Military Ministries International (MMI) was set up in the early 1970s under the title ACCTS by a young former captain in the Royal Engineers, Geoff Skippage, who was himself envisioned by the founder of ACCTS in USA, Cleo Buxton. It was set up, and still exists, to serve the worldwide Association of Military Christian Fellowships (AMCF) in order to see the growth, numerically as well as spiritually, of military Christian fellowships. Geoff worked largely on his own and developed a formidable network of contacts across Africa and Europe. He single-handedly organised the conferences and seminars that have been the bread and butter of the organisation for most of its existence. These conferences would be hosted by an MCF or fledgling fellowship and would be based on the theme of applying the Christian faith in the military profession. Specialist speakers would be invited from within the host nation or as international guests. The conference would always include a programme of Bible teaching by a renowned local theologian.
The first AMCF Conference organised by ACCTS was in Benin in 1982 and became the precursor to many similar events across Africa and then in Europe. The collapse of the Soviet Empire in 1989 left many countries looking for something to replace the discredited communist ethic. And throughout the 1990s ACCTS ran a programme of Euroseminars covering Christian Military Ethics and Leadership in many of the former Warsaw Pact countries.
In 1997 Ian Durie was invited to become chairman of the ACCTS Executive Council as the first step in the development of the ministry. A key change was the adoption of the new name Accts Military Ministries International which retained the, well known, title Accts but now as a name and not an acronym.
In 2000 following Geoff’s departure two part-time field directors were appointed to Accts MMI, one for each of Africa and Europe. They were: Revd Simon Farmer for Africa and Homfray Vines for Europe. In addition Michael Piper was appointed honorary Field Director (South Asia). Michael had been generally involved with ACCTS from the early days but had focussed on South Asia from 1992. Similarly, in 2002 Richard Sandy accepted the honorary appointment of Field Director (Middle East) serving until 2017 when Captain Richard Meryon RN took on the role. In addition to these appointments 4 locally based Accts MMI Regional Staff Members were appointed. In 2003 Mrs Sue Millard was invited to become the honorary Accts MMI Prayer Coordinator, to help develop the prayer base for our work.
From 2000 Accts MMI saw an increasingly busy programme of visits, seminars, conferences and the like as new MCFs were envisioned and established. Existing fellowships were in turn nurtured and encouraged to grow and reach outwards to their neighbours to encourage them to start MCFs too. By the time of the AMCF World Conference in 2004 in South Korea there were over 100 MCFs worldwide and 135 countries were represented at the conference; a significant development from the 21 who attended the equivalent event in USA in 1976 as ACCTS was being formed.
Tragically, in April 2005 Ian Durie was killed while taking part in a military cadet Bible conference in Romanian. Homfray felt God’s leading to take on the executive leadership responsibilities pro tem until a permanent appointment could be made. Chris West took over South Asia from Michael Piper in 2006 and in turn handed over to Col ’Paddy’ Hughes in 2013. Simon Farmer and Homfray Vines both stepped down from their Accts MMI appointments in 2007. Col Rainer Thorun became Regional Team Leader (RTL) for Europe until 2011 when Grozdan Stoevski, who had served in the Bulgarian army was appointed RTL Europe. In 2008 Homfray Vines re-joined the Accts MMI team as RTL for East & Southern Africa serving until 2013. In 2017 Lt Col Eric Mandille, of the French Army, became the RTL for West and Francophone Africa and Max Mupondi of the Zimbabwe Air Force became the RTL for East & Southern Africa.
Colonel Jos McCabe (a retired Royal Marine) was appointed Chief Executive/ Team Leader, in July 2007 and worked in the role until Sept 2017. In April 2018 Major General Roddy Porter MBE was appointed as Chief Executive/ Team Leader.
In 2010 the Trustees decided adopt the working title Military Ministries International (MMI). Elsewhere on this website you can read details of MMI past, current and future activities through Newsletters and our programme page.
In 2004 Korean military Christians set up the Mission Support Organisation (MSO). This was primarily to run the AMCF World Conference held in Seoul in September 2004 and thereafter to become a sister organisation to ACCTS (USA) and MMI in the military mission field. There is a wide network of Korean missionaries (civilian) round the world and MSO has missionary contacts in almost every country in the world.