Australia is located in the Southeast Pacific and is surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans, with a population of over 21,500,000. This island continent is the world’s driest, but is better watered in the east, southeast, and southwest coastal regions, where most live in highly concentrated urban areas. The official language is English but there are over 200 spoken languages in Australia. Australia was claimed as British territory in 1829 with the creation of the colony of Western Australia. It was originally used as a penal colony. Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. Since then, Australia has become one of the wealthiest nations in the world and the 12th largest economy in the world. Currently, Australia’s major religion is Christianity at roughly 70%; however, less than 15% of the population are evangelical Christians.
Grace Ministries International began its ministries in Australia in October 1976 when Andrew and Jeneane Hollier moved there and began ministering a few months later at Regentville near Penrith in January 1977. Starting with home Bible classes, several churches have been planted and our missionaries have been involved in youth work, theological education, and other outreach ministries such as a café. The Holliers officially retired from GMI in February 2015. Ross Graham was the first Australian pastor associated with GMI and he continues to pastor Grace Bible Church in Penrith.
There aren’t any GMI missionaries in Australia right now, but stay tuned!