Global Teams was formed in 1983 under the name Episcopal World Mission (EWM) by mission-minded Episcopalians who organized a “faith mission” sending agency. There was no official denominational or financial link with the national Episcopal Church or any other denominational body. However, all of the original Board Members and missionaries were Episcopalian.
The original focus was to recruit and send Episcopalians to work under existing worldwide Anglican churches. The missionaries sent during this time were Bible teachers, evangelists, administrative support for local leadership, and medical personnel. Projects were started including orphanages, training centers, and clinics.
In 1993, the Executive Board broadened the vision of the organization to include a focus on unreached people groups and sending non-Episcopalian missionaries.
By 2003 EWM had grown to include missionaries serving in or coming from 19 countries. The missionaries were predominantly, but not exclusively, Episcopalian.
In addition, the thrust of our missionary work began to focus on two major efforts:
- Raising up missionaries FROM many nations around the world to work together in multi-cultural teams.
- Placing teams among peoples least reached by the Gospel in order to start new movements of believers, small groups, and churches.
One result of this new focus was that EWM's missionary force also became increasingly multi-national. By 2003, our missionaries came from New Zealand, Laos, Costa Rica, Korea, Kenya, Canada, the UK, and North America. Recruitment was actively taking place in other African, Asian, and Latin American countries as well.
Because of the growth of EWM as an international mission, the name was changed in 2002 to EWM-Global Teams, and to Global Teams as of January, 2004. This also reflects our increasing emphasis on team-based ministry.
Our missionaries have been used by God to initiate new people movements among unreached people groups in several contexts. There is new work beginning in over a dozen more unreached people groups.
Global Teams receives no denominational funding but depends solely upon the financial partnership of individuals and churches for its support.