Back in 1975, one of the leaders for Campus Crusade for Christ arrived at a planning meeting with a heavy burden on her heart. Ney Bailey had recently counseled several Crusade staff couples whose marriages were crumbling. “We’ve got to do something to help the marriages and families of our staff,” she told the group. And then, to their surprise and to hers, she laid her head on the table and sobbed.
Perhaps it took the tears of this single staff woman to get something done. Soon after, in 1976, Campus Crusade created a “Marriage Preparation and Family Emphasis” ministry to train Crusade's engaged couples in how to build solid marriages according to God’s blueprints.
Little did we know what God would do in the decades which followed. From a ministry which initially only ministered to Campus Crusade staff members it was quickly realized that this ministry was needed for all marriages and families. In the early 80's, attendance to FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember® marriage conferences and HomeBuilder Couples Series® bible studies grew tremendously around the country. Then the FamilyLife Today® radio broadcast launched in 1992 to reach millions of couples with daily encouragement and biblical advice. The late 90's brought multiplied ministry through arena events called, "I Still Do™". And today thousands of couples have been ministered through The Art of Marriage® video event which launched in 2011.
Now, FamilyLife® is a multi-faceted ministry to families, with marriage events, radio programs, a growing international outreach, and dozens of books, Bible studies, and other practical resources, all helping to grow biblical marriages and families.
FamilyLife’s history is not a testament to the visions and ambitions of man. Instead we feel God’s favor has been abundantly upon us. And we’ve tried to remain faithful to His leading.
Check out the timeline below to see some of the milestones along the way.
- The Marriage Preparation and Family Emphasis is formed for the staff of Campus Crusade to equip engaged couples (and those contemplating marriage) for marriage. Only Crusade staff are allowed to attend.
- Original pre–marriage conferences open to married couples and then to the public.
- Keystone Kaper launches in Colorado, beginning 10 years of communicating God’s relationship plan for singles.
- First international Family Life Conferences held in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Nairobi, Kenya .
- Name changes to Family Ministry.
- Gordon and Pat Wegner are so moved by the Family Life Conference they voluntarily begin printing conference manuals free in their basement. During a crucial four-year period, their volunteer efforts saved the ministry more than $50,000.
- “A Weekend to Remember” is first used as the tagline to describe a Family Ministry Conference.
- Family Life Conferences expand to new cities as volunteers fuel attendance and invite other couples.
- Contributions allow 532 pastors and wives to attend conferences on a scholarship basis.
- Conference content enhanced and new manual created.
- A Family Life Conference in Dallas, TX, sets an attendance record at 2,950.
- Dennis and Barbara Rainey publish their first book, Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem.
- $36,000 is raised in 36 hours to create the video/film version of the conference presentation.
- Responding to customer requests, the first study in the HomeBuiders Couples Series® is published. Building Your Marriage allows group leaders to pass on the content from the Family Life Conference in small groups; over 15,000 copies distributed in the first six months.
- First video conference held in Olney, IL.
- Dennis Rainey is a special guest of the Focus on the Family broadcast, with host, James Dobson, gaining worldwide exposure for Family Ministry.
- First Urban Family Conference held in Harlem with guest speakers Crawford and Karen Loritts addressing 400 attendees.
- Raineys publish Staying Close, which is later awarded the Gold Medallion award, highest Christian publishing honor.
- “Family to Family” launched in Barcelona, Spain with Campus Crusade Spanish ministry directors, Victor and Cesca Miron. Our partnership with Crusade eventually spreads to dozens of countries overseas.
- Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem video curriculum developed and presented to more than 2,000 churches.
- Family Life Parenting Conference piloted in Dallas and Cincinnati.
- Our new daily radio program, FamilyLife Today®, goes live on November 9th on 22 stations. Over the next 10 months it spreads to 50 stations with more than 200,000 listeners.
- Official name changes to FamilyLife.
- The Family Manifesto is published with clear statements on what the Bible says about marriage and family.
- Resurrection Eggs®, a resource for parents to teach the true meaning of Easter, launches.
- Raineys publish Moments Together for Couples, which becomes a non-fiction Christian bestseller.
- FamilyLife Today awarded NRB "Radio Program Producer of the Year" award, Dennis Rainey
- Website goes live: familylife-ccc.org.
- FamilyLife Today is awarded “Radio Program Producer of the Year” from National Religious Broadcasters.
- FamilyLife Today listeners fund “Jesus Loves Me” project providing 54,000 sets of Resurrection Eggs to urban ministries.
- Passport2Purity® is published to help parents teach biblical principles on sexual purity to their pre-teen children.
- I Still Do™ marriage celebration arena events launch.
- The HomeBuilders Couples Series passes one million in sales.
- The FamilyLife Marriage Conference, now called a Weekend to Remember®, surpasses one million conference guests.
- The Family Room monthly e-magazine launches.
- Hope for Orphans® is formed to promote adoption and orphan care.
- FamilyLife moves in to a new facility debt free.
- FamilyLife Today awarded NRB "Radio Program of the Year" award
- Largest Weekend to Remember in Dallas, TX with 3,330 attendees.
- What God Wants for Christmas® kit launches.
- LifeReady® curriculum launches.
- Vida En Familia Hoy™, the Spanish version of FamilyLife Today, begins broadcasting in Quito, Ecuador, and is broadcast to 17 countries.
- MomLife Today launches as momblog.
- First Love Like You Mean It™ cruise sets sail.
- The Art of Marriage® video event launches nationwide in thousands of churches.
- Weekend to Remember® translated into Mandarin and approved for sale by the Chinese government
- Stepping Up™ 1-day video event for men launches.
- Ever Thine Home initial launch
- Initiative to minister intentionally to blended families begins
- Passport2Purity version 3 launches
- Stepping Up™ 10-week video series launches
- FamilyLife Today awarded NRB "Radio Program of the Year" award