For 50 years, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) has been a significant force in the religious life of the United States, uniting Bible-believing people in cooperative action and witness.

When 147 Evangelicals gathered in St. Louis in 1942 to explore the possibility of a national association of Evangelicals, they recognized that biblical truth was being seriously challenged. Not only was the gospel under intense attack within the culture generally, but also was increasingly under attack within ecclesiastical structures, some of which previously had provided a historical base for evangelical Christianity in the nation.

Because of their commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ, the founders of NAE embarked on a course that has significantly influenced American religious life in the latter half of this century. Created to provide institutional strength, visibility and influence for the “unvoiced multitudes” of theologically conservative Protestants in that day, NAE brought new vitality and courage to evangelical Christianity nationwide. Aided by others, the 1942 meeting in St. Louis inaugurated the vibrant evangelical movement of today.

The founding objective for NAE was to be both a voice and forum for American Evangelicals. Faithful to that objective, NAE today provides leadership for a dynamic and diverse movement. It unites Evangelicals from many theological perspectives and ecclesiastical traditions. It also brings together para-church organizations and fosters better understanding among all Evangelicals.

As other denominations, institutions and organizations join NAE, the association is able to bring an even more significant evangelical witness to our nation. The corporate witness that we bring is expressed in our seven-point Statement of Faith, ratified in 1943 and still subscribed to today. Our commissions, affiliates and subsidiary address the challenges and needs of our day and unite us in working in such realms as the chaplaincy, Christian education, evangelism, lay ministries, social action, stewardship, broadcasting, world relief and missions.

Though NAE’s united witness to the gospel of Christ was needed 50 years ago, the need is even greater today. Religious pluralism, moral relativism and extreme individualism have become the dominant ideologies of the age, seeking to undermine the institutions of family, church and civil government which are ordained by God. Evangelicals, joined together in NA’E, are confronting these challenges within our society by the proclamation and demonstration of biblical Christianity.

In addition, NAE is reinforcing local, state and regional efforts to proclaim the gospel. Many denominations in this decade are placing a renewed emphasis on evangelism. They are adopting innovative strategies and programs to present the reality of the living Christ to this generation. NAE supports these efforts, praying that God will bless them to extend His kingdom on earth.

Today, NAE serves approximately for 15 million Evangelicals. We are a cooperative fellowship of almost 45,000 local churches from 75 denominations, over 200 evangelical associations, organizations and educational institutions, plus several thousand individual clergy and laity.

We give thanks to God for His blessings to NAE over the past 50 years. We praise God for the effective witness and ever-growing role of Evangelicals. We also confess our failure to reflect the full Christian unity to which God calls us. Doctrinal differences, ecclesiastical practices, social injustices and racial prejudices have at times hindered our oneness and witness. We pray that, under God, we may serve our people and nation more unitedly, more significantly and with ever-increasing effectiveness.

To this end, we reaffirm our commitment to one another and confess our Statement of Faith in praise and gratitude to God Almighty Who has called us into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ, with one another and with Christians everywhere.