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Ministry News

Ministries Dedicated to Evangelism and Disaster Relief Among Largest in North Carolina

North Carolina is the 9th most populous state in the nation, but because of a couple of powerhouse ministries, it punches above its weight and ranks 5th on MinistryWatch’s list of states with the most Christian ministries.

Sitting atop the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone is the largest Christian ministry in North Carolina. Samaritan’s Purse accounts for over 40 percent of the $2.03 billion tracked by the MinistryWatch 1000 list.

Founded by Bob Pierce in 1970 to “meet emergency needs in crisis areas,” Samaritan’s Purse is now headed by Franklin Graham, who took the reins after Pierce died of cancer in 1978. In 2020, it raised $898.6 million in revenue. 

In addition to international crisis response, Samaritan’s Purse also helps with domestic disaster relief. One of its most familiar ministries is Operation Christmas Child (OCC). Shoe boxes are filled with small gifts and delivered to needy children around the world as a “tangible expression of God’s love.” OCC has delivered shoeboxes to over 188 million children in 170 countries around the world since it began in 1993. 

Graham also heads up the Christian ministry begun by his father, Billy Graham, in 1950. Billy Graham preached his first evangelistic crusade in 1947 in his hometown of Charlotte, where the ministry is headquartered today. Billy Graham died in 2018. 

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) still holds crusades and festivals to preach the gospel—events for which it was originally known—but also has expanded its ministry to include a training center in Asheville, a rapid response team of chaplains, and internet evangelism. It had $130 million in revenue last year.

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Also committed to evangelism through mass media is Trans World Radio (TWR). Located in Cary, TWR began in 1948 when Paul Freed realized radio could be an effective means for reaching remote mountainous regions of Spain from a station in Tangier, Morocco. TWR’s programming reaches 190 countries in over 300 languages or dialects. It collaborates with other Christian ministries, like BGEA, and distributes their programming around the world. In 2020, TWR had revenue of $37.5 million.

God’s World Publications in Asheville had $11 million in revenue in 2020. Founded in 1942, God’s World Publications “publishes or provides news media, books and other materials and services for Christians of all ages to assist in forming a Biblical worldview for all aspects of life.” This includes WORLD magazine, WORLD digital, God’s World News products for kids, and several podcasts. It also hosts the World Journalism Institute to train and equip young Christian journalists.

Among the largest revenue generators in the state is High Point University. Started by the city of High Point and the Methodist Church in 1924, the school now has an enrollment of about 4,600 students. According to its website, High Point’s mission can still be summed up as it was 90 years ago: “[T]o help us to appreciate and to love our own, to know our needs and opportunities, and to make ourselves more efficient servants of Christ.” High Point had $294.8 million in revenue in 2020.

Below is a list of North Carolina ministries with annual revenue greater than $5-million.

Ministry Cause City Revenue
Samaritan’s Purse/ Operation Christmas Child Relief and Development Boone $898.6 million
High Point University Colleges/Universities High Point $294.8 million
Campbell University Colleges/Universities Buies Creek $261 million
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Evangelism Charlotte $130 million
Gardner Webb University Colleges/Universities Boiling Springs $91.5 million
SIM USA, Inc. Foreign Missions Charlotte $52 million
TWR (aka Trans World Radio) Foreign Missions Cary $37.5 million
Montreat College Colleges/Universities Montreat $27.4 million
Messianic Vision, Inc. Educational Media Charlotte $22.6 million
United World Mission Foreign Missions Charlotte $22 million
Corporate Chaplains of America Evangelism Wake Forest $18.5 million
Bible Broadcasting Network  Radio/ TV Stations Charlotte $14.5 million
JAARS, Inc. Evangelism Support Waxhaw $14.1 million
The Timothy Initiative Foreign Missions Raleigh $14 million
Durham Rescue Mission Rescue Missions Durham $13.2 million
Samaritan’s Feet International Foreign Missions Charlotte $11.9 million
God’s World Publications, Inc. Educational Media Asheville $11 million
Asheville Christian Academy K-12 Schools/Academies Swannanoa $9.3 million
Charlotte Rescue Mission Rescue Missions Charlotte $8.5 million
United Methodist Agency for the Retarded (UMAR) Relief and Development Charlotte $8 million
Global Service Network Evangelism Support Apex $7.9 million
Proverbs 31 Ministries Christian Growth Matthews $7.4 million
Heart for Lebanon Foundation Foreign Missions Black Mountain $7.3 million
Zoe Empowers Foreign Missions Raleigh $5.87 million
Asia Harvest Foreign Missions Winston Salem $5.85 million
Raleigh Rescue Mission Rescue Missions Raleigh $5.8 million
Evangelism Explosion International Evangelism Support Arden $5.7 million
Mission Athletes International Fellowship Evangelism Charlotte $5.2 million
Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a freelance writer who holds a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University. She has home schooled her three children and is happily married to her husband of 25 years. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, and coaching high school extemporaneous speaking and debate.