The Shield of Faith, Incorporated was founded by Dick York in 1953 in Eugene, Oregon. Its initial outreach was to the street people of Eugene. The rescue mission Dick established is presently operated as the Eugene Mission, 1542 W. 1st Street.
Harry Holt, founder of Holt International Children’s Services and a close friend of Dick’s, was burdened with the spiritual needs he saw in post-war Korea and invited Dick to accompany him to that Far East country. Following his visit to Korea, Dick prepared to return with his family to evangelize in the villages of South Korea. The Yorks spent five years preaching the Gospel, establishing churches, conducting believers’ conferences and training Korean missionaries. This was the beginning of the cross-cultural ministry of the Shield of Faith.
Dick returned to Oregon with a desire to go to Brazil and establish a work similar to that in Korea. He and his family settled in Bend to serve in a local church ministry until their move to Brazil. Dick’s enthusiasm for missions and the lessons he and his family had learned in Korea attracted the attention of others; and he began a discipleship training course, which was the beginning of the Shield of Faith Missionary Training. Dick set aside his desire to work in Brazil in order to help prepare others to go to the mission field.
In 1985, the name was changed to the Shield of Faith Mission International.