The Arizona Origin Science Association (AzOSA) tracks its history back to 1995 when Wally Mueller and David Jolly organized a local creation group in the Mesa, AZ area. Wally became the group’s founding President. As David was already involved in a creation ministry, he was the original presenter at the fledgling group’s (called AOSA back then) monthly gatherings. Slowly, attendance grew from 5 at the first meeting – to now over 1,000 at some events.
It was David’s connection with the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) that began our tradition of offering creation science resources (books and media) for sale at monthly events. David secured books on consignment from ICR and AOSA benefited from sale proceeds. In 1996, God opened the door for David at Answers in Genesis and he was hired full time. Wally moved to California and board member Dale Langmade stepped up to become AOSA’s second President - serving several terms. Under Dale’s leadership, and with volunteer support, AOSA launched a web site and monthly newsletter.
During the next few years, several significant events transpired to forge AzOSA’s present character. Roger Heyen started northwest Phoenix’s AOSA West meetings and stepped in as President when Dale moved to Alaska in 2003. At the same time, another creation science group was forming in Tucson (later called South AOSA). In effect, this resulted in three independent, yet cooperative, groups (AOSA, AOSA West, and South AOSA). Working together, the groups coordinated a speaking event by Dr. Philip Johnson in Mesa which had approximately 1,100 attendees! Roger served as President of both Phoenix area groups through 2004. He also maintained the monthly newsletter and brought in a series of interesting speakers from local and out of state sources. After two years of maintaining a heavy work load for AOSA, he elected to step down as President and to continue on as Secretary and Board Member.
In January 2005 Joseph Kezele, M.D. was named President. A priority for this year was to tackle the legal hurdles for Arizona incorporation and for IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. As a result, Arizona Origin Science Association, Inc. ("AzOSA") was legally formed. A volunteer Book Master spearheaded the resumption of media sales at monthly events and AzOSA launched a program of sponsored field trips to local areas of creation science interest – a series we continue to enjoy.
In 2006, the Tucson-based creation science group, founded by Mark Stockwell and Joe Sebeny a few years earlier, formally became a part of AzOSA; thus facilitating coordination of activities, combining forces, and sharing resources. Much progress was realized to modernize and improve our membership database, electronic communications, and web site. We launched our AZ Church Survey project, regarding where churches’ leadership stand on issues of creation and evolution (this is an ongoing work in progress). AzOSA adopted a new logo (designed by local members) and continued its series of field trips. Julia Walker stepped forward and initiated a series of our presentations in Cochise County, planting yet another AzOSA chapter.
In 2006 and 2007 AzOSA staffed an exhibit at the State Fair under the coordination of Lance Robinson and was able to witness to many people who otherwise would not be exposed to the Truth of Scripture. In both years Mike Riddle of Answers in Genesis conducted Speaker Training Seminars, helping Arizona-based speakers improve our presentation skills.
2007 saw continued growth and integration of the various AzOSA chapters. Major new initiatives this year included launching a Junior AzOSA in the Phoenix area to concurrently teach elementary school level creation science material at the main monthly adult-level presentations. Additionally, AzOSA undertook the filming and production of 5 creation science topic DVDs; this is an on-going project. Our web site continues to expand and improve under expert volunteer help.
On through 2008 we have sponsored a variety of unique Flood model based field trips in many parts of Arizona, led by our Resident Geologist and his wife, Jim and Terri Clarke, which have been very well attended.
In 2009 the Yavapai Division was established with Raymond Buettner as its first Vice-President, and in 2011 the Cochise Division was established, with Otto Richter as its first Vice-President. In 2013 the Gila Division was established, with Michael Calcagno as its first Vice-President.