In 1981

...a group of businessmen from the Western District of the Missionary Church Inc., felt led to start a fund to plant new churches and support them financially until they could support themselves. They observed that in the early stages of a new church, more people received Christ for the first time than people did in many established Churches. As a result, Western Loans was established and operated similar to a credit union. Funds were collected and deposited into interest bearing accounts and then loaned out to new churches.

As the churches grew, they paid back the loans and the funds were recycled so that the church planting program could multiply. The program was very successful and the demand for funds increased. The newly appointed Western District Superintendent saw the need to expand the churches ability to take in certain kinds of gifts.

He determined that a foundation would best serve the need, so in 1992, Western Loans evolved to become the Stewardship Development Foundation. The foundation expanded the district's ability to take in complex gifts such as real estate holdings, appreciated stocks and bonds, or a family business.

In 2005, the Board of Directors voted to expand the reach of the foundation. They felt that a Christian Community Foundation was needed in the Southern California, the West and Southwest US areas to support the needs of the Church at large. As a result, Christian Foundation of the West was born. The number of seats on the board was expanded to accommodate other denominations and ministries. Since then, CFW has formed strategic partnerships and alliances with several Christian organizations that help educate, promote, and support the mission of CFW.