FCF began in 1985
The Fellowship of Christian Farmers International (FCFI) was formed in August of 1985 in San Antonio, Texas, during the American Soybean Association EXPO when a group of farmers met together to discuss the need for an organized Christian fellowship of the farming industry. It was felt by those in attendance that farmers and agri-business are in an occupation that is burdened with stress. Therefore, we need to build each other up by sharing our needs in prayer and putting an emphasis on Christian fellowship.
Steve Drake organized the first meeting after reading an article in “Guidepost” on the power of prayer. Thomas Herlong, a farmer in Johnston, SC, was serving as president of the SC Soybean Association at that time and responded to the leadership role and organization of the FCFI. From that first meeting of about 26 persons, the membership has grown to several thousand.
History of FCF in Canada
The Fellowship of Christian Farmers International came to Canada in the year 2000 when directors Bill Brown and John Avery set up a booth at the International Plowing Match (IPM) in Elora, Ontario. We were overwhelmed with the crowds that were drawn to the booth to hear the gospel.
The next year the Plowing Match was in Navan, near Ottawa. More space, more volunteers, and a bilingual witness were needed. Representatives from eighteen churches got involved, a tent was rented, tracts and information were translated into French, and seventy-five people turned out for training sessions to staff the first FCF “tent” ministry at the IPM. God has not stopped since! Every year has seen more people go through the tent at the IPM, as well as at other farm shows and fairs across the country.
In 2002 the Canadian affiliate was born with Keith Campbell as the first president. In 2002 our newsletter, The SOWER, began publication.
By the year 2003 FCF had a witness at farm shows in the Maritimes and Western Canada.
In 2005 Eldon Babcock came on board as area leader for western Canada.
In 2009, Sylvain Couture was appointed fieldman for Quebec. Since then, the ministry in Quebec has grown in leaps and bounds. 60,000 Quebecers heard the gospel message at an FCF booth in 2015. We look forward to more chapters established across the country.
Our purpose is to build, maintain, and strengthen faith in God through presenting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Will you help us sow the seed and bring in the harvest? Would you like an FCFC representative to visit your church or group to share the vision of FCF Canada? Contact one of our directors or chapter leaders in your area (names and phone numbers on this web site), or e-mail the FCFC office at firstname.lastname@example.org
The harvest is truly great and the workers are few.
“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.” Matthew 9:37
History of the Five Colours
The Gospel in Colour dates back to the 1860’s
“It is so simple and easily understood” is a reflection which many Christians have when they stop by an FCF booth and hear the gospel presented using the five coloured beads. This statement is usually followed by “Who came up with the idea?”
The idea is older than you and me. Charles Spurgeon, in 1866, used three colours formatted in a “wordless” book with black, red, and white leaves.
A few years later, another well-known evangelist used the wordless book and added a gold leaf to represent the glories of heaven. His name was Dwight L. Moody.
Others, such as the blind poetess, Fanny Crosby, used the colours when telling the gospel story to children. Amy Carmichael placed a gold, black, red and white flag on a pole on an ox-cart, and took it around India telling people about Jesus.
In the 1930’s, Child Evangelism Fellowship added the green colour for Christian growth. The “wordless book” has been distributed almost worldwide.
In 1998, Dennis Schlagel of the Fellowship of Christian Farmers strung five coloured beads on walking sticks and took them to a farm trade show – and it took off! The Fellowship of Christian Farmers across North America has given out several million walking sticks or other items with the message since that time.
The message given out with each item is similar to the one on this website. Each person also receives a tract with the colours and corresponding Bible verses. Volunteers presenting the gospel use their own words to cover the five truths.
And now is where you come in! Have you shared the gospel story recently? Check the list of chapters of the Fellowship across Canada, and if there is a chapter near you, volunteer. If there is no chapter close by, prayerfully consider starting one! You don’t have to be a farmer. As Christians, we are all supposed to sow the seed!