Timeline of The Navigators

1926   Memorizing Scripture brings lumberyard worker Dawson Trotman to Christ at age 20. Dawson starts teaching Sunday school and spending time with teenage boys, teaching them how to grow in Christ.

1931   Dawson designs "The Wheel®" to illustrate Christian discipleship.

1933   Dawson disciples Les Spencer, who begins reaching other sailors aboard the U.S.S. West Virginia.

1934   The foundations of the Topical Memory System are laid as Dawson and others put together a list of 108 verses—three verses on each of 36 topics.

1941   The bombing of Pearl Harbor launches the United States into World War II and sends Navigator discipleship around the globe.
Roy Robertson
1949   Roy Robertson enters China as the first Navigator missionary.

1951   Dawson and his right-hand man, Lorne Sanny, develop follow-up materials for The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

1953   The Navigators® purchase the Glen Eyrie® property and move to Colorado Springs the next year.

1956   Dawson Trotman drowns at Schroon Lake, New York, and Lorne Sanny becomes the organization's second president.

1957   Eagle Lake® holds its first youth camp. Junior high boys sleep in tents and cook their own food. Regular week-long camps begin the next year.

1963   Other countries begin sending Navigator missionaries.

1970   The 2:7 Series®, a now classic discipleship-training curriculum, is first introduced in a church setting.

1973   Beginning of the Design for Discipleship® studies.

1975   NavPress® publishing ministry is founded with the release of its first book, Her Name is Woman.

1978   The Pursuit of Holiness, the first book by Navigator Jerry Bridges, is released. It has sold 1.5 million copies to date.

1980   The Navigators' international profile is well established, as represented in a leadership conference at Glen Eyrie that drew 168 leaders of 26 nationalities representing 40-plus nations.

1981   NavPress begins publication of Discipleship Journal®.

1982   Navigator staff count reaches 2,000.

1990   Staff count reaches 3,000.

1996   The Navigators enters Togo, our 100th country.

2002   NavPress releases The Message®, Eugene Peterson's paraphrase of the Bible, after having released The Message New Testament in 1994.

2007   Discipling for Development, a holistic discipleship ministry in impoverished nations, joins with The Navigators in our first—and thus far only—merger.

2010   More than 4,600 Navigators of 70 nationalities serve in 100 countries, 170 languages, and among 220 peoples.