For the past 56 years, Bob Finley, chairman of Christian Aid, has served the Lord Jesus Christ as an evangelist, pastor, missionary, and Bible teacher.
During those years, he
has traveled more than four million miles and preached "face-to-face" to more than 20 million people.Additional millions have heard his
messages through radio, television, films, and videos.His
published articles have touched thousands of lives and played a major role in changing the methodology and direction of Christian missions throughout the world.His
influence and financial support has been used of God to further the cause of Christ among more than 3,000 tongues, tribes, and nations.
More Than 55 Years of ServiceIt all began in 1945 when Finley
was invited to speak at a super rally of Youth for Christ
president Torrey Johnson was looking for a nationally known Christian athlete to highlight at the rally, but they were few and far between at that time. Finley had just graduated from the University of Virginia, where he was student body president, captain of the boxing team, and NCAA inter-collegiate boxing champion in the middleweight division.
Boxing was the major indoor collegiate sport in those days, just as basketball is today.
The 25,000 people at the stadium rally interrupted Finley several times with applause.Recordings of his
speech were broadcast all over the continent, and invitations for Finley
to speak at YFC
rallies all across America and Canada poured in.
Johnson and YFC Vice President Bob Cook promptly enlisted Finley
to be a field evangelist with the organization, along with Billy Graham.
preached to crowds of 10,000 daily in Seoul in 1950.On weekdays, Finley worked with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship as an evangelist to university students.He
had a special interest in foreign students, and tried to win them to Christ on every campus.His
consuming passion was foreign missions, and over ten thousand young people stood in his
meetings to indicate their decision to go out as missionaries.
Missionary ZealIn 1948, Finley
found himself in China, preaching the gospel to crowds in excess of 15 thousand, fulfilling the missionary desire the Lord had placed in his
progress was interrupted, however, when the Communists took over China the following year, and Finley
was forced to leave.
Not one to give up easily, he
headed to Korea.Along with Bob Pierce, who later started World Vision, Finley
became the principal evangelist in a great evangelical awakening there.
Billy Graham worked closely with Bob
in early days of Youth for Christ
and sponsored him as a missionary to China in 1948.
persisted, staying on in Asia as an itinerant evangelist.
Soon after his
return to the United States, Bob Finley
was a commencement speaker at Houghton (N.Y.) College.
...In 1953, along with Navigators leader Dawson Trotman, Finley started International Students, Inc. to reach foreign students all over the U.S. and Canada. At the same time he started a division of ISI to provide financial assistance for indigenous ministries in poorer countries, especially those led by men of God whom he had known as foreign students in America.In 1972, that division was spun off as Christian Aid Mission, with Finley serving as president.
Since then, Bob Finley
has presided over the growth of Christian Aid
into perhaps the foremost proponent of supporting indigenous Christian ministries worldwide.