The History Of IFM
In 1950 the vision began in the heart of Pastor Carl Standridge (Dexter-Joy Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan) when he visited Italy following the Second World War. Devastation met him as he saw the cities of Europe. Destitute children touched his heart as they begged for help. The physical setting spoke to him of a greater spiritual need. When Pastor Standridge returned to the United States, he began to share what the Lord had shown to him. Two years of prayer, disappointment, and persistence produced a board of directors and Independent Faith Mission became a reality.
Prior to the formal organization of IFM Pastor Standridge’s son, Bill, sailed to Italy to begin missionary work. Fourteen months later, in November 1950, Bill returned to the States for the organizational meeting and approval as the first IFM missionary. Bill and his wife, Maria Teresa, are still serving the Lord in Italy today. Their ministry has been blessed with a solid church in the city of Rome which is actively reaching other Italians with the Gospel. Bill’s books and articles concerning the Roman Catholic Church have been of help to churches and people throughout the United States.
IFM was established to stand without compromise upon the great truths of the Word of God. Pastor Standridge lived during a time when the old line denominations in America became apostate. He clearly saw the Scriptural imperatives of separating from unbelief. In obedience to the Word of God, he left a denominational church and established a new church which had no part with the apostasy of the era. He believed that the Word of God was clear regarding the necessity of separation from unbelief and in obedience he stood without compromise for the Word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ. IFM continues to stand unashamedly in this position today.
IFM was established to provide an agency of trust for the sending of our best to the mission fields of the world. As fundamental, separated churches were established Pastor Standridge saw the need for an agency through which to send missionaries. There were few missions which took a separated position on the fundamentals of the faith at that particular time. He knew that if newly established Bible-believing churches were to be consistent a mission agency would be needed that would not compromise. As a result IFM came into existence.
IFM has continued to provide service to churches through which they can send both their people and their funds for the work of world missions. There are signs that the missionary force being sent from the United States is dwindling. But the work of God is not complete and IFM will remain true to the purposes for which it was established. Today, IFM has been blessed with a number of second and even third generation missionaries. By God’s grace and with His help, IFM will continue to attract and serve a quality of missionary who shares the beliefs and philosophies of days gone by and that are consistent with the Word of God. For over fifty years, God has blessed IFM with some of His choice missionaries faithfully serving Christ, working to establish ministries on nineteen or more different fields.