From Columbus, Indiana
On November 10, 1970, Judge Milford Anness, an original founder of FAME, walked into the courthouse in Columbus, Indiana. When he left, he carried FAME’s official incorporation documents. However, FAME began years earlier, in the heart of Dr. Dennis Pruett, who foresaw a mission organization that would reach around the world.
FAME’s first mission project was in India with missionary Art Morris. Dr. Pruett and Judge Anness visited Madrapakkam and agreed to build a hospital, principally for the 35,000 lepers in south India. In order to complete that project, Dr. Bob Reeves joined FAME as its Executive Director. Bob helped find the funding to build and equip the hospital.
Bob served FAME until his death in 1999. During his two decades of leadership, FAME grew from struggling to build one hospital in India, to an organization that helped build 70 facilities in 29 countries around the world – hospitals, clinics, feeding centers, church buildings, housing for medical staff, and mobile medical units. During Bob’s last year of life, FAME saw a new church planted somewhere in the world every other day, and over 10,000 people converted to Christ.
In 2001, FAME moved from Columbus to Indianapolis. It was first located on the campus of Kingsway Christian Church and later, under the leadership of Rick Wolford, to its present location on Southeastern Avenue.
Lonnie Burley, director of short-term trips, joined FAME in 2002. FAME had been leading short-term trips for many years – it sponsored four trips in 2001. Lonnie’s role was to increase both the number and the value of the trips. Under her leadership FAME sponsored fourteen trips in 2009 to “take the love of Christ wrapped in suitcases full of medicines and lessons on healthcare.”
To the whole world
In 1970 FAME operated out of a borrowed office on the second floor in Columbus, Indiana. It had no income, no staff, no donors, and no projects. It has now touched every corner of the earth with the gospel of Christ. In 1970, its workers were all volunteers – Americans with a heart for Jesus. Now its partners and partnerships reach across the globe. FAME’s original vision was based on the words found in Luke 4:36 (KJV), “And the fame of him (Jesus) went out into every place of the country round about.” FAME’s history echoes those words.