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God gives the vision

It all began with the visionary pastor and big-hearted people of a small church on the edge of a large university town.  Some church members were faculty at the school, some were students.  All were aware of God’s longing that all nations would experience His love and hear the good news of


Mabel Bahler

In 1976, the people of Covenant Baptist Church decided to formalize their vision for reaching the internationals at OSU who were searching for truth and longed for friendship with Americans.  Mabel Bahler was a key person in this thrust, leading the ministry for almost three years.  She became the face of


Scriptural Foundation

From 1976, God has guided IFI with promises from His Word, including Isaiah 60:3, “Nations will come to your light”; Isaiah 61:3, “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor”; and Zechariah 8:20-23: “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Many



Early Ministry Development

In the 1980’s, God grew IFI and taught us more about building relationships and sharing the good news cross-culturally.  He blessed IFI with a solid core of volunteers who committed themselves to serve internationals.  Some of these volunteers are still active today!  Others have moved on to other ministry opportunities, retired,


1990 – 1999: Growth!

Rich Mendola, current IFI Executive Director The 1990’s were a time of tremendous growth. In 1991, God brought Rich Mendola to the campus ministry staff in Columbus from ISM work at Ohio University in Athens.  God led Rich to form the International American Fellowship (IAF), a group of American