1946: ECLOF is born


ECLOF International was founded in 1946 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Our founding fathers were Dr. Adolph Keller, the Director of the European Central Bureau of Inter-Church Aid, and Dr Willem A. Visser 't Hooft, who was to become the first General Secretary of the World Council of Churches in 1948. They were helped in this enterprise by two Swiss private bankers, Mr Gustave Hentsch and Mr. Georges Lombard.

Extending the vision of the nascent ecumenical movement, our first mission was to offer financial support to churches throughout Europe, especially after the Second World War.

The first loans were used by churches to rebuild, renovate, or expand their premises, as well as to establish schooling and health facilities.

Church in Hungary rebuilt with ECLOF's help

Above: Church in Hungary rebuilt with ECLOF's help

Top right: Founding fathers of ECLOF: from left to right Mr Gustave Hentsch, Dr Alphonse Koechlin, and Dr Willam A. Visser 't Hooft

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