with state Baptist conventions.

1990

The Brotherhood Commission starts a youth coed missions project called “World Changers,” to involve youth in missions.

1991

RTVC acquires FamilyNet television network to meet the demand for quality, family program service for broadcast TV stations.

1995

The HMB celebrates its 150th anniversary and moves to new office building in Alpharetta, Ga.

1997

As part of the Covenant for a New Century, the SBC creates the North American Mission Board (NAMB), which combines the HMB, RTVC and Brotherhood Commission. The new board is based in Alpharetta, Ga.

2005 – 2006

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, coordinated nationally by NAMB, has its greatest response to date as a result of Hurricane Katrina. From August 2005 through March 2006, disaster relief volunteers serve 14.5 million meals and collectively give 1.5 million hours toward relief efforts.

2008

NAMB introduces God’s Plan for Sharing (GPS) at the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Ind. The 10-year evangelism initiative, to be launched in 2010, urges Southern Baptists to fulfill the challenge of “Every Believer Sharing, Every Person Hearing, by 2020.”

2010

Meeting in Orlando, Fla., in June, Southern Baptist Convention messengers ask NAMB to focus more resources on church planting. In September, NAMB trustees elect Kevin Ezell as NAMB president.

2011

The Send Network strategy of evangelistic church planting and church planter development launches with five focus regions and 32 Send Cities, specifically aligned to address unique opportunities and challenges across the continent.

2015

In a landmark event for Southern Baptist missions, 13,000 people gathered at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., for the Send Conference—a two-day event encouraging each Christian to live life on mission.

2016

At the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis, Mo., Send Relief—a compassion ministry focusing on bringing help with lasting hope—launches with four initiatives: hunger relief, international learning centers, fire prevention and mobile medical/dental care.