Creation Ministries International is a group of non-profit ministries in several countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America). Though each is a legally and financially autonomous body, they have formally unified their efforts as a federation of ministries under the banner ‘CMI-Worldwide’ that helps to ensure unity, harmony, and efficiency of outreach.
Their role is to support the church in proclaiming the truth of the Bible and thus its gospel message. They provide real-world answers to the most-asked questions in the vital area of creation/evolution, where the Bible is most under attack today – Genesis.
CMI is apolitical and non-denominational (as an organisation, not as individuals within it). They try to confine themselves to matters as defined broadly by their Statement of Faith and try to not get involved as a ministry in other controversies or issues within Christendom, no matter how important they, as individuals, might regard them.
The ministries in each country are also committed to operating within the same broad guidelines, with international checks and balances determined by a system of democratic multi-country involvement (CMI-Worldwide).
The parent organisation of CMI is the Australian ministry, so its history and background will be given first.
In 1977, the first official creationist organisation in Australia was commenced – the Creation Science Association (CSA) of Adelaide, South Australia. It was headed by Dr Carl Wieland, who had been speaking on the subject since being converted a few years earlier through a 1960s book written by Drs John Whitcomb and Henry Morris (of the Institute for Creation Research). Peter Sparrow, of Creation Bus renown, was on the first CSA committee. He had independently been making a public stand for creation at the university where he was doing his science degree.
Shortly thereafter, the CSA had branches in all states except Queensland, where schoolteachers Ken Ham and John Mackay had started ministering to churches using a ‘missions’ model, under the name Creation Science Educational Media Services.
In 1978, Carl commenced Creation magazine (then called Ex Nihilo, later Creation Ex Nihilo). In 1979/80, CSA joined forces with the Queensland group (which became Creation Science Foundation Ltd (CSF) in 1980 under founding chairman Prof. T. John Rendle-Short), and Carl handed the magazine to those (in Queensland, in the northern part of the country) who were working fulltime, a logical step. He continued writing and speaking part-time for the ministry while living (and practising as a medical doctor) in the southern part of the continent.
In 1987, after Ken Ham had been seconded by the Board of CSF to work with Dr Henry Morris’s Institute for Creation Research (ICR) in the USA, Mr Mackay resigned and Carl Wieland (then recovering from a serious car accident – see his fascinating account in Walking Through Shadows) was asked to head the Australian ministry. He has continued to do so until the present.
Creation magazine has since developed into a full-colour publication with subscribers in over 140 countries worldwide.
In about 1993, the Australian CSF ministry gave assistance (including substantial financial advances, first by loan and later a part of it by donation) to Ken Ham to form a ministry independent of ICR in the eastern part of the US. Unable to use the same name as its Australian parent (in America, a Foundation is something which gives away money), it was initially called Creation Science Ministries. It was felt after a while that this name caused occasional confusion with concepts like ‘Christian Science’ and ‘Scientology’. So in due course, the ministry in the US was renamed Answers in Genesis. This name was well accepted, and the Australian ministry adopted the same name not long afterwards. Legally autonomous satellite ministries were progressively set up in UK, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
The Australian ministry has also long published the world’s leading peer-reviewed creationist research and review journal, formerly the Technical Journal, then TJ, now the Journal of Creation. This office has also been responsible for preparation of much of the newsletter, etc. content for many of the other ministries in countries outside of the US.
The AiG website was developed in the US and hosted there. It was heavily dependent for its intellectual content on the scientists and thinkers in the parent corporation, in particular Dr Don Batten, Dr Jonathan Sarfati and Dr Carl Wieland. These and other writers were heavily contributing to the site, as well as writing some of the best-selling books sold by all ministries (e.g. The Creation Answers Book, Refuting Evolution, Refuting Evolution 2, Refuting Compromise and One Blood). But in late 2005/early 2006, the US ministry withdrew themselves from the international ministry group (with the exception of the UK) with an expressed desire to operate autonomously from the four other offices bearing the same ‘brand name’.
At that time, in the midst of discussions about this and other differences in operating philosophy (not involving the statement of faith or similar), the Australian office was formally invited to form its own website. This required a new name to avoid confusion.
The four national ministries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa) which were committed to continuing their focus and operational ‘team’ philosophy, and to continuing to forge and strengthen a representative international ministry alliance structure (based on Proverbs 11:14), then rebranded as Creation Ministries International (CMI).
CMI’s statement of faith, its mode of operations, and their commitment to keep on expanding the global outreach of the phenomenally effective publications Creation and Journal of Creation, continues, as does their commitment to the centrality of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word in all things.