FAIR History

FAIR was launched after a devastating tidal wave hit Bangladesh in 1974. At the urging of Fellowship International missionary Dr. Howard Searle at the Fellowship National Convention that year the ministry was established as an arm of the Foreign Mission Board. The initial priorities were to provide relief in the event of emergency situations, and to develop long- and short-term projects.

In that first year, FAIR raised $30,000 to assist those in need. Since that time, the number and size of projects has grown, and this prompted the appointment of Colin Butcher as FAIR Coordinator in 1990. In 1999, Norman Nielsen took over responsibility for FAIR and the ministry continued to grow and become a major component of the Fellowship’s profile. Through the generosity of God’s people FAIR has provided support to more than 35 countries.

In 2015, FAIR celebrated 40 years of hands-on compassionate ministry as part of the legacy of Fellowship International. In January 2015 FAIR was elevated to department status and appointed its first director, Dan Shurr.

Since then, annual appeal revenue has grown to over $1 million. New formal partnerships with other like-minded Christian relief, development, and justice organizations have been established to better serve our churches.

From 2017-2019, the FAIR department supported 80 Fellowship churches in sponsoring 245 refugees during the Syrian refugee crisis. In 2019, the Fellowship Child Sponsorship program was launched caring for children in five projects in four countries: Dominican Republic, Honduras, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka. Visit the child sponsorship section of our website for information on how you can become one of hundreds who are sponsoring children.

FAIR’s mission is to alleviate human suffering and social injustice as the key channel through which Fellowship Churches provide humanitarian aid in Christ’s name.


To learn more, read FAIR's Direction Document: Vision, Mission, Values and Strategy.