Berean Baptist currently supports 10 mission works which are taking the gospel of Christ throughout the world. These missionaries are supported through and sent by local independent Baptist churches. The members of Berean Baptist have made the financial support of global evangelization a high priority. Also, our annual missions conference in September helps our entire church maintain a heart for world-wide missions.
John and I met in the Fall of 2007 at Trinity Baptist College, where we were both enrolled. I was a freshman at the time, and John was a sophomore. We met at dinner one night and instantly connected. We became friends and spent many hours together getting to know each other better. It didn't take us long to realize God had orchestrated our meeting and that we wanted to pursue a deeper relationship. We began dating and continued to develop our relationship. John shared my passion for missions, and, like me, had surrendered his life to serve on the foreign mission field.
We were engaged in February of 2010, and that summer we took our first missions trip together. We had already begun praying for a field where we could serve, and we were hopeful that this trip would give us clarification of our field. We spent three weeks in Chiang Mai, Thailand, teaching English and ministering to the children in local schools. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and learned many valuable lessons. However, when we returned, we were both certain that God was not calling us to Thailand.
During our premarital counseling, our pastor strongly encouraged us to work stateside in ministry before starting deputation, and we decided that was the best route. We were married in March of 2011, and despite many interviews and positive feedback, we had yet to find a ministry job. We continued to pray for direction, and in October of 2011, we officially accepted a position at Libery Baptist Church in Sweetser, Indiana. We made the long move from Jacksonville, FL and began serving in children's ministry there. We knew that the timing was not yet right for us to make our plunge into foreign missions, but our hearts continued to burn for that time.
We continued to serve at Liberty, and in the summer of 2013 we began to feel the Lord leading us to take the next steps in our journey. We began to pray specifically over different areas of the world, and we were continually led to Europe. We were actually both surprised by this, as we had imagined we would end up in a much more remote part of the earth. Around that time, our church hosted a missionary family from Ireland, and we were both impressed to begin asking God if Ireland were to be our field. We began to learn more about the culture and people of Ireland and the great need of the Gospel there.
Our missions conference in the fall of 2013 included the same missionaries we had talked with previously, and we had the privilege of spending several days with them. Our hearts were stirred, and after spending a couple more weeks in prayer, it was confirmed in our hearts that we were to go to the Republic of Ireland as missionaries.
Testimony: John''s Testimony:
Many people who were raised in a Christian home and were saved at a young age often feel that their testimony is not really that special. We have probably all heard comments like, “I wasn't saved out of a life of addiction and deep sin,” or, “My testimony isn't really as good as some people's.” It is as if our testimony isn't really worth telling to others, because they have heard one just like it a million times before. I used to be one of those people, and then I truly realized how amazing God's grace is, to save a sinner like me.
I was born and raised in a Christian home; of course, what that means is that I had the privilege of hearing about God and His love for me since before I could even understand it. It didn't take me long to realize that I was a sinner and needed a Savior. When I was about three years old, I prayed a prayer and was baptized, and for a long time I based my salvation on that experience. There is a huge difference, however, between knowing something and believing it.
My dad was a pastor, and, like most pastor's kids, I could almost recite many of his messages from memory. I listened to countless presentations of the Gospel from him, revivalists, evangelists, missionaries, guest speakers, Sunday School teachers, children's pastors, and youth pastors... but the entire time, I never examined my heart to determine if I truly believed all that I was hearing.
The church was my life growing up. My dad always liked to joke that we had a “drug” problem; we were “drug” to church every Sunday and Wednesday, starting nine months before we were born. I threw myself into church life from a young age – singing, teaching, preaching, participating in Vacation Bible School, Backyard Bible Club, really anything and everything that I could. I had a strong desire to be just like my dad and become a preacher just like him. He even helped me write my first sermon outline when I was seven years old.
All this time, I believed that I had it altogether. I knew that I was a pretty good person who was really working hard to serve Jesus. I didn't realize that I didn't even know Him...yet.
A big part of my life every summer was Bible camp, and I looked forward to it every year. Now, the camp we went to had services four times a day, along with singing and preaching competitions, and a lot of fun activities. In the summer of 2001, I wasn't looking forward to camp. I wanted to go try out for my school's soccer team, but my parents insisted that my spiritual needs were more important than sports.
This is how I found myself on a hard pew on a warm Thursday night, listening to an evangelist preach on hell. I was actively tuning out what he was saying, in part because of my anger towards my parents, and also because I already knew about all that stuff anyway. Toward the end of the evening, the Holy Spirit gripped my heart like I had never experienced before, and I was struck by the realization that I had never really believed any of this before. All my life, I had been pretending, playing at Christianity while being filled with a cancerous evil in my heart. I had truly been deceived by Satan and my own pride, never aware of the emptiness in my life. In that moment, I called upon the name of the Lord, and He gloriously and miraculously saved me! Praise God for His amazing grace!
No, I never lived a life of gross sin or addiction. I never had a problem with drugs or alcohol. My sin was much more deceptive and hard to pin down – hypocrisy, pride, selfishness, sins that were just as addictive and destructive as any vice. I will never understand how God broke through my arrogance and self-righteousness and convinced me of my deepest need, but have been forever changed by His love. My heart's desire is to share His amazing grace with a world that is lost.
Not long after my salvation, I began to feel that God was calling me into full-time Christian ministry. It had always been my desire to preach, but I wasn't sure where or how. I had fully surrendered my life to Christ, and I was looking for direction. I continued to preach and teach in my local church, especially in children's and youth ministry. During my junior year of high school, God used the wisdom of an evangelist to show me that, if I felt God's calling, I should follow His leading.
I had the privilege to begin my ministry training at Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida, in the fall of 2006. When I was a child, my parents had cultivated an understanding of the Great Commission and a love for missions in my heart, but I had not yet received that confirmation in my heart that God wanted me in another country. Our church hosted annual missions conferences, and I was able to meet and interact with many missionaries and preachers during my college years. Through the preaching of God's Word, Bible study, and prayer, God confirmed in my heart that He desired for me to minister on a foreign mission field.
I was blessed to be raised in a Christian family with parents who loved the Lord and desired to see their family serve Him in every area of life. From before I was even born, my parents faithfully took me to church and consistently taught us about God at home. As a result of the Godly influences in my life, I received Christ as my Savior at a very early age. I was 4, and I remember sitting in a church service one Sunday night listening to the message. I had heard invitations given countless times; yet this time, I was aware of my sin and need of forgiveness. While at my young age, there were many things I had yet to understand and comprehend about Christianity, I knew with certainty that Christ died for my sins so that I could be forgiven. When we returned home from church that night, I spoke with my parents and asked a few more questions. I then knelt at my bed and confessed my sinfulness and asked Christ to forgive me and save me.
Since I regularly attended church and came from a Christian family, I knew what was expected as a Christian. Even at a young age, I read my Bible, faithfully memorized my Sunday School verses, and tithed and gave to missions each week with my allowance. However, as I grew older, I placed more and more pride in myself and how “good” of a Christian I was, so much so that by the time I was in middle school, I sat through messages at camp thinking of those people in my life who really needed to hear them, since it clearly wasn't me. From the outside, I was the good Christian girl that many parents secretly wished their kid was more like. The truth was, I had left my first love. I had become so consumed with making sure I looked right, that my heart was far from right with God. Pride and vanity were overwhelming in my life.
When I entered the 7th grade, I moved into our church's youth group. It was then that the blinders began falling from my eyes, and I began to realize that, spiritually, I was far from where I needed to be. I began to try and clean up my own life by confessing a sin here and there to appease the conviction that I was feeling, but to no avail. I struggled for several months trying to fix my relationship with God my way. I went with our youth group on a winter retreat and throughout the series of messages, I became broken and began allowing God to show me the errors of my ways. I realized that even in my efforts to right my relationship with God, I had been exhibiting pride in thinking that I could do it my own way. The final night of the retreat, I will never forget going to my room and weeping before the Lord as I gave up control and allowed the Lord to show me the sin in my life and how it was only through Him that I would be able to overcome the sin in my life and live a fruitful Christian walk.
That weekend was a turning point in my life as I began to develop a deeper walk with Christ. For the first time in a very long time, I was spending time with Christ, serving, and giving out of love that stemmed from my relationship with God instead of out of a sense of duty. I began to experience Christian growth and at the same time began to feel God calling me to surrender to missions. My parents had instilled in me a love for missions, and I had always been fascinated with each missionary family that came through our church. However, visions of countries where I would never want to live instantly flooded my mind. I was perfectly ok surrendering to missions if I could pick the country. It was during that time that I knew the Lord was calling me to a place of complete surrender. I knew I was saved and that my life was not my own, but I feebly tried to hold my dreams in clasped hands. Surely, God didn't want me to give up everything I longed for. I began giving the Lord the pieces of my life that I was comfortable giving, but held onto the dreams and goals that were dearest. This continued for several weeks. In June of 2002, I attended a summer camp with my youth group. At this point, I knew God wanted complete surrender of every area of my life, but I was so scared to let go. Throughout the week, the Lord worked in my heart. On the wall in the chapel was the verse “Having done all, stand.” On the final night, we heard a testimony of a girl who had died at a young age but left a lasting impact for Christ. I knew that if I died then, I would not have left a testimony that said I had done all I could for Christ. I can't honestly remember what the message was about as I was at my breaking point. That night, I surrendered my life to whatever God would call me to. I fully surrendered to the call of missions wherever that would lead me, and I gave complete control of my life to Christ. I will never forget that moment of my life; I went from being so scared of what God was asking of me to complete relief and rest in Him.
That fall during our missions conference at church, the Lord confirmed to me that foreign missions was where He was calling me, and I began to pursue paths that would lead me to that goal. In my middle and high school years, I had the opportunity to visit Jamaica twice on missions trips, and Thailand as well. In addition to overseas trips, I attended a missions camp in Colorado and served in various neighborhood ministries of my home church. While in college, I had the privilege of going to the Ivory Coast with a group from my home church. While I knew the Lord was not calling me specifically to each of these fields, He used each trip to deepen my burden for the lost and strengthen my desire for missions.
Statement: Twelve years of experience as a tent-making missionary in South Korea. Established Faith Baptist Church located in Iksan, South Korea. Two years experience as a foreign professor at Kunsan National University and 10 years of experience at Howon University. A member of Baptist Missions to Forgotten People located in Jacksonville, Fl. Sending church is Pensacola Baptist Temple.
Statement: We are missionaries to the Caucasus Region of Eurasia. My wife and I have been led by God to start churches in this needy area of the 10/40 Window. Many countries of the 10/40 Window are considered closed to Christian missionaries, but there are a few countries where the Church is allowed to grow and thrive, and the countries of the Caucasus Region fit in to this category. The church been given the responsibility of getting the Gospel out to these countries, no matter if they are open or closed. We have responded to the call for laborers to go work in His fields, bringing in the Harvest of Souls.
Testimony: Clark was led to the Lord by his dad at the age of 5 and surrendered to be a missionary in his teen years after taking numerous missions trips with his church. Alyssa was also saved at a young age and surrendered to God’s will for her life in the seventh grade. Alyssa and Clark met at Bible college in 2006 and married in 2010.
Statement: We have spent our first term in Croatia doing what most new missionaries do. We are learning the language, becoming acclimated with the culture, meeting new people,learning the language, handing out tracts, preaching with a translator….did I mention learning the language?? I have been busy helping in 2 works here in the Northern part of Croatia. The first church Stablo Zivota, was started by missionary Johnny Leslie and is now in the hands of a National Pastor. Here I helped in whatever capacity was needed. I taught a Sunday School class to the teenagers, I have led singing, driven church vans, filled the pulpit and tried to be an encouragement to Bro. Ric ( the Pastor). We have a kids meeting every Sunday afternoon and we bus in children from the Gypsy Village. Here they play games, sing songs, learn verses and hear the Word of God every single week. We have different special events through the year to keep them excited and bringing friends. This past June we had a VBS and it averaged around 60 children everyday!
The second work Bro. Johnny started was fairly new when our family arrived on the field. I jumped right into responsibilities in this church. I have been preaching every other week , leading the singing, soul-winning, passing out tracts..etc. During this time we moved to a bigger building and did a lot of work to get it ready for our first service, I was responsible for leading the church while Bro. Johnny was on furlough for a year. In this time we had different outreaches to the community trying to get them into church. We started our Christmas in Croatia project which the Lord has blessed tremendously for the last 2 years, in which we collected money to supply food baskets (and gifts) for the needy at Christmas time. (You can read more about that here, if you'd like www.christmasincroatia.org ). The Lord has blessed abundantly during this first term. It has been a privilege to work with and learn from Bro. Leslie for this time.
Testimony: Please let me introduce the Holcomb Family. I am Scott Holcomb and I am a graduate of Norris Bible Baptist Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX. I received Christ as my personal Saviour at the age of twenty-three. Our church has a heart for missions, and the Lord began to burden me for missions about a year after I was saved. I surrendered my life and prepared for Bible college soon after. A few week prior to graduation, a missionary share with me his burden for Croatia and the great need for the True Gospel Light there. After much prayer and seeking of God’s will the Lord gave me a burden for the people of Croatia and a peace in my heart about surrendering my life to go that county in Easter Europe. We are being sent by Faith Baptist Church in Aransas Pass, Texas where Chris Boatman is pastor. My wife, Traci, also receive Christ the same year I was saved. She, along with our three children, Matthew, Xavier, and Trinity are excited about serving our Lord in Croatia.
Statement: In 1998, the Lord brought Don and Linda back to the USA, where Don became the mission director for Independent Baptist Fellowship International. He taught missions at the Norris Bible Baptist Institute in Fort Worth, Texas, and visited churches presenting the mission program of the IBFI and missions in general. Linda served as the mission secretary for 5 years. In 2006, Don resigned his position, and the Lord began leading him back to Brazil. Returning to Brazil in 2008, Don and Linda moved to the city of Cornélio Procópio, PR. They began working with a group of five people. There is now a small congregation under the leadership of a young national pastor. In 2010, Don began teaching in a new Bible institute started in the city of Londrina, PR, about 1 hour from Cornélio Procópio. In 2012, Don and Linda returned for a furlough of 6 months after 5 years serving in Cornélio Procópio.
Don was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. His parents were Christians and at that time, members of the only independent Baptist church in Salt Lake City. At the age of five, Don made a profession of faith and was baptized. When Don was thirteen, Don's family went with their pastor to establish the Anchor Baptist Church in southern Salt Lake City. During high school, the Lord brought Linda's family to Salt Lake City. She and her mother began to attend the Anchor Baptist Church, and that is where Don and Linda met.
After graduation from high school, Don went to Minnesota to attend Pillsbury Baptist Bible College. During his third year of Bible school, Don realized that he had been trusting in his prayer at the age of five and not in Christ. He accepted Christ as his Savior in the spring of 1968. During his college years, Don had the opportunity to work in several churches in the area mainly in the area of youth ministries.
Linda was born in Tacoma, Washington, and was saved at the age of six in her home. Her family moved to Salt Lake City in 1962, and Linda graduated from high school in 1964. Linda studied at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College for one year and then returned to Salt Lake City to study nursing at St Marks Hospital. Upon her graduation from nurse's training, Don and Linda were married in Salt Lake City in July of 1968. They returned to Minnesota for Don's last year of Bible college.
Statement: We are the Cone family. Our goal is to be in Thailand spreading the Gospel by the end of 2012. We are sent out by Joshua Baptist Church and our Pastor Dr. Gene Wolfenbarger. Under the direction and mentoring of Dr. Wolfenbarger, both of us have served faithfully as directors in the youth department, children’s ministry, and in the bus ministry. This personal mentoring has prepared us for entering a lifetime of service in the mission field.
On June 30th, 1994 during youth camp and after dorm devotions, I accepted Christ as my savior and was baptized at Joshua Baptist that Sunday. Soon after that I felt the Lord was calling me to preach and enrolled in Louisiana Baptist Seminary. While attending college I was able to intern at Joshua Baptist Church serving in the bus ministry, youth ministry, and working in Children’s Church. While serving full time on staff I have been privileged to hold the position of Bus Director, Youth Pastor, Sunday School Superintendent, and Children’s Pastor. I began to feel the call on my life in regards to missions. While seeking the Lord’s will and with the guidance of my pastor Dr. Gene Wolfenbarger the Lord revealed to me the country of Thailand. I took a survey trip and continued to seek the Lord’s will while in Thailand, and the Lord made my call to Thailand certain.
I was saved at the age of 10 on October 31, 1989 while on a Sunday School Class activity. On July 4, 1996 while at youth camp I surrendered to serve the Lord full time in whatever capacity he would allow me too. I began to pray that the Lord would send me a preacher to marry. From that point forward I have enjoyed serving the Lord in my local church, and am thankful for a pastor who will push me and my husband to continue to serve and actively do God’s will, no matter what challenges we may face. I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve the Lord in the country of Thailand.
We are independent fundamental Baptist church planting missionaries to Spain. Our life’s goal is to “Let God be magnified”-Ps. 70:4. Our desire to magnify His name will be accomplished in Spain by
gospel literature saturation in our area,
one on one discipleship, and
hands on training to prepare men and women for the Lord’s service.
All this can only be accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit.
….Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
I was born September 5, 1984 into a Christian family. While my father was in the US Army we traveled quite a bit. I trusted Christ and was baptized as a young child at Biblical Baptist Church in Waukegan, IL. Later, the Lord called me to the mission field while attending a missions conference at Liberty Baptist Church in San Antonio, TX. In 2002 I graduated from the Christian school at Park Meadows Baptist Church in Lincoln, IL. Shortly thereafter I moved to Elgin, IL to attend Providence Baptist College and graduated in 2007 receiving my Bachelors in Missions.
Jen PetersI was born March 8, 1987 into a Christian family. I have been a member of NW Bible Baptist Church my entire life. I trusted Christ as a young child and was baptized shortly thereafter. I have felt a burden for Spanish speaking people to come to know Christ since I was a child. I graduated from NW Baptist Academy in 2005, and the next fall I attended Providence Baptist College. I graduated in the spring of 2008 with a bachelor degree in secondary education. I was able to put my degree to good use by teaching at Northwest Baptist Academy.
Sending Church: Northwest Bible Baptist Church, Elgin, IL www.nwbbc.com
Their desire is to start Baptist churches in every city in Hong Kong to help reach the 8 million people who live there. The people mainly speak Cantonese, Mandarin and English with their primary religion being Buddhism. While learning Cantonese the Abrams plan to help local church planters in their ministries.
Testimony: In March of 2002, Sam wanted to change his life while in the Marine Corp. He prayed for the Lord to give him a good church. God sent a missionary to the military that same day to invite him to Grace Baptist Church in Jacksonville, NC. Soon after, he was deployed to Iraq. God allowed him and another Fundamental Baptist soldier to start soul winning on a weekly basis. They held prayer meetings, Bible studies, and began winning people to the Lord in Camp Alas ad, Iraq. God used this and much of his training in the states to prepare him for what the Lord had planned next for him. Upon returning to the States, God called Sam to preach by using the scripture found in Matthew 9:35-38. He soon attended Bethel Baptist College in Jacksonville, AR. God began to work in his heart about the mission field. In April of 2008, God called him to the mission field of Hong Kong, China. He graduated from BBC in 2009 with a degree in Missions. Since then, he has worked on staff at Bible Baptist Church in the bus ministry, maintenance, soul winning, and started an adult Bible study class.
Preach to sinnersPreach the Gospel at every opportunity. (Mark 16:15)
Teach the believersBuild an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church by teaching them all the counsel of God (Acts 20:27)
Train future leadersTrain nationals to pastor and reach their nation and world with the Gospel. (II Timothy 2:2)
My name is Stephen. I got saved at the age of 8 after family devotions while my parents were starting churches in France. I became greatly involved in their ministry and developed a desire to serve the Lord in full time capacity. I attended the French schools and French is my first language as I lived in France for 16 years.
At the age of 16, I told God that whatever He desired for my life, I would do. I went to Crown College and graduated with a degree in Pastoral ministries to start churches and train nationals to reach and pastor their own nation. While in Bible college God gave me the privilege to disciple two young men from west Africa. I was also involved in French Bible studies with French speaking people who had immigrated to the USA. Two young men got saved as a result of our influence and were baptized in our church.
During the summer of 2008, I went to west Africa to help and encourage a missionary. While in Burkina Faso, The Lord opened opportunities for preaching, teaching, discipleship, soul winning and many other aspects of ministry. When I took the plane to return to the United States, I felt that I was leaving God's will for my life. That is when God gave me a definite desire to go back and obey His leading in my life. While in college God allowed me to meet Julie who shared the same desire to spread the Gospel of Christ in French speaking countries.
My name is Julie. I got saved at age 11 after my father explained to me a verse of scripture that I had memorized. He explained to me my condition of sin and my need for the Savior Jesus Christ who could wash me as white as snow if I trusted on Him.
I grew up and desired to be a missionary in a French speaking country because I lived most of my life in Quebec Canada speaking French. I met Stephen at Crown College and knew that, when he went to Burkina Faso, The Lord would call him to go back as a full time missionary. I prayed and God gave me peace about going to Burkina Faso for His glory to be manifested there. We later joined our lives in marriage on August 7th 2010 and we are now excited to see what God is going to do as we yield our lives to Him.