The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor, (61:4) They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.
Formation of IFCC
In South Africa, this move of the Holy Spirit also had an impact, as many recognized church leaders of these newly independent churches and “flows,” met unofficially together to seek the Lord for guidance to plan the way forward. This led to over 500 lead Pastors of independent churches and “flows,” throughout the county gathered in Durban at the Malibu Hotel, where IFCC was birthed on August 18, 1985. This formation was known then, as the International Fellowship of Christian Churches.
At this founding meeting, all the attendees recognized and endorsed the leaders , who had initiated the Malibu meeting, as the respective leaders of the IFCC, to lead and put in place, what was necessary, to constitute the movement. The founding leaders of the IFCC were Pastors, Ray McCauley , Edmond Roeberts , Tim Salmon , Nick van der Westhuizen , Dr Fred Roberts and Evangelist Reinhardt Bonnke.
The early days of the IFCC saw an emphasis on fellowship and loose cooperation of a fellowship of churches and ministries. It provided an umbrella for hundreds of formerly independent churches.
At the time it became apparent, that the structures of the IFCC needed to change and a transformation process began. The National leadership found that the loose fellowship of churches strengthened unhealthy independence and not an interdependence of one another. This affected the commitment of leaders and churches, not walking in the fear of Christ.
Change to Federation
The most important changes in the IFCC Leadership needed to reflect the true character and composition of our democracy as a nation! On the 12th & 13th of November 1996, at a National Conference, the first National Executive was elected, with Pastor Ray McCauley as the President. The movement, additionally had a name change, to the “International Federation of Christian Churches. The reason for changing from a fellowship to a federation was to strengthen the unity of the movement, while still respecting the uniqueness and autonomy of the local church. Calling member churches to a greater commitment to one another and the movement to which God had called them.
The Lost Years
Unfortunately, due to diverse circumstances over the next number of years, IFCC’s vision and growth were stifled and seemed to exist only in name! This was a difficult time when IFCC lost its voice and its impact on the nation. This created a void in the nation and, most churches created their own organizations and structures to belong.
During the “Covid pandemic,” it became obvious that the church generally had lost its impact within all communities. IFCC was no exception as it also lost its voice and vision, unable to unitedly articulate itself in the midst turmoil!
There was a leadership vacuum in the country, that needed to be filled! This meant that spiritual leaders had to step up and step into this vacuum, or else charlatans will continue to cause havoc amongst the people.
Authentic leadership with character and integrity, that are not looking for position, power, or popularity! But men and woman, who loves mercy, truth, and justice, and who loves, and cares for the welfare of the people they are serving. At the same time recognizing that the wealth of the country ultimately does not lie in its resources, but rests with the dignity and potential of its people.
Interestingly, there were three leaders, diverse in character, and in operation, who united their strengths and who spoke with one voice, on behalf of the church. These three leaders were part of the leaders of IFCC, that sought to bring together different “flows,” and church denominations, to speak unitedly as one voice. It was at these meetings that the request was made to make IFCC the vehicle, to unite and bring churches together to speak with one voice to bring impact and change to communities.
These leaders were joined by others, to launch IFCC on 06 May 2021 / 26 August 2021. And to trust God to Return, Revive, and Restore this movement, to impact our country, and the nations of the world. (Psa. 80:3,7,14,18-19) Pastor Ray who is the remaining founding leader and the longest serving honourary President of IFCC gives his full blessings to Bishop Mosa Sono, Pastor At Boshoff, and Pastor Don Phillips to lead IFCC and he continues as Honorary President of IFCC.