1971, Don Satter, a successful business man in Oregon, contacted Gary
and told him he felt he wanted to become involved in building churches
in third world and emerging countries. He expressed a willingness to give
substantial sums of money if Gary would administer them and see that the
funds were spent wisely and effectively in church building and planting.
the time, Gary was the Associate Pastor at First Assembly of God in North
Hollywood, California. After conferring with the Senior Pastor, Dr. D.
LeRoy Sanders, and receiving his permission, Gary announced that he would
lead a group of people to Amenave, Samoa where they would work with the
local people, a missionary, Jim Hance, and the Village Chief, Eddie Laulu
in establishing a new Christian church.
was decided that the Oregon business man, Don Satter, would give the $5,000
needed to build the church and the individuals would pay their own expenses
for the trip. The group would physically build the church during the day
and then conduct Christian services at night.
this would not be for everyone.
team members landed in a hurricane in Pago Pago, American Samoa to begin
a three-week marathon of construction activities during the day and church
services in the evenings.
was not only the beginning of the first such project, that would change
a village and the lives of those who gave, but it was also the beginning
of a ministry that would develop, under God's leading, into a world wide
movement that would build 143 churches, schools, and medical facilities
internationally. Thousands of people contributed financially and hundreds
contributed their time and effort in physically constructing these many
combined effort would not only change villages, and cities around the
world, but would make an indelible impact on the students, secretaries,
farmers, doctors, dentists, teachers, preachers, engineers, business men
and women, and all the rest of us who took time away from our job and
community to go to some far-off place to live with and help people we
had never met.
will accurately measure the true effect. Thank you to all who participated.
Mission in New York Times, 1972