This week, FamilyLife is celebrating its 40th anniversary as a ministry and reflecting on all God has done to help marriages and families, the organization reported in a recent news release.
FamilyLife, then called “Family Ministry,” began in 1976 when Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) staff noticed a serious need for pre-marriage and marriage seminars among their staff.
“When Barbara and I were first asked to be a part of a new ministry emphasis at Campus Crusade for Christ to equip singles on staff with God’s plan for marriage, we thought we’d work on it for a few years and move on,” recalled Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife’s President, CEO, and Co-Founder.
“But God showed up and showed off,” he continued. “Within a few years it was clear that this was a ministry God was going to make happen!”
Under Dennis and Barbara Rainey, David and Sande Sunde, and several other couples, God blessed the ministry, which not long after grew beyond Cru staff.
“Conference attendance grew 20, 30, 40 percent a year,” Dennis recalled. By 1986 – five years after the staff marriage and pre-marriage conferences were opened to the public – conference attendance reached 3,000.
“Those were incredible years,” Dennis recalled.
In 1992 – one year before changing its name from Family Ministry to FamilyLife – the ministry launched its flagship radio program, FamilyLife Today, on 22 outlets. Over the next 10 months, it spread to 50 outlets with more than 200,000 listeners. Today, the program and the ministry’s other radio outreaches are heard by 1.9 million people on more than 3,000 outlets.
“When Barbara and I helped begin this ministry in 1976 we had no idea what God would do,” shared Dennis. “He has certainly done above and beyond anything we prayed or hoped for.”
Throughout this week, the staff of FamilyLife is reminiscing and celebrating the 40th anniversary of FamilyLife. To listen to the FamilyLife Today® broadcasts about FamilyLife's 40th anniversary, click here.
By NRB Staff
Published: July 28, 2016