The History of William Carey School of World Mission is linked to the history of the Faith Revival Church. Established in July 1982 by Leslie James, within a short space of time, FRC became the largest Indian Church in South Africa. At this time the founder's vision was strictly local, his world was limited to Phoenix, Durban, South Africa. The New Cottage Assembly and Pearl Temple in Inanda were examples of projects or local mission stations. These came under the "mission wing" of the church.
Since the vision was strictly local, between 1981 and 1986, Phoenix and the surrounding areas were intensively evangelised. Instead of the usual anniversary celebrations called: "Mission Vision 84" was conducted from 8th to 15th July 1984. This crusade has made a indelible impression on the lives of men and women. Michael Kolisang and Sam Shabalala from Christ for the Nations, together with M. L. Badenhorst who was the moderator of the Full Gospel Church ministered to the capacity crowds that attended these meetings.
The first mission endeavour across the border was into Swaziland in December 1986. Two busloads of people were taken on a short-term mission into this land. The Faith Revival Church members teamed up with Pastor Zakes Khumalo in this effort. "Pastor James was interested in the discipleship and training of his congregation. From the beginning, he placed emphasis on the personal spiritual growth of the people and the training of leaders."
"I encouraged the formation of cell groups.", said the founder. "The factor I emphasized most was growth. Cells had to divide and thus multiply. Within a short space of time, we had 150 cell groups operational. I personally trained cell leaders on Friday nights." In addition to the training of cell leaders, others were encouraged to attend the Bethesda Bible College. "When the church was barely two years old, I encouraged seven members to enroll full time at the Bible College. But each year more and more men and women enrolled and we were thus able to organize a large workforce to comb our local area."
However, the demand for more training led to further arrangements being made to accomodate the membership. "There was a tremendous hunger amongst the people to a deeper knowledge of God's Word, there was a strong desire to be witnesses for the Lord. I therefore began Bible studies once a week. On our first night, more than 500 candiates enrolled. I enlisted the help of lecturers from the Bethesda Bible College to teach in their specialist area." After being exposed to the plight of the Turks in Frankfurt, Germany in July 1986, Pastor James announced to the church that, "he no longer had a local vision but a world vision."
"This set in motion a chain of events which led to my decision to leave a thriving church with a tremendous workforce and a congregation of over 8,000.", said the founder. This decision closed the chapter on Faith Revival Church and the Full Gospel Denomination.
A new chapter began in March 1987; according to the founder, the new church began "without the usual comforts and accessories or paraphernelia that characterized a local church, but with a strong nucleus of believers." Though the name Faith Revival was still used till 1995, it was only in 1996 that a new name was adopted, i.e. Global Mission Centre. Whereas the Faith Revival Church had strictly a local vision, Global Mission now has a world vision.
The founder saw the church as an equipping centre. He believes that disciples should be trained and equipped so that they can carry the good news to others outside the church wall and city boundaries. However, "most of the students who attended Bible School wanted to remain at the home church. But it was my prayer that they would go into the rest of South Africa and plant churches. "January 1989 was a historic moment in our land when 14 young people took the gospel and headed for their motherland."
A few years later we discovered that Operation World (1978), a handbook for intercessors worldwide, contained a request for the South African Indian Church to take the gospel back to the motherland. "The prayer request in Operation World is as follows: "Pray also for the Indian Christian to gain a vision for the evangelisation of India, Mauritius, etc. Pray for the calling and equipping of believers for both patoral and missionary work. Over one-fifth of Christian converts out of Hinduism in the world live in South Africa. Pray that there may be a growth of concern for the evangelisation of needy India, Mauritius, etc." "At that time we were changing course, we had no idea that it was in response to the prayer of God's people worldwide," said the founder. The Sunday Tribune (24 Jan 1989) titled a front page article on this event, "Angels of Mercy." The occasion was historic because, "14 missionaries of Indian origin, i.e. those whose forefathers were brought to South Africa as indentured labourers, set off for India."