The Topical Memory System

The Topical Memory System

The Topical Memory System is one of The Navigators’ most well-loved study methods. How did the TMS come to be? In 1926 Dawson Trotman came to faith in Christ through Scripture memory. One day on his way to work, a passage that he had memorized for a church contest flashed in his head: John 14:12 “Verily, […]

Dawson and Lila Trotman’s Hospitality

After several temporary accommodations in the Los Angeles area, Dawson and Lila Trotman rented a house in Whittier, California. Daws noted, “I truly thank God for the little home that he has given Buddie and I in Whittier, for a place to serve him. The home is open to all—nothing hinders meeting oft to pray” […]

Burgeoning Youth Ministries Almost Sink a Boat

In 1942, Navigators held camps for boys and for girls. The Big Bear Boys Camp used a Presbyterian Lodge, with participants “from grammar school through college age, assigned cabins and leaders according to age groups. . . . The whole camp being divided into the Polar Bears and the Grizzly Bears.” Harold Chrisman, Elroy Robinson, […]

Hay Loft Operas, Hootenannies, and Whing Dings

Hay Loft Operas, Hootenannies, and Whing Dings

We began to put on annual collegiate conferences at Glen Eyrie in 1957, when the target was “college and young business people with a special emphasis on collegiate.” The amount of “fun” with a Gospel purpose seems to have reached a peak during this period of cooperation between LeRoy Eims and Bob V. . . […]

College Student Demographics in the 1960s

Although many other Christian organizations started campus ministries before The Navigators, we officially did not become identified with collegiate ministry until the late 1950s. This may have been the result of Dawson Trotman’s devotion to his axiom: “Never do anything that someone else can or will do, when there is so much to be done […]

Navigator Growth During WWII

Excerpt from “A History of Our Calling” During World War II, the Navigator work spread to one thousand ships and bases and camps. Our strongest work was in Honolulu. Keeping up with the growth became harder and harder for Dawson Trotman, the founder of The Navigators. He even dreamed of using a plane as his […]

Early Navigator Businesses and Enterprises

Early Navigator Businesses and Enterprises

From the 1930s onward, Navigators have ministered alongside men and women in their daily workplace contexts. Indeed, during World War II, our main emphasis was among naval personnel on their ships. After World War II, almost all our contacts dispersed. Many of them enrolled in colleges and seminaries. The small nucleus that remained around Dawson […]

Lorne Sanny’s Pursuit of Simplicity and Clarity

Lorne Sanny’s Pursuit of Simplicity and Clarity

In the early 1960s, Navigator leaders gave much attention to describing the Navigator mission and objectives. Less than a year after he became president of The Navigators, Lorne Sanny declared that “our basic objective is to recruit, build, and send men.” . . . During his thirty years as president, Lorne held to a strong […]

A Wounded Marine’s Passion for the Nations

A Wounded Marine’s Passion for the Nations

By Donald McGilchrist From as early as the extended days of prayer for the nations that Dawson Trotman undertook in 1931 in the hills above Loma Linda, California, Navigators had a vision for planting the Gospel in every country. World vision was the shorthand for reaching the nations—and it was preached with passion. One example […]

Developing Our Worldwide Partnership

Developing Our Worldwide Partnership

Over the years, The Navigators came to be called a Worldwide Partnership. This term is a powerful expression of our approach to international interdependence around a common calling, values, and vision. It is helpful to understand the history behind this idea of a Worldwide Partnership. Through the 1980s, as the Navigator work spread to more […]

Lorne Sanny’s Focus on People

Lorne Sanny’s Focus on People

Lorne Sanny became president of The Navigators in 1956. For thirty years, we were to be led by Lorne, a master of clarity. It is not accidental that Lorne often declared his first responsibility as “to clarify, communicate, and maintain the purpose of The Navigators.”   In 1958, after being president for two years, Lorne […]

How the Bible Mobilized Cross-Cultural Navigator Ministry

How the Bible Mobilized Cross-Cultural Navigator Ministry

Over a long process in the 1980s and 1990s, The Navigators conducted a study of the Scriptures that involved Navigators from around the world. It had an immense impact on our work, and reaffirmed the foundational importance of following the Bible, as opposed to popular trends. The study also helped us arrive at the biblical […]

Eight Ways the Kingdom of God Shaped The Navigators

Eight Ways the Kingdom of God Shaped The Navigators

Through the decades, Navigator leaders have pursued a deeper understanding of what the Scriptures say about the kingdom of God. During the process of drawing out what became The “Core” (Calling, Values, Vision), we were absorbing the paramount significance of the kingdom, in at least eight ways. These are briefly discussed below. The kingdom, as […]

Early International Youth Ministries

Early International Youth Ministries

As the Navigator movement spread throughout the US in the 1940s and 1950s, God also opened doors for our international youth ministries. By the late 1950s, we find several examples of energetic international Navigator high school ministries. Okinawa and Kenya are prominent. We teamed with Orient Crusades to minister in twenty-three of the public schools […]

Dawson Trotman’s Youth Ministries

Dawson Trotman’s Youth Ministries

Ministry among children and those not yet launched into adult life has always been part of the fabric of The Navigators. Soon after his conversion in 1926, Daws began to teach a Sunday school class of six boys in the church in Lomita, California. Through the challenges they presented he was forced to develop and […]

Searching for a Few Good Men

Searching for a Few Good Men

Dawson Trotman realized that he had to focus on and invest more deeply in a few receptive men in order to set them up spiritually for the long haul. So, he focused on a few “strong fellows.” The idea of man-to-man ministry was born.