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History of World Impact

Throughout our history, World Impact has always believed in being God’s people in communities of poverty. Swipe through below to learn about our seasons of ministry.


When our founder (Dr. Keith Phillips) was a college student, God inspired him to start Bible clubs for poor kids within the inner-city of Los Angeles. His vision spreads, and a second city is launched in Wichita, Kansas. Throughout the decade, thousands of volunteers work alongside paid staff and the ministry becomes national. 


The ministry expands from Bible kid clubs to wholistic discipleship of entire families. Their needs lead to starting Christian community development initiatives such as elementary schools, medical facilities, and campgrounds aimed at serving the common good of the neighborhood residents.   


Natural progression leads to expansion into church planting, as the vast majority of those we serve are unchurched. Dr. Don Davis launches The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) to bring seminary quality education to those who live in urban neighborhoods. We begin partnering with denominations and church networks to spark church planting and leadership development outside of our ministry.


Dr. Phillips pivots, casting a vision of World Impact missionaries being repurposed from leading ministry to resourcing grassroot community church leaders. Dr. Efrem Smith follows Dr. Phillips and advances this vision even further, leading us into a new age of expansion. We go from exclusively serving the U.S. into providing global ministry training, as those trained locally take their learning home to their countries of origin.


In 2017, Dr. Alvin Sanders was named the President and CEO of World Impact. 

According to the Center for the study of Global Christianity, only 5% of the world’s pastors are trained. Under Dr. Sanders' leadership, World Impact works to solve this problem. We empower urban leaders and partner with local churches to reach their cities with the Gospel. We have a dream for every community of poverty to have a healthy church.

  • World Impact, Inc.
  • 2001 S. Vermont Ave
  • Los Angeles, CA 90007
  • 323-735-1137
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