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US Indigenous mission pioneer Bob Finley dies at age 96

Robert “Bob” V Finley, the founder of US mission organisations Christian Aid Mission and International Students, Inc, has died at the age of 96.

Finley, who was born in Virginia where he attended university, worked as an evangelist with Youth for Christ and the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship after his graduation in the 1940s, sharing platforms with Billy Graham and Bob Pierce, founder of Samaritan’s Purse, at evangelistic rallies in the US and Asia.

Bob Finley


Finley founded International Students, Inc, in 1953, and established AID (Assisting Indigenous Development) as a division of ISI. In 1970 the division was spun off as Christian Aid Mission.

Christian Aid Mission has since provided prayer and support to thousands of Indigenous ministries across the world.

Finley wrote in his autobiography, Apostolic Adventures, that he was “humbled to see God’s hand leading me to be an advocate for native missionaries”. 

“I’ve seen these brave men and women who have sacrificed so much, sometimes their own lives, because of the call of God to reach their own people for Jesus Christ,” he wrote.

John Thannickal, an Indigenous Christian leader in India, said that only “eternity will reveal the full impact of the man called Bob Finley, who touched millions around the world through his unique vision”.

His wife Cynthia paid tribute to the impact he had on her life as well as those who have worked with him and hundreds of missionary leaders overseas.

Finley died on 22nd March. Along with his wife, Finley is survived by two daughters, Deborah Finley Arcieri and Ruth Finley Cassidy, three grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and two sisters. 



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