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Frank Buchman with Anton Storch, Minister of labour, Germany
Frank Buchman with Anton Storch, Minister of labour, Germany


Inspiring Change

building trust across the world'S divides

The beginning: 1908-1945
Frank Buchman makes a change

Initiatives of Change owes its origins to an American called Frank Buchman (1878 – 1961). An American Lutheran minister of Swiss descent, Frank reached a crisis point aged just 30 when he resigned his job as the warden of a hostel for homeless boys in Philadelphia. He was bitter towards the trustees who he felt were too stingy with money for food. He took a vacation to Europe but could not shake off his feelings of depression. 

Then, in Keswick, in the Lake District area of the UK, he attended a service in a Methodist chapel. As he looked at a statue of the crucified Christ, he had a strong conviction that he was the ‘seventh wrong man’. He wrote to the trustees, apologising for his ill-will. He wanted to share his newfound sense of freedom with others.

Over the following years, he worked mainly with students to develop his ideas. He adopted the practice of taking time every morning in silence to search for any thoughts that God might give him. And he tested his thoughts against absolute standards of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love. Many students’ lives were turned in more positive directions after their encounters with Buchman.

For A New World – stories of lives changed
For a new world

To find more about our history and people, you can visit the online platform"For a new world".