The Source of Light Mission (now Source of Light Ministries International, Inc.) began in 1952 when two servants of God were moved by the Holy Spirit to expand the effectiveness of Gospel distributions by the means of free Bible correspondence courses. SLM had its beginnings in the building pictured here which now houses The Chamber of Commerce in Madison, GA.
Challenged by Rev. Cameron V. Thompson, founder and Director of the Pan American Testament League, Rev. Charles Gilmore and Rev. Edward Steele participated in a Gospel distribution campaign in Jamaica, covering the island with Gospels of John and a planned program of follow-up material. Each Gospel booklet contained a coupon entitling the reader to a free Bible study course which had been written and mimeographed in the U.S.
By the time the men returned from the island, the entire supply of 500 lessons had been mailed out and additional copies were hurriedly reproduced to meet the demand for that first lesson. The pressure mounted as hundreds of people requested a second lesson, then a third and fourth. As a result, seven lessons on the Doctrines of Salvation were prepared, printed and distributed. The mimeograph machine pictured above was used to produce these first lessons. Still the requests came by the hundreds, and so it has been ever since, as demand has pressured for wider circulation and continuing studies of the Word.
Mr. Weyman Carmichael, former publisher and businessman in Madison, Georgia, assisted the work initially through gifts of equipment, use of a building and the donation of approximately seventeen acres of land fronting on U.S. 441 (one mile south of the present I-20 exit) within a very short distance of the place where it all began.
In February 1954, the Source of Light Mission was incorporated as a nonprofit religious organization in the State of Georgia.
In order to more accurately reflect the organization’s scope and activity, a name change to Source of Light Ministries International, Inc. was effected by the Executive Council and approved by the U.S. government in 1980.
SLM SOUTH AFRICA
It was about 10 - 12 years ago. Eagerly, I watched my postal box. Then they started arriving. Letters asking for the free copy of the Gospel of John I had advertised in the newspaper. I also sent out a tract with the Gospel of John. Between 40-50 people responded to this advertisement. That was the beginning.
The Mailbox Club
It was during our stay in Switzerland in 1996 that we saw the Mailbox Club correspondence courses. We were there for our training course at the European Headquarters of Child Evangelism Fellowship. Mark Eager of “The Mailbox Club” visited us . He is the son of the founder, George Eager. We were very impressed with the correspondence courses. There were courses for children, the youth and adults. The course that attracted our attention the most, was one called: “Love, Dating and Marriage”. We knew that the information contained in it, has the potential, through the working of God’s Spirit, to change lives. It’s aim was to teach young people to apply Biblical principles in their relationships.
We contacted The Mailbox Club and were directed to Source of Light Ministries who urged us to start an Associate School to distribute the Bible courses.
Except for using the children’s correspondence courses in our Good News Clubs, we placed and add in the newspaper in 1998. Two days after the advertisement appeared in the newspaper I had a dream. I dreamed I opened my postal box, and the letters poured out. That Saturday morning when I opened the box the dream became reality. My postal box was full of letters. Letters asking for correspondence courses.
That was just the beginning. In 1999 I placed advertisements in newspapers in Namibia, Zambia and Swaziland. The reaction is, and still remains overwhelming.
After directing the Source of Light Associate school for a few years I felt that the time was right to start a SLM Branch in South Africa. In 2003 it was approved and Fanie Buys was appointed as the director of Source of Light Ministries, South Africa.