Samaritan's Purse History

Samaritan's Purse was established in 1970 by Robert (Bob) Pierce with a goal and vision “to meet emergency needs in crisis areas through existing evangelical mission agencies and national churches.” Bob Pierce is also well known to have founded the international charity organization World Vision in 1950. Bob Pierce's vision for Samaritan's Purse was said to have started when he visited China after World War II where he saw courageous Christians living among orphans and lepers and serving them in order to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Since then, Pierce has dedicated himself to support other Christians who are helping the poor and suffering people of the world.

In 1973, Bob Pierce met an adventurous young student who had a growing heart for the missions and also happens to be the son of renowned Christian evangelist Billy Graham. Franklin Graham and Bob Pierce met in the summer of 1973 and both shared their passions for charitable missions. Together, they made several trips visiting missionary partners and relief projects across Asia and in many other parts of the world, where Franklin had a life changing experience on a tour to the world's neediest mission fields. This is where he felt the need for people to know God and really got a heart for the missions. When Bob Pierce died of leukemia in 1978, Franklin Graham eventually took over a year later and became Samaritan's Purse President and Chairman of the Board starting 1979.

The Lord has indeed blessed the Samaritan's Purse organization under the leadership of Franklin Graham, as it has seen explosive growth. Samaritan's Purse along with funding mission partners also implemented a number of large scale relief projects to victims of war and natural disasters such as the conflicts in Somalia, Rwanda, Sudan, and Kosovo in the 1990s, the El Salvador earthquakes in 2002, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.


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