Dr. Bob Jones Sr. had a burning desire "to get the gospel to as many people as possible in the shortest time possible" and founded Gospel Fellowship Association to be a fellowship of individual Christians who would take seriously the Lord's command to go into all the world and preach the gospel. What started as a young people’s fellowship club became GFA in December of 1939, providing believers everywhere an opportunity to do something definite in promoting harmony among Christians and lining up fundamental believers to get the gospel to the world. Dr. Jones utilized radio, evangelistic campaigns and written literature to accomplish this goal. Wanting to protect GFA from potential compromise, he proposed the creed for GFA.
In the late 1950s
the GFA Board of Directors responded to growing pressure from fundamental, Bible-believing missionaries to become a mission agency that they could come under for oversight. The GFA Board of Directors adopted unanimously a resolution to address that need.
January 1961: First official missionaries. At a historic session on Tuesday, January 23, 1961, the first missionaries were accepted for full membership under Gospel Fellowship Association.
October 1962: GFA announced that the missions division would be led by Rev. Ken Becker as Executive Secretary.
January 1963: Twelve missionaries were commissioned by GFA on February 23, 1963. These early missionaries represented ministries in Japan, Puerto Rico, Chile, Germany, and Sweden. During the 1960s, new fields opened in Lebanon, Barbados, Hawaii, Brazil, Mexico, and Korea as other couples or individuals sought to be included in GFA's expanding family of missionary workers. In his first report to the Board of Directors in May 1963, Mr. Becker noted GFA had accepted 25 into its family with 10 already on the field.
July 1976: Dr. V.L. Martin, Director of Missions
June 1979: Dr. Marvin Lewis, Director of Missions
January 1991: Dr. Mark Batory, Executive Director
Current: Approximately 280 missionaries in 35 countries