The history of Langham Partnership in Australia
Bishops Jack Dain and Donald Cameron, together with Graham and Wendy Toulmin, were involved in originally seeking to establish Langham Trust Australia in 1980-1981 to raise funds and awareness of the Langham Trust’s work in the Australian Christian scene. They worked largely at this time among friends and supporters of John Stott, and people who had spent time at All Souls, Langham Place, in London.
The Toulmins relinquished their roles in 1985 when they went as missionaries to Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) with Church Missionary Society Australia. Donald Cameron, together with others, continued on the work for the next couple of years. Paul Barnett, before retiring as bishop of North Sydney, was chair of Langham Trust Australia roughly from 1995 to 2000.
When Langham Partnership International was formed April 2001, Wendy Toulmin became the Australian representative on the international council. Bishop Rob Forsyth agreed to take up the position of Langham Partnership Australia Chair together with a small committee. In July 2002, John Stott and Chris Wright visited six capital cities, truly relaunching Langham in Australia.
In 2006 Trevor Cork took the role of Langham Partnership Australia Chair. Rob Forsyth continues as a member of the LPA Board of Reference.
In 2014 Wendy Toulmin resigned from her role with Langham after 34 years! Gillean Smiley was appointed as CEO of Langham Australia.
The early history of Langham Partnership.
The Langham Partnership is now a global fellowship of three integrated international ministries (Preaching, Literature and Scholars), supported and operated by a growing number of national partners around the world. But its history is more diverse and goes back more than forty years.
The ministry begins with John Stott in the UK.
In 1969 John Stott founded the Langham Trust to fund scholarships for young evangelical leaders from the Majority World. Recipients would study at British universities, working toward doctorates in biblical and theological fields and then returning to teach in seminaries in their home countries. The name was taken from All Souls Church, Langham Place, London—the church where John Stott was rector (senior pastor) at the time. Those who received scholarship funding from the Trust became known as Langham Scholars, a worldwide family that has now grown to well over 300. The programme is now known simply as Langham Scholars.
In 1971 John Stott founded the Evangelical Literature Trust, into which he assigned all the royalties from his extensive writings in order to provide books for students, pastors and theological libraries in the Majority World. Royalties from John Stott’s books still form a substantial portion of the funds deployed by Langham Literature (as the Evangelical Literature Trust is now known).
These two trusts continued as independent charities in the UK for many years with separate boards and administrators. In 2001, the Evangelical Literature Trust and the Langham Trust were joined as a single charity: the Langham Partnership in the UK and Ireland. LP(UKI) has now absorbed and replaced ELT and LT.
The ministry grows internationally.
Friends of John Stott in other countries wished to support these strategic ministries. In the United States, a group of friends launched the Langham Foundation in 1974, which later took upon itself the name of John Stott Ministries. Similar groups were started in Canada and Australia. All of them provided funds for literature (ELT) and scholarships (Langham Trust).
In the United States, JSM merged with the Foundation for Advanced Christian Training (FACT) to support a number of doctoral scholars from the Majority World in American and Canadian seminaries. In 2002 another group of Stott’s friends in Hong Kong, which included some former Langham Scholars, formed and registered the Langham Foundation there for the same purpose. In the same year, a third Langham ministry was added to Scholars and Literature, namely Langham Preaching. In 2012, JSM changed its name back to Langham Partnership, honoring the requests of John Stott prior to his death.
An international partnership is formed.
In 2001 the national organizations in the U.K., United States, Canada and Australia decided to work together as a network with a common statement of faith, vision and mission, and so the Langham Partnership International was formed. Chris Wright was appointed as International Ministries Director to provide coordination for the national bodies and for the three international ministries, and to take over leadership of the overall ministry from John Stott.
In 2003, the five national organizations (now joined by Hong Kong), signed a protocol that defines their common purpose and convictions, and commits them to working together in delivering the three international ministries.
Langham Partnership New Zealand was launched in 2007 through collaboration with Leadership Development International, New Zealand. The combined organization is known as ‘LeaDev-Langham’.
The partnership expands around the world.
In 2012, after ten years during which Langham Preaching movements have been developed under indigenous leadership in some 50 countries, the Langham Partnership International Council affirmed and welcomed the reality that Langham no longer consists only of the original six founding partners, but has grown into a genuinely global fellowship of partner countries. 23 new national partners were welcomed into membership, sharing the same vision, mission and commitment to the goal of strengthening the ministry of God’s Word, to equip the church in maturity and mission.