The College Church of Christ of the 1920s paved the way for almost 100 years of “taking the Gospel to the whole world.” Its members started missions with the Abilene Mexican Mission and sent George Cypert into West Texas counties and the George Desha family to India. Lily Cypert and Carl and Grace Etter went to Japan.
The Bible and language faculties of Abilene Christian College inspired students to reach beyond Abilene into Texas, Mexico and Central America. The work of legends like Professors Howard Schug and J.W. Treat stand as models.
In the pre-World War II era, students from Australia and Canada found their way to Abilene Christian, and one, Colin Smith, was supported by the College Church when he returned to Australia to begin Gospel churches down under.
The synergy of the College Church, Abilene Christian College and World War II veterans opened the world after 1945. Otis and Alma Gatewood, Roy and Jaxie Palmer and Kay Patton were among ACC and College Church alums who ventured into West Germany.
Then, no place was too near or far for the mission-minded leaders of the congregation to envision going whether to Taipei, Taiwan, Rhodesia, Keosnai, Alaska, or Rostov, Russia. In the 1960s Goldsboro, N.C., and the Northeast – Danbury, New Milford, and Waterbury, Conn., and Vails Gate and Utica, N.Y., and Newark, Del. – drew our attention. Before and after the College Church’s Project Megalopolis, Charles Moore labored until his retirement in Newark.
The Spanish-language affinity of our region, church and university nourished Jerry and Ann Hill and Dan and Elise Coker in Guatemala. The large-team effort in Buenos Aires, Argentina, included current members Ted and Ellen Presley, Steve and Lynnette Austin. Small multiple congregations are active today in BA. Reece Mitchell’s widow, Jacquie, still lives and spreads the Gospel in Argentina. In this century, Laredo, Texas, was the focus of our non-Abilene Spanish-language until recently.
The times have shaped each phase of this almost century-long missions story. Today the University Church reaches out to preacher trainees in Spanish-speaking countries through Steve Austin and the Texas International Bible Institute, to Mexico church leaders through Lou Seckler, to Spanish-speaking people in the Chapel class and worship, to single moms, to English-as-second-language students from ACU, to military personnel, to prisoners in state and local prisons, to the needy through the Christian Service Center, and to seekers and the ill in summer missions in Africa, Romania, Croatia, Costa Rica, Ukraine, Mexico, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.