The history of CMJ begins between the 16th and the 19th Centuries, the Reformers, Puritans, Pietists and the Moravians, all interpreted Scriptural references to the Jewish people and their return to Israel as literal and not allegorical. The Wesleys, George Whitefield and John Newton followed in this theological stream. They influenced William Wilberforce and Charles Simeon, who were part of “The Clapham Sect” a group which formed to pray regularly about political and social issues. Out of their desire to take the Good News about Jesus around the world, the London Missionary Society, Church Missionary Society, Baptist Mission Society, and British & Foreign Bible Society were born.

A history to celebrate…


Type A distinct new society is formed out of the Clapham group; the London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews (or the London Jews Society for short!). It is now known as CMJ.


B’nei Avraham (The Sons of Abraham) is formed by the LJS for Jewish people who had become believers in Jesus. It is the first Hebrew speaking congregation of the modern era – the beginning of today’s Messianic movement.


The Episcopal Jews Chapel opened in Palestine Place, London, a place for Jewish worship.


CMJ build hospitals and schools in Safed, Jerusalem and Jaffa, as well as mission stations across Europe and the Middle East. Wherever there was a Jewish community, CMJ had a presence.


Under the influence of Lords Palmerston and Shaftesbury; a British Consul and an Anglican Bishop are appointed in Jerusalem. Christ Church in Jerusalem is consecrated; the first Protestant Church to be built in the Middle East.


Baron Platon Ustinov (grandfather of actor Peter Ustinov) purchases a property in the German colony of Jaffa which eventually becomes CMJ’s Beit Immanuel.


The “Palestine Exhibition” featuring displays of CMJ’s Middle East artefacts opens.


Christian missionary activity continues across the world. CMJ has mission stations all along the Silk Route – wherever there is a trading post there are Jewish merchants.

1914 – 1918

Following WW1, Turkey is vanquished and the Ottoman Empire collapses. Allied troops capture Beersheva in 1917, on the same day as the Balfour declaration promises British Government support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Britain receives the Mandate from the League of Nations (the forerunner of the United Nations) to prepare the land for Jewish nationhood.


Arab opposition to Jewish immigration culminates in riots and massacres across the mandated territory. CMJ schools and hospitals provide safe havens and medical care for the local Jewish communities.


Adolph Hitler and Nazism come to power in Germany. The land of Palestine and CMJ’s centres there offer a glimpse of hope to Jewish refugees in spite of British government opposition to Jewish immigration. Meanwhile CMJ workers such as Richard Wurmbrand continue to spread the good news of Jesus to Jewish people all over Europe.


WWII culminates in the holocaust, which leads to the 1947 UN vote of 33 nations agreeing to the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, with 13 against.


Britain is unable to maintain law and order amongst Arabs and Jews in Palestine and so relinquishes the Mandate. In May of that year, Israel proclaims itself an independent Jewish state. Israel is immediately attacked by it’s surrounding Arab neighbours. Christ Church, the CMJ Church in Jerusalem, is now in territory annexed by Jordan, and the nearby mission hospital is over the border in Israel. This leads to a severe disruption of CMJ’s mission work throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s.


In the UK, the huge Palestine Exhibition is made slimmer and relaunched as the more mobile Bible Comes To Life Exhibition. This was relaunched in 2017 and is available to be booked today.


During The Six Day War Israel recaptures the Old City of Jerusalem and CMJ work among the returning Jewish population recommences. Christ Church in Jerusalem, Beit Immanuel in Jaffa and Stella Carmel in Haifa become worship centres for growing congregations of Jewish believers.

1980s & 90s

The seed work done by CMJ in the 1830’s blossoms as the number of Jewish believers grows in Israel and around the world. CMJ works towards supporting these new congregations as well as finding new and innovative ways of telling Jewish people about Jesus. CMJ’s ministry of “3 E’s” - Evangelism, Education and Encouragement grows worldwide as CMJ in USA. Australia, South Africa, Argentina, and Ireland flourish.


CMJ reaches its bi-centenary “Celebrating It’s Past and Declaring a Future” for its ongoing work in Jewish Ministry.


Pioneering ministry continues today amongst Jewish People and Jewish Communities with a clear focus on evangelism, education and encouragement.

A future to declare!