Wilson Carlile
Founder of Church Army, Wilson Carlile


Church Army was started by Wilson Carlile in England in 1882.

After his personal fortune was wiped out by the depression of 1873, the successful silk merchant began trusting and following Jesus.

He described his conversion in this way:

I have seen the crucified and risen Lord as truly as if He had made Himself visible to my bodily sight. That is for me the conclusive evidence of His existence. He touched my heart, and old desires and hopes left it. In their place came the new thought that I might serve Him…”  

He was transformed.

John Cowland
Founder of Church Army in Australia, John Cowland

Church Army in Australia

Church Army in Australia began when John Cowland with a team of 10 Evangelists worked their way across Australia from Perth in 1932. They presented the Gospel and many hundreds of people become Christians.

The result of this effective evangelism was strong support from Australian Christians, including every Australian Anglican Bishop. This allowed Cowland to establish Church Army in Australia. He was a gifted leader and organiser, and challenged followers of Jesus to take the mission of making more disciples seriously.

As he travelled across Australia, John Cowland gathered keen men and women who wanted to actively share the news of Jesus. They became the first Church Army Evangelists in Australia. Ever since then, Church Army in Australia has been identifying, equipping, sending and supporting evangelists.

Church Army in Australia has always defined itself through its ability to adapt and change to meet people’s needs and share the gospel in the most practical, effective way.