Crusaders was founded in 1930 and has come along way, under God, since then. Below is the inspiring journey through significant events in Crusaders’ history.
- In 1930, Dr the Reverend Howard Guinness arrived in Australia under the invitation of J. B. Nicholson to develop ministry within universities and schools.
- Crusaders was established in NSW, VIC, QLD and SA with the motto “Witness unto me”, from Acts 1:8 was adopted.
- School Crusader groups began at Shore, Sydney Grammar, Trinity Grammar, SCEGGS Darlinghurst, PLC Pymble, Abbotsleigh and Wenona.
- Saturday Night Meetings began, providing a place of fellowship for young believers. They ran until 1992 with the Strathfield SNM being the last to close.
- The first Crusader Camp was held in Easter 1930.
- The Crusader Union was established in Perth in 1934.
- The Crusader Women’s Fellowship began meeting in Roseville Park in 1939, to support and pray for Crusaders’ ministry. It is still meeting today.
- The Senior Crusader Fellowship was formed.
- Dr Leslie Parr donated land for a Crusader campsite at at Lake Macquarie.
- Dr Paul White (the ‘Jungle Doctor’) mortgaged his home to buy land at Galston Gorge for a campsite from Mr Calderwood for £600.
- Crusaders merged with Scripture Union in all states except NSW in 1955.
- A large Hall was erected at Lake Mac in 1957.
- The first Senior Easter Conference was held at the Lake Mac campsite in 1958, with the aim of training young Christians in leadership. These ran until the 1980s.
- The Share Partnership scheme was introduced to encourage donors to give on a regular basis.
- The dining hall, kitchen and Petter Cabin were constructed at the Galston Gorge campsite, with much volunteer labour being supplied from Senior Crusader Fellowship work parties. A dedication service was held at the site upon completion. Read the ‘Beginnings at Galston’ article by Stuart Braga.
- Crusaders became a Registered Company Limited by Guarantee to meet legal requirements.
- The first Study Camps were run for Year 12 students (1964).
- The water supply was connected at the Galston Gorge campsite (1966).
- The Boys and Girls Camps’ Committees were formed.
- The first co-ed camps were run with 5 being held during 1968/69 involving 171 campers and 49 leaders.
- In 1968 the campsite at Colo was purchased and frequent work parties were helped to build facilities. (The Colo site was sold in the mid 1980s.)
- The first camp was run at the Colo campsite (1969).
- Ten ‘timber tents’ were erected by work parties at the Lake Mac campsite.
- Cabins and toilet blocks were constructed at the Galston Gorge campsite, providing accommodation for over 90 people.
- The first mini bike camp was held. Great success meant 4 mini bike camps were run the following year.
- ‘Vision of Eagles’ was written by Joy Parker to mark the 50th anniversary of Crusaders.
- Family Easter Conference began.
- The Crusader office moved from the city to Strathfield (1988).
- The Summit Educational Camps division was founded. 8 camps were run in its first year and 30 in its second (1988).
- The Crusader Union of NSW became the Crusader Union of Australia (23rd May, 1990).
- The Ian Holt Memorial Fellowship Scheme began to provide training in full-time camping ministry. 2 ‘Fellows’ were employed full-time in the Summit Camps division.
- A lack of camper numbers threatened the closure of the Holiday Camps program.
- Crusaders held its first Teachers’ & Chaplains’ in-service day for 34 teachers at the Galston Gorge Campsite (August, 1991).
- Summit ran its 100th school camp, while 68 Crusader Groups met regularly in schools across NSW.
- The Crusader office moved from Strathfield to Eastwood (1993).
- The new Crusader ‘eagle’ logo was introduced (1997).
- $34,000 was raised for Crusaders through the ‘Pylon Plunge’ abseil off the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1998. Two subsequent Pylon Plunges were held in 2001 and 2003.
- The first Crusader website was launched (November 1998).
- Registered Training Organisation status was achieved and a Training Division established.
- The Galston Gorge campsite was used by SOCOG during the Olympic Games to house drivers and staff from the Olympic Roads & Traffic Authority.
- The inaugural ‘Crusader Business Luncheon’ was held at NSW Parliament House (2002).
- A major fundraising campaign commenced in 2002 to raise funds for the upgrade of the Galston Gorge and Lake Macquarie campsites.
- The success of Summit was celebrated in 2002 when the 50,000th school student attended a camp and heard the Gospel.
- Major renovations at the Galston Gorge campsite began (2003).
- Schools Ministry expanded to develop resources for use in school lunchtime CRU groups.
- The Galston Gorge Conference & Recreation Centre was rebranded and rededicated (2005).
- Crusaders celebrated its 75th birthday with a thanksgiving service and afternoon tea at Epping Baptist Church (2005).
- The first Directors’ Weekend was held to train and support CRU Holiday Camp directors (2008).
2010 – Present
- The redevelopment of the new kitchen and dining hall at Galston was completed.
- Crusaders celebrated its 80th anniversary in September (2010).
- Schools Ministry expanded into the ACT.