God's Invasion Army

   After meeting Mormon youth who had dedicated 18 months to proselytizing for their faith, Ed Nelson, director of Baptist General God's Invasion Army Conference visitation evangelism, created God's Invasion Army (later Evangelism Corps).  He recalls, 'The only requirement was that they were truly born again and would be willing to spend a year giving themselves as a living sacrifice to God."  Thirty five post high school youth volunteered in September 1948, the kick off year.
    Between 1948 and 1987, youth participated in visitation evangelism, children's meetings and public services.  Thousands of people made first-time decisions for Christ.
    "God only knows what fruit this ministry bore," he says.  For example, Kenneth Hanna, who grew up on a Saskatchewan farm, joined God's Invasion Army.  Hana became vice president and dean of education at Moody Bible Institute and later president of Bryan University, Dayton, Tennessee.

The above picture and article was copied from THE STANDARD - June 2002

    In the history of The Columbia Conference, the coming of God's Invasion Army was an event of importance as it was wherever the G. I. A. "invaded" an area.  


    Not long after the end of World War 11, Rev. Edward O. Nelson was addressing a young people's rally in the Middle West, and at that time challenged young people to give a year to Christian work.  If young people could give a year of their life to serve their country, may it not be reasonable that they give a year to serve God?  
    To his own amazement there were many who responded,  Had they understood the full implication of his challenge?Rev. Edward O. Nelson  
    "Do you realize what this means?"  
    "We think so."
    "A whole year to be given unreservedly to go out in direct soul-winning activity.  Hard work.  No pay at all."
    "We understand."
    In the fall of 1948, a training period of a few weeks was instituted and held in the Temple Church, Duluth, Minnesota.  Thirty-two young people received the training comparable to the "basic training" servicemen of World War 11 knew so well.  Intensive.  Rugged.  
    Who were they?  Youths, most of them about the age of twenty.  Among them, some a little older, businessmen, nurses, teachers, students, mechanics--young people from every walk of life.
    These young people, with Edward Nelson as leader the first year, went into communities that had indicated that they desired to have the God's Invasion Army.  Visitation work and witnessing for Christ was a major part of their work.  Soul winning was their goal.
    They came to Columbia Conference territory and spent a good part of the summer in that territory,  They were well received, and the general opinion was that they had done well.  They had started something old as the Gospel itself and yet with a new, fresh approach in their own generation.
    The God's Invasion Army has been active with gratifying results in most, if not all, areas in the United States and Canada.
    The "Army" was in training with Central Baptist Church, Tacoma, has trained at the Mount Pleasant Church, British Columbia.

The above account was copied from page 61 of Gordon Carlson's book, "Seventy-Five Years History" of the Columbia Conference.     

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