Open Air Campaigners (OAC) is an evangelistic ministry of preaching the Gospel to lost people and mobilizing the body of Christ primarily through effective open-air outreach. Our evangelists go wherever non-Christians can be reached effectively with the gospel. OAC began in 1892 and has been used by God to raise up missionaries in more than twenty countries worldwide.
OAC has offices all over the country, but we (The Sohmer Family) are serving out of the Boston Branch. Boston is a strategic location as people come from all over the world to Boston. Sharing the gospel in Boston is like being on a different overseas missions trip every day!
In Boston, OAC evangelists have had an effective ministry for over fifteen years by going out into the public to preach God’s Word as did the Old Testament prophets, Jesus, the Apostles, and men and women of the faith throughout church history. Through creative methods, we go to downtown Boston, universities and colleges, subways, beaches, parks, and housing developments to reach both adults and children. The end goal is to refer people to evangelical churches for discipleship.
OAC also trains Christians to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ through one-on-one discipleship, seminars, and short-term mission trips in Boston.
Where OAC Ministers:
You can find OAC Evangelists in many parts of the world:
In the Americas…
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, USA
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Romania, Russia, The Slovak Republic, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine
In the Pacific…
Australia, Fiji, New Zealand
Open Air Campaigners began in 1892 when a lawyer in Australia named E. P. Field, began preaching the Gospel in Sydney.
He was concerned that the majority of Australians did not attend church. If someone did not take the Gospel to them, how would they ever hear?
The group of people who came to help E.P. Field first called themselves the New South Wales Prayer Band. Later, the name Open Air Campaigners was adopted.
Following the principle of taking the Gospel to where the people are, rather than waiting for them to come to us, Beach Sunday Schools began. OAC teams regularly took the Gospel to Australian beaches, reaching crowds of young people who rarely, if ever, went to Sunday School. OAC’s evangelists have always been innovative.
Early in our history, we adopted visual techniques, using sketch boards to illustrate our messages.
Before the second world war, we were using Gospel Wagons so teams could quickly take the Gospel to many people.
We used music, drama, puppets, object lessons and more to communicate clearly and powerfully to non-captive audiences.
The hymn writer from America, Homer Rodeheaver, visited in Sydney and reported: “I have been in the thick of evangelistic work for 20 years; Billy Sunday and I thought we had explored every avenue of doing God’s work effectively, but I have come to Sydney only to discover we have more to learn. Those efficiently equipped vans eclipse anything in America.”
It was not until 1956 that Open Air Campaigners came to North America when an invitation came from Dr. Paul Smith of The Peoples Church in Toronto, Canada. The team toured for seven weeks, ministering in key cities in the United States and Canada.
Today, the ministry of OAC extends to over 20 countries around the world. In the USA, OAC has established branches in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Other Open Air Campaigners staff minister in Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Wyoming.