A CHRONOLOGY OF PROTESTANT BEGINNINGS: BRAZIL
by Clifton L. Holland, Director of PROLADES
(last revised on May 27, 2003)
Historical Overview of Brazil:
Independence from Portugal: 1822
Period of Brazilian Monarchy: 1822-1889
Independent Republic Established: 1889
Religious Liberty Established: 1891
Number of North American agencies in 1989: 165
Number of North American agencies in 1996: 124
Indicates European society*
Significant Protestant Beginnings:
1555-1566 - *French Huguenot colony (Calvinists) established under French commander Villegaignon; the first Protestant worship service was held in Brazil on March 10, 1557; the French were expelled by the Portuguese in 1566.
1624-1654 - *Dutch colony (Calvinists) and mission efforts on N.E. coast at Recife; the Dutch were expelled by the Portuguese in 1654.
1817 - *British and Foreign Bible Society colporteurs
1835 - Methodist Episcopal Church of USA (permanent work 1874)
1854 - American Bible Society Agency established (1876)
1858 - Independent Congregational Church, Scottish missionary doctor Robert Reid Kalley – Igreja Evangélica Fluminense; today this church is known as Union of Congregational Churches of Brazil.
1859 - Presbyterian Church USA (Northern), missionary Ashbel Green Simonton; established the first Brazilian Presbyterian Church in the city of Río de Janeiro in 1863.
1861 - *Basel Missionary Society among German immigrants
1869 - Presbyterian Church (South)
1870 - Southern Baptist Convention (1881 permanent work), now under International Mission Board
1871 - *South American Missionary Society (SAMS-Anglican tradition)
1874 - Methodist Episcopal Church (South)
1880 - Methodist Episcopal Church (North)
1889 - Protestant Episcopal Church
1892 - *Evangelical Union of South America (Help for Brazil)
1894 - Seventh-day Adventist General Conference
1900 - Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod
1903 - The Presbyterian Church of Brazil became divided and a new denomination was formed: The Independent Presbyterian Church.
1905 - Reformed Church of Colombo
1907 - *Christian Missions in Many Lands (Plymouth Brethren)
1910 - *Swedish Pentecostals (Gunnar Vingren and Daniel Berg from South Bend, Indiana, founded the Assemblies of God of Brazil; the Assemblies of God USA began work in 1925)
1910 - *Italian Pentecostals (Louis Francescon from Chicago): founded the Christian Congregation in Platina, Paraná.
1911 - Gospel Missionary Union
1911 - Evangelical Reformed Churches of Brazil (Dutch immigrants)
1913 - South America Indian Mission (now, South America Mission), also Canadian South American Mission
1916 - *German Baptist Church
1920 - Evangelical Congregational Churches of Brazil (established by missionaries from Argentina)
1922 - The Salvation Army, USA
1922 - United Church Board for World Ministry
1923 - Church of God (Anderson, IN)
1923 - Baptist Faith Missions
1925 - Assemblies of God, USA
1924 - Baptist Faith Missions
1927 - Central Armenian Evangelical Church of Sao Paulo (Armenian immigrants)
1928 - Free Methodist Church of North America
1928 - Caiuá Evangelical Mission, formed by American missionaries Albert Sidney and Mabel Maxwell to reach the Amerindian peoples.
1931 - Unevangelized Fields Mission, now UFM International
1932 - Christian Reformed Church of Brazil (Hungarian immigrants)
1933 - Reformed Evangelical Churches in Brazil (Dutch immigrants)
1934 - The Evangelical Confederation of Brazil formed
1935 - *Pentecostal Missionary Union for Great Britain and Ireland
1935 - Baptist Mid-Missions
1939 - Brazil Gospel Fellowship Mission
1940 - Conservative Presbyterian Church of Brazil (a split from the Independent Presbyterian Church)
1941 - Child Evangelism Fellowship
1942 - Association of Baptists for World Evangelization (ABWE)
1944 - Mennonite Brethren Missions
1945 - International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
1946 - New Tribes Mission
1946 - Mennonite Brethren Missions and Services
1946 - Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society, now CBInternational
1948 - Pilgrim Fellowship Inc.
1948 - Christian Church and Churches of Christ
1948 - Pilgrim Fellowship, Inc.
1949 - Grace Brethren International Missions
1950 - OMS International, Inc.
1950 - Youth For Christ, USA
1951 - Church of God World Missions (Cleveland, TN)
1952 - Baptist Bible Fellowship International
1953 - Baptist Missionary Association
1954 - Arabic Evangelical Church of Sao Paulo (Lebanese immigrants)
1955 - Brazil for Christ founded by Manuel de Melo
1955 - Baptist General Conference
1955 - World Partners Missionary Church
1955 - Mennonite Board of Missions
1956 - Wycliffe Bible Translators
1956 - United Pentecostal Church International
1956 - Fundamentalist Presbyterian Church (led by Dr. Israel Gueiros, northeastern region)
1957 - CMF International
1957 - World Team
1957 - WEC International
1957 - Grace Ministries International
1957 - Missionary Aviation Fellowship
1958 - Swiss Evangelical Church (Swiss immigrants) in Sao Paulo
1958 - Church of the Nazarene
1958 - Wesleyan World Missions
1958 - Free Will Baptist Association
1958 - Evangelical Lutheran Church
1958 - Things To Come Mission, Inc.
1960 - Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Bahía (Japanese immigrants, affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Koza, Japan)
1960 - Apostolic Christian Church
1960 - Christians in Action
1960 - World Baptist Fellowship Mission
1961 - Japanese Evangelical Missionary Society
1961 - Christian & Missionary Alliance
1961 - World-Wide Missions
1962 - Central Presbyterian Church of Formosa in Brazil (Taiwanese immigrants, has ties with the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan)
1962 - Go Ye Fellowship
1962 - God Is Love Pentecostal Church, founded by David Miranda in Sao Paulo; this church is considered by many Evangelicals to be a Christian sect because of its syncretistic tendencies.
1963 - Bethany Fellowship Missions
1963 - The Navigators
1963 - Every Home for Christ
1963 - OC International, Inc. (formerly known as Overseas Crusades)
1964 - Fellowship International Mission
1964 - Korean United Presbyterian Church of Sao Paulo (Korean immigrants, linked to the Presbyterian Church of South Korea)
1964 - General Conference Mennonite Church
1964 - Association of Free Lutheran Congregations
1965 - Church of God of Prophecy
1965 - Pocket Testament League
1966 - North American Baptist Conference
1966 - United World Mission
1967 - Evangelical Church of Sao Paulo (Japanese immigrants)
1967 - Baptist International Missions
1967 - Berean Mission, Inc.
1968 - Campus Crusade for Christ
1968 - Mennonite Central Committee
1969 - Maranatha Baptist Mission
1969 - Korean Presbyterian Church of Brazil (Korean immigrants, has ties to the Presbyterian Church Hapdong of South Korea)
1969 - Partners International
1970 - Shield of Faith Mission International
1970 - Apostolic Church In Canada
1970 - Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada
1971 - Macedonia World Baptist Missions
1972 - The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM)
1973 - Global Outreach Mission, USA & Canada
1973 - Mission to the World, Presbyterian Church of America
1975 - Renewed Presbyterian Church: Pentecostal tradition, a merger of the Christian Presbyterian Church (founded in 1968) and the Independent Renewed Presbyterian Church (founded in 1972).
1975 - Reformed Episcopal Church Board of Missions
1975 - Janz Team Ministries
1976 - PAZ International
1977 - Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, founded in Río de Janeiro by Bishop Edir Macendo; this church is also known as “Fervent Prayer to the Holy Spirit” and is considered by many Evangelicals to be a Christian sect because of its syncretistic tendencies.
1978 - National Federation of Presbyterian Churches (affiliated with the United Presbyterian Church USA)
1979 - Baptist World Mission
1980 - Christian Church of North America
1981 - Emmanuel International, Canada
1984 - Antioch Presbyterian Church (Korean immigrants, has ties to the Presbyterian Church of Kora, TongHap, Korea)
1985 - ALM International
1985 - Latin America Mission (Institute of In-Depth Evangelization of Brazil)
1985 - HCJB World Radio Missionary Fellowship
1986 - Evangelical Free Church of North America
1987 - BCM International
1987 - Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
1987 - InterVarsity Mission
1987 - Habitat for Humanity International
1988 - Walk Thru The Bible Ministries
1989 - Global Outreach, Ltd.
1990 - Pioneers, Canada
1991 - Reformed Church of Brasolandia (Dutch immigrants in Minas Gerais, central region)
1991 - Action International Ministries
1991 - Young Life of Canada
1991 - Christ for the Island World
1992 - International Street Kids Ministry
1993 - Traditional Presbyterian Church of Brazil (central region)
1994 - Reformed Church of Brazil (has ties to the Canadian Reformed Churches)
1994 - Churches of God General Conference
1994 - Literacy & Evangelism International
1994 - SIM USA (a merger of several mission societies)
1995 - Reformed Church of Colombo (Dutch immigrants)
1995 - Christ for the City International (affiliated with Latin America Mission)
Date of Origin Unknown:
Brethren Assemblies (Plymouth Brethren), USA & Canada
Christian Aid Mission
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Evangelical Bible Mission
Gospel Fellowship Association
Teens Mission International
Youth With A Mission (YWAM)
(1) Dates listed indicate the earliest ministry or in case of discrepancies, the date most frequently indicated by the sources.
(2) North American Agencies include U.S. and Canadian.
(1) Daryl L. Platt, "Who Represents the Evangelical Churches in Latin America? A Study of the Evangelical Fellowship Organizations." Pasadena, CA: an unpublished Doctor of Missiology Dissertation, School of World Mission, Fuller Theological Seminary, June 1991. Used by permission of the author.
Roberts and John Siewert, editors: Mission
Handbook of U.S. and Canadian Christian Ministries Overseas (MARC 1989).
A. Siewert and Edna G. Valdez, editors: Mission Handbook of U.S. and
Canadian Christian Ministries Overseas (MARC 1997).
(5) Jean-Jacques Bauswein and Lukas Vischer, The Reformed Family Worldwide (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999).