The Evangelical Alliance Foundation (now the EA Foundation) was established to enable the investment and management of the funds and resources of the Australian Evangelical Alliance.
At its first meeting held in 1957, the executive of the Australian Evangelical Alliance agreed to invite Dr Billy Graham to visit Australia. Prior to this Billy Graham had indicated that he would only respond to an invitation that had the support of the wider church: this gathering of leading clergy and prominent laymen represented exactly that, and it has been estimated that over the course of his visits over 130,000 Australians made a commitment to Christ (representing almost 2% of the Australian population!). Some of these converts went to hold prominent roles within the church and business sector, so in many ways the positive fruit of these meetings is still being seen today.
Other significant events in the life of the Australian Evangelical Alliance include:
- 1972 – the establishment of the TEAR fund (EA’s relief and development arm, now a separately incorporated organisation)
- 1986 – the establishment of Missions Interlink (to link missionary societies and independent state-based networks in a national body)
- 1987 – the establishment of EA Insurance (providing uniquely-suited insurance packages for churches and other Christian organisations)
- 2003 – the establishment of Christian Management Australia (in collaboration with Wesley Mission and later other agencies)
- 2004 – the establishment of the EA Public Theology Department (to become an integral part of the Ethos Centre for Christianity and Society)
- 2015 – the purchase of Stewards Insurance Services Pty Ltd as a wholly owned subsidiary
The EA Foundation, of which the EA Insurance Project forms an integral part, has been a crucial part of this process of organisational development. The availability of the resources from the EA Foundation has meant that a whole host of opportunities have been seized over more than five decades, with incalculable fruit.
Additionally, with the significant changes within the EA family being finalised during 2012, the Foundation will play an increasingly important role as ‘keeper’ of the EA family covenant and in maintaining existing links with the World Evangelical Alliance.
Finally, the Foundation had the opportunity to purchase a licensed insurance brokerage in NSW called Stewards Insurance Services to compliment the operation of EA Insurance.