About the C&MA

The C&MA shares many things in common with other evangelical and Bible believing churches. But we need to know about the things characteristic of Alliance churches that are different from the way some other churches operate.

What is the C&MA?
Eastern Districts Alliance Church is a congregation of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The Alliance is an association of churches which seek to be a world-wide advertisement for Jesus as the answer to life’s greatest needs. The C&MA is a missionary organisation which has national denominations and missions in many places of the world, and these have their own local churches. For that reason there is a lot of diversity of the C&MA worldwide. The Australian C&MA is not large but is diverse. The Alliance believes that Christ is sufficient for every human need. He is therefore our Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King. The message of the Christian and Missionary Alliance has proven relevant – Jesus Christ is sufficient for all human need.

Formation of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
To understand the Christian and Missionary Alliance, one has to understand its founder, Albert Simpson, for the Alliance is Simpson grown large. Books on the history of the C&MA (“All for Jesus” and “Wingspread”) are available to borrow from our church library.
A quick summary of the beginnings is:
– 1843 Albert Simpson was born, 5 th of 9 children of Scottish Presbyterian heritage
– 1861 Simpson enters Knox College to prepare for the Presbyterian ministry
– 1865 Simpson is ordained, married, and enters his first pastorate, Knox Church, Hamilton, Ontario aged 21
– 1874ff Second pastorate, Chestnut St. Church, Louisville, Kentucky. Crisis experience of sanctification, involved with foreign missions and taught it in his church.
– 1879ff Third pastorate, 13 th Street Church, New York City. His desire was to see this as a centre of missionary activity where people could be sent from and report back to. The church prospered, yet it tried Simpson’s patience. He became frustrated (he attempted and failed to bring 100 Italian converts into the church) and eventually his health was broken.
– 1881 Goes on vacation and experiences crisis of healing at a conventions centre at Old Orchard, Maine. Returns to New York and soon after resigned from his church and the Presbyterian church citing baptism as the reason.
– 1882 The Missionary Training College for Home and Foreign Missionaries and Evangelists was opened. Other ministries followed – Publication Word, Work and World, Berachah Home, two rescue missions, orphanage.
– 1887 The Christian Alliance and the Evangelical Missionary Alliance were formed in Old Orchard, Maine.
– 1897 The Christian Alliance was the chief supporter of the International Missionary Alliance. The two societies were virtually one in purpose and in constituency. Thus, the International Missionary Alliance and the Christian Alliance were united formally and legally under the name of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

The C&MA’s “two legs”
These are the missions leg and the home leg, both are critical and necessary. Although Simpson and his associates believed that the C&MA could best achieve its goals by working beside existing evangelical churches, the Alliance gradually developed into churches. “A distinctive of the C&MA is the unique relationship of the local church to foreign missions. This reflects the conviction that the New Testament church is to be evangelistic at home and simultaneously missionary abroad; that all believers are commissioned to participate in carrying the gospel to all the world” (Church and Membership Awareness p. 36). Of the Evangelical Missionary Alliance Simpson wrote: “The Evangelical Missionary Alliance has been formed as a humble and united effort on the part of consecrated Christians in all parts of the land and world, to send the Gospel in its simplicity and fullness, by the most spiritual and consecrated instrumentalities, and the most economical, practical,and effectual methods, to the most needy, neglected, and open fields of the heathen world” (Thompson, p.126). Of the Christian Alliance Simpson wrote: “The Christian Alliance was organised … for the purpose of uniting in Christian fellowship and testimony in a purely fraternal alliance the large number of consecrated Christians … who believe in the Lord Jesus as Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer and coming Lord” (Thompson p.128, 129ff). Its purpose then was evangelistic, to promote the deeper life and encourage the world missions among the neglected. Chapters were organised in various areas around the country to promote the aims of the Alliance. These were not churches nor was it Simpson’s aim ever to create a new denomination.

The Alliance Logo
This is message of the C&MA is summarised in our logo which contains four symbols with the following meaning:
1) The CROSS on which Jesus died denotes Jesus is the Saviour. There is no other person or thing that can save people from the problem of evil and its consequences.
2) The CUP (laver) denotes Jesus is the Sanctifier. The Laver was used in ceremonial cleansing in the temple. In order to be fit for service priests had to wash in the laver. The laver is therefore used to symbolise that there is no other way to live a godly life and have power to serve Christ without the Holy Spirit’s work in us. We must give our life to God; and let Jesus live his life through us by the Holy Spirit. This enables us to lead a life of love and obedience arising out of faith, and effective service in the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
3) The PITCHER denotes Jesus is the Healer. The pitcher was used to hold medicinal oil. Jesus is the one who can heal us physically, spiritually and emotionally so that we can be whole people.
4) The CROWN denotes Jesus is the Coming King. Jesus is called the Christ, which means God’s chosen King. Because of his death and resurrection he has been appointed by God to rule over all people. He will come at an unknown time and raise all those who are willing subjects to eternal life and bring to judgement all who have been rebellious.

The Objectives of the C&MA
Eastern Districts Alliance Church is a part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The purpose statement of the C&MA of Australia is as follows:
The Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia is called by God to offer Him acceptable worship and to serve him by establishing disciple-making churches that will engage in world evangelisation with the four-old gospel of Christ as Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King. The C&MA of Australia is an organisation of Christians who are working together for the following objectives: The Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia Incorporated is a non-profit organisation, the objects of which are, To be a part of the worshipping community of God’s people, who delight in the redeemed life we experience as individuals and in the fellowship of the church, which by God’s abundant grace, is richly endowed with spiritual gifts; To proclaim the truth of God’s Word and to disciple people of all nations, particularly where Christ has not been named, emphasising the atoning work and Lordship of Christ, the person and work of the Holy Spirit, and looking for the coming of the Lord: To establish local churches throughout Australia; To teach and train believers for the ministries of the church at home and overseas; To establish and nurture churches related in fellowship with the Christian and Missionary Alliance around the world, dedicated to evangelism and missions.

Purpose Statement
The Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia is called by God to offer Him acceptable worship and to serve him by establishing disciple-making churches that will engage in world evangelisation with the four- fold gospel of Christ as Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King. History of Eastern Districts Alliance Church EDAC was started in November 1991 by Rev. Russell Holmes as an extension of Southern Districts Alliance Church. It quickly separated into a church plant and held Sunday morning services and mid-week fellowship meetings. It has gradually grown since then. It originally met at Alf Faulkner Hall in Eden Hill. It moved to rent the Beechboro Baptist Church hall for a couple of years, temporarily met at Beechboro Family Centre before moving to Carramar Community Centre in 1999. In March 2016 we moved into our present Church building, which was a large shed on Pastor Russell’s property extended and fitted out. The church has a lease agreement with him and plans to purchase all or part of the property within ten years.