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One Big Family

Our History

Our story is somewhat complex as it is actually the story of one movement & three ministries: The movement of Youth With A Mission started by Loren Cunningham in 1960, Sea & Summit Expeditions started by Robin Wainwright in 1969, and Youth With A Mission – Bishop started by Harold Cluff in 1991. We are proud of each of these aspects, and of all the staff, spouses, and leaders that contributed to making us who we are today.


Youth With A Mission - The Movement

Over 60 years ago young Loren Cunningham had a dream one night of the earth where he pictured the continents being overrun with waves. The waves transformed into youth until the whole earth was covered. These youth were to carry the Good News of Jesus to every person on earth, and in ever growing numbers. In 1960, Loren initiated the movement of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) based on this vision, and was shortly after joined by his wife and our co-founder, Darlene Cunningham. Over the decades, YWAM has evolved into an international family and one of the largest modern mission movements in the world. Click Here for more information on YWAM.


Sea & Summit Expeditions

Robin & Carol Wainwright had a tremendous concern for troubled youth, as well as a deep passion for God’s creation and outdoor adventure. In 1969, they experimented with taking kids out of the city and seeing what three weeks of backpacking and climbing in the Sierra Nevada would do. From this powerful, life changing trip, Sea & Summit Expeditions was born in Santa Barbara, California. After decades of growth and tremendous success in touching the lives of so many youth, Sea & Summit began expanding their vision under Will & Millie Toms to reach youth & adults from many backgrounds and to Native Americans.  David & Diane Fairley further expanded the program to also reach out to remote peoples internationally, and developed mission & adventure based training programs.

Youth With A Mission – Bishop

When Hal and Barbara Cluff purchased Cardinal Village Resort in the 1980’s, high in the Sierra Nevada near Bishop, CA, they had a desire to see youth trained and discipled in these beautiful mountains. After several years of running camps and retreats for local kids and adults, they founded YWAM Bishop as an operating location of the larger family of YWAM ministries. Through the 1990’s, YWAM Bishop was involved in many ministries, from Discipleship Training Schools, to Kings Kids’ Go Camps, to pastors’ retreats, to outreaches in such locations as Mexico, Croatia, and other places locally & around the world. In 2001, the operations of YWAM Bishop moved 20 minutes down the road into the City of Bishop. After many years of inspired service and impacting countless lives, Hal and Barbara retired from leadership in 2004.

The Union of Three Ministries

Many years before resigning from Sea & Summit Expeditions in Santa Barbara, California, Will and Millie had the foresight to see that a ministry tool as powerful as outdoor adventure could impact people well beyond the boundaries of California and the United States. Through God’s leading, they brought Sea & Summit Expeditions in to the family of YWAM in 1992, and established YWAM Santa Barbara. David and Diane Fairley joined them in 1994, and two years later they were placed in leadership as Will & Millie moved to Arizona to found YWAM Tribal Winds. David and Diane have worked for many years to align Sea & Summit with the movement of YWAM, as well as the specific vision David carried for this program. A part of that God given vision was to operate out of Bishop, California, so in 2001 they moved the program to Bishop and brought the Sea & Summit program under the covering of YWAM Bishop. At that time, Sea & Summit Expeditions became the primary ministry of YWAM Bishop. The truth is, our program is the combination and investment of not just three ministries, but of hundreds of leaders and staff over the decades; to all of these we are grateful.



After five decades of working in the "Summit" side of Sea & Summit Expeditions, we have finally been developing the "Sea" side of our program over the past decade.  Today, we not only operate outdoor growth trips and leadership training programs, we have sent teams to remote island locations internationally and are expanding our program to reach people "with" the sea and "by" the sea.  We are truly living out our name: Sea & Summit Expeditions.  Our hearts are to help "unseen" and "overlooked" people to become known, to find hope & healing, and to discover and fulfill their God given purpose and place among the cultures and nations of the world.

Land Manager Statement

We operate under permit with Inyo & Sequoia National Forests, the Bishop & Ridgecrest BLMs, and at times other government land managers.  We do not discriminate.

Our Staff
David Fairley
Tammie Hovet

Awesome Person

Miranda Shea 

 Also Awesome

Ryan Unger

Equally Awesome Person

Alex Cox

Totally Awesome

Land Manager Statement

We operate under permit with Inyo & Sequoia National Forests, the Bishop & Ridgecrest BLMs, and at times other government land managers.  We do not discriminate.

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