The Australian Christian Churches
THE AUSTRALIAN CHRISTIAN CHURCHES (Assemblies of God in Australia) is unique among Christian movements in the world in that we are unable to trace our origins to any human leader as the Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and most other Pentecostal movements are able to do. Australian Pentecostalism in the early years was greatly influenced by such figures as Mrs. Janet Lancaster, AC Valdez, Smith Wigglesworth, C L Greenwood and P B Duncan but none of these were individually responsible for the formation of the Assemblies of God in Australia.
The Assemblies of God in Australia formed out of a conference of the Assemblies of God - Queensland and the Pentecostal Church of Australia in Sydney, Easter 1937. It was recognised by the leaders of both movements that a more harmonious, co-operative and unified relationship was needed. C.L Greenwood was elected the first Chairman of the Assemblies of God in Australia and every state was granted autonomy in its own affairs as was each registered assembly.
In the early years of the movement growth was very slow but firm foundations were set in place. In 1948 the Commonwealth Bible College was established in order to train men and women for ministry. Various leaders also arose to bring leadership and direction to the movement such as Henry Wiggins, Philip Duncan, Edward Irish, James Wallace, Alec Davidson and Ralph Read.
1977 was a turning point for growth when Pastor Andrew Evans became the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Australia. During his term in office from 1977 - 1997 the AOG in Australia experienced great growth multiplying by over 13 times in the number of members and adherents and planting over 700 churches. In May 1997 Pastor Brian Houston was elected the National President of the Assemblies of God in Australia. Under his leadership, the movement was renamed the Australian Christian Churches in April 2007.
Pastor Wayne Alcorn was elected the new National President by the National Conference in April 2009. Today, the ACC represents almost 1,100 churches and more than 250,000 believers across Australia.