The island continent is where OAC International began (see our history elsewhere in these pages). The vast interior of Australia is desert, so it is not surprising that this is one of the few countries of the world with less than three inhabitants per square kilometre. And most of the 22 million live close to the coast between the cities of Brisbane, Queensland, through Sydney, New South Wales, to Melbourne, Victoria, with other cities being Adelaide and Perth.
Our name has changed over our 125 years of history. We started out as The New South Wales Prayer Band, led by English barrister E.P.Field, preaching to lunch-hour crowds in Martin Place, Sydney. Over time, Evangelistic was added to the name and in 1922 it became Open Air Campaigners. At this time, prayer wagons were used to reach out across New South Wales and after WWII to the rest of Australia.
It was during this period that the typical sketch-board painting method became the ‘trademark’ of the work. Ministry expanded to New Zealand, North America and Europe during the 1950s and 60s under the leadership of our first International President, Jim Duffecy. Finally, in view of an increasing tendency to minister in other places, as well as in the open air, the name became OAC Ministries in 1982.
Today, OAC Ministries reaches out to the community with messages of hope. Our aim is to serve local communities, churches and families through communicating Christian tenets, principles and values. Our presentations always explain the core of the Christian faith, with practical implications. We are still in the open air, and many other places too, always taking the Gospel out to where the people are, just as we have done throughout our long history.
More about OAC Ministries Australia, including locations, staff and opportunities to train and serve, can be found on the national web.
Here’s a video of ministry from 1952!