In 1944, world renowned evangelist Dr. Charles Price revealed in a meeting about the coming of age of the laymen's revival through the manifested gifting of the Holy Spirit. A dairy businessman named Demos Shakarian was present when Bro. Price prophesied about his involvement in it.
Demos, heeding to the words, began to organize evangelistic meetings in tents and auditoriums. In 1952, he put up a fellowship for businessmen which he called Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship in a cafeteria. After a year of dismal failure, Demos started to lose hope and thought of quitting. Crying out to God on a Friday night before the final meeting, his spirit was lifted up into the air. There he saw countless number of people around the globe in a state of gloomy desperation. Demos pleaded to the Lord to help them. Just then, he saw the sudden change of countenance on these same faces, their hands were raised, in a gesture of praise to the Lord.His wife Rose uttered, "my son, the very thing you see before you will soon come to pass."
The next morning, two men approached him. One gave $1,000.00, the other offered to publish a magazine for the Fellowship. This dramatic breakthrough spurred the growth of the movement. It was confirmed when Mordecai Ham, who led Billy Graham to Christ, told Demos when they met in Texas, "the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International is God's instrument to awaken the laymen-the sleeping giant of evangelism."
In the mid 60's, 400 businessmen and their wives flew to London and spread themselves throughout Europe to give their testimonies. They paid their own fare wherever they went. Trips were made to the then Iron Curtain, to Asia, to war torn Ireland, in which a senator commented that the Fellowship's effort resulted in building a bridge between warring factions.
Once, a contingent from New Zealand ministered in Tonga, paving the way for the prime minister and his wife to become Christians. A chapter in the Fellowship was able to meet in the legislative chamber of the House.
In Brazil, executive vice-president Tommy Aschcraft and international director Norman Norwood were invited by a group of 3,000 who gave them a warm welcome. One leader even made it possible for 500 churches to be available for their meetings.
Today, through the grace of God, FGBMFI has 182 international directors and 698 field representatives worldwide. There are over 3,000 local chapters in 160 countries that meet weekly or monthly, with more than a million people exposed to their meetings. Indeed, God means business with the Christian businessmen. In addition, some 1,000 chapters have sprouted in Africa, and giant China has 1-Million affiliate members. In the Philippines, there are about 40 Chapters.
A Collaborative Effort!
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