September/October '19

The month of September brought about the third multi-week survey trip we hosted this year, the second time with a couple from our mission board. Daniel and Erin Lang, along with their baby boy Ezekiel, spent nineteen days with us after our busy August camp season. Daniel spoke in our college and in both churches in which we are involved, and both of them took part in soul-winning, visitation, Bible clubs, and school ministries. The Langs are already almost a year into deputation; you can see more about this good couple, view their video presentation, and support them directly by going to fbmi.org/missionary/lang.

October for me was non-stop with traveling and preaching. On the first Sunday, I had the opportunity in Calabar to take part in a Missions Sunday at Nigeria’s third-oldest independent Baptist church. The Sunday school, morning service, and evening preaching times were all focused on encouraging the members to give above their tithes and offerings to help works throughout our country and around the world. We also took some time to go through items that came on our container that will be used as an encouragement to churches represented at the six Soul-Winning & Leadership Conferences (SWLC) [2019 schedule pictured] that we have planned for next year.

Our last two SWLCs for this year were held at Port Harcourt and Ibadan in the middle of October. Dr. & Mrs. Mike Cox and Missionary Evangelist Jim Belisle joined me once again at the Maskeys’ work in the East to conduct a combination Missions Conference and SWLC at Nigeria’s largest independent Baptist church [pastor delegates receiving Bibles]. IBC Port Harcourt had over 800 on Sunday and more than 300 attending each of the three nights of our special meeting. Dr. and Mrs. Cox and Bro. Belisle taught split sessions in the mornings, I taught an afternoon session on missions giving for two days, and the three of us rotated preaching the evening services. Bro. Belisle [pictured with host pastor Kelani and me] stayed an extra week to preach with me at Victory Independent Baptist Church in Ibadan, the first church outside of Abuja in which I preached in 2005. We held special Sunday and Monday services along with a Tuesday pastors and workers fellowship.
Since 2010, we have been excited to see the graduates of our college and institute start 40 churches. Recently, three village churches have presented to me similar prospects to buy parcels of land so that an auditorium can be built. Though the situations are different based on the size of the parcel and how much the individual church has raised toward the price quoted, each need for the land purchase is around $1000. Please consider taking an offering for these opportunities and helping to further our church planting.

July/August '19

Our 100th prayer letter recaps a time full of activity and with the most visitors we’ve ever welcomed in the home that God allowed us to build over six years ago. The month of July began with an anticipated space of break time, as most our seminary students were serving in other churches until the first week of August. In addition, there were several days that we were advised to stay at home because of protests that were being held in various parts of the city. Before our streak of three youth camps in four weeks, we welcomed two MK’s (missionary kids), Miss Carissa Maskey [pictured with campers] and her brother, Justin, to spend some time with our family.
My son, Brian, traveled with me as we conducted our 3rd Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism (SMITE) in Ogbomoso on the last week of July. After that successful camp [delegates pictured], Evangelist Tunde Ajayi led several young people in Ibadan with SMITE experience to do a Blitz, where Bible clubs are conducted both morning and afternoon, food is served for those leading the clubs, and a testimony and preaching time is arranged each evening. During that same week, our seminary had an orientation for a fresh semester; we welcomed six new students, and Jonathan (the music minister of our sending church) and Amber Carr [pictured with me below, receiving a gift of cloth]  arrived for our Abuja camp (Jonathan also taught for a day at the college). They were soon joined by a returning visitor, Tim Meyer, of Grandview Pines Baptist Church, along with Mrs. April Decker and her oldest daughter, Lydia [pictured with our director and his wife]. The 9th Annual SMITE for Abuja was unique in several ways: Bro. Jonathan was a wonderful keynote speaker, we planned a tribute to celebrate the memory of Pastor Jared Decker (who had preached SMITE six times), a moving recap video (designed by Bro. Tim) was shown at the closing service after graduation, and we had split sessions for young men and young ladies for the first time to allow us to utilize lessons from our lady American guests. On the day after the Abuja SMITE, Bro. Meyer and the Deckers went to Ogbomoso to visit the Safe Harbor Children’s Home for the weekend while our staff and I traveled to Port Harcourt for our final and biggest Nigerian SMITE of 2019. Miss Carissa and Mrs. April once again did split sessions during the week, and we all enjoyed the fellowship with the Missionary Maskey family. Calabar was the target for the second Blitz after the Port Harcourt camp, as Bro. Tunde combined the resources of two churches to conduct Bible clubs for five more days. Lastly, I traveled to preach at Independent Baptist Church of Ijokodo-Ibadan on the last Sunday of August to bring an encouraging conclusion to their week when they annually hold a pastors’ conference.
In 3 SMITE’s, we had a total of 373 young people registered from 58 churches (a new record); they conducted 74 clubs that enrolled nearly 4000 children to hear the Gospel. Add to that 2 Blitzes [over 80 pictured from 2 churches in Calabar] that involved over 100 SMITE-experienced young people in 39 clubs; they had 1317 children enrolled with nearly 650 being dealt with personally for salvation. These numbers do not even include the Ghana and Kenya camps that take place in April and November, and these figures are just the beginning, for every one of the churches represented received Bible club materials so that the trained young people can use them throughout the year to reach children with the Gospel in their home areas.

May/June '19

Over the last three months, Truth Baptist has witnessed several special events. On the first Saturday of April, one of our best ladies celebrated her marriage [pictured] to a church planter. The wedding was sentimental, as the bride was our faithful Sunday school teacher and institute student, but we know God is using them both in the Awka Independent Baptist Church. On the first Sunday of May, we held a baby dedication service for five families.
Also in May, the kids received a surprise visit from their Papa; my father-in-law was able to visit us for four days after a work contract in Lagos, and Sabrina and I kept it a secret until I pulled up to our house gate after picking him up from the airport. Sabrina’s dad had a similar situation in 2006 and was able to attend the Grand Opening service of Truth Baptist; this time he stood to give a testimony during our 13th Anniversary Sunday, and he encouraged our people on how impressed he was with the church’s maturity. In June, my mother-in-law was able to stay for nearly 3 ½ weeks. She brought gifts for an orphanage [pictured], visited a prison ministry, taught a Sunday school class, improved our children’s musical skills, and helped them with a Bible club in our front yard. Sabrina’s mom used the trip as an internship while she is pursuing her bachelor’s degree, so I played the role of her supervisor!
Immediately after Papa’s visit was the 11th Annual Soul-Winning & Leadership Conference (SWLC). Because of our several regional meetings throughout the year, we have tried to focus more on our surrounding areas with this Abuja SWLC. There were still 30 churches represented, and we were pleased with how many pastors brought members and staff along with them; we were also thrilled to host Evangelist Jeff Walters with two other guest preachers. The next week, for the first time, we held a conference in the city of Aba. Missionary Evangelist Jim Belisle, Dr. Mike Cox, and I preached in all three of the area churches on Sunday, and ten pastors [pictured] came to the services on Monday and Tuesday to help fill up the auditorium of Trinity Baptist Church. Just before my mother-in-law’s visit, Sabrina traveled to the Ladies Spectacular in Port Harcourt for the first time by herself (actually with Joseph and Aaron). She enjoyed the fellowship with Mrs. Maskey, her daughter Carissa, and the many attending pastors’ wives.

March/April '19

In March, our ministries had the privilege of hosting Caleb and Emily Christiansen for their survey trip. On their first Sunday, I preached the closing service of a Hausa fellowship meeting [pictured right] at one of our church plants, and during the next two Sunday evenings, Bro. Caleb preached at both churches in which my family is involved. Bro. & Mrs. Christiansen [pictured below] also witnessed a special meeting that we had with SMITE graduates about the future of our Nigerian youth camps. Please pray for them as they prepare for deputation.
On Good Friday, our SMITE Africa staff, Pastor Adewale Adesina and Evangelist Babatunde Ajayi, completed the 2nd Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism at Fundamental Baptist Church International in Kumasi, Ghana. There were 80 youth [pictured left] from 5 church groups that conducted 16 clubs with a total of 1109 children enrolled and 577 saved. I had the privilege of preaching the morning and evening services on Sunday at FBCI, and Sabrina did a Bible club demonstration on Monday and taught a class on Tuesday. We’ve been happy to hear immediate reports of the youth in Kumasi conducting weekly Bible clubs on Saturdays and three missionary and pastor families starting clubs with their youth who attended the camp. We are looking forward to three Nigeria S.M.I.T.E.’s in August and a first-ever one for Kenya in November.
In May, Truth Baptist Church will celebrate its 13th Anniversary, and most of those years, the ministry has been self-supported by God’s grace, strength, and provision. However, a few unique challenges have hit the work recently, and I wish to call out for help. Two of our staff use a motorcycle for visitation, soul-winning, and follow-up, and that bike was stolen a few months ago; a new motorcycle will cost about $600. Also, after several years, our church chairs are getting old and breaking. We are in need of around 100 chairs at about $8 apiece. We would appreciate any assistance at whatever amount.
[new family picture above]
We have several other ongoing projects for which we need prayer. Grace & Glory Baptist Church has started building an auditorium on land that we’re leasing. The City of Refuge project has completed its second housing structure, has welcomed in over twenty persecuted Christians, and is ready to begin construction on a building for a kitchen and bathrooms. Our assistant pastor, Justin Mathias, for whom many of you prayed after his accident, has written an autobiography and is hoping to print many copies soon. Lastly, Truth Baptist Church still desires to add a second floor to the rooms that we currently use for dormitory space; this would allow us the capacity to open a Christian day school. Thank you for your intercessions.

January/February '19

Our family arrived in Nigeria on the 24th of January after postponing our original departure plans by two weeks because of a delay in receiving a visa for Aaron; thankfully, we already had a “buffer” in our schedule in case something like that happened. This crew of eight traveled from New Orleans with nineteen 35-gallon Sterilite bins, three boxes, six carry-ons, two instruments, and seven backpacks! On the first Sunday back to Grace & Glory, five families (including ours) were represented in a baby dedication [pictured]; this one was very special for me, because I had participated in the wedding of each couple on the platform (including mine ).

In early February, I had the privilege of conducting the first two of six pastors’ conferences that we have planned for 2019. The 2nd Annual Pastors & Workers Conference at Faith Baptist in Ogbomoso was a great success. It was an honor to preach with a personal friend and patriarch of our movement, veteran national missionary Dr. Solomon Owolabi, and another great friend and fellow-servant, Evangelist Yinka Fasinro. The next meeting was at Zion Independent Baptist in Jos, the church that always sends the most teenagers to our Abuja camp. My family [and most seminary students, pictured] joined me on the drive, and I preached on Friday through Sunday with the pastor of the church whom I had thrill of ordaining two years ago, Bro. Ayuba, and our assistant pastor, Justin Mathias. Our co-laborer, Ms. Pat Hamburg, skillfully taught also. There were nearly fifty churches represented over the seven days of preaching in two places due to the diligent work of Pastors Samuel Akande, Joseph Popoola, and Ayuba Agwom.

My biggest praise report this year is the Lord using our family and ministry to host four different couples on their survey trips throughout this year. Not all will be working directly with us in the future, but each is staying in our home and seeing our work. Bro. Seth Folkers, already a veteran of Cameroon, visited with us at the end of February after ministering in Ogoja (in the southeast part of Nigeria) to Cameroonian refugees; he should be returning with his wife and daughter at the end of this year. Arriving on the last two days of February, Garan and Anneliese Patrick stayed with us for two Sundays and visited both churches, one of our newer plants, Bible club and school ministries, an orphanage with which we partner, the City of Refuge, and Garan [pictured with chief] taught and preached in our college. The Patricks are planning to start deputation in the summer. Next month, we will be hosting the Christiansens, and the Langs have already begun deputation; check out their info at fbmi.org/missionary/lang.

Please take a look at our "Conference/Camp Schedule" page on this blog for our 2019 events. We would appreciate your prayers as this should be our fullest calendar ever, and I would also like to request help as, in some specific ways, it will be our most financially costly year of ministry. In our five S.M.I.T.E.’s, we will be spending about $1200 for each camp just to print materials that will be used in classes and Bible clubs. Also, there will be four churches that need help with feeding delegates/students who will be attending their conference/camp; in each of those churches, we will be spending around $1000. We look forward to sending good reports of these meetings!

November/December '18

At the beginning of November, my family embarked on the first big U.S. excursion with our newest member, Aaron Samuel, to meetings in Florida and South Carolina. We reported in two Tampa area churches and were grateful participants in a Jubilee along the Carolina Coast. In between, two nights were spent in Charleston [pictured at aquarium]. With the sightseeing in a historically beautiful city, meeting up with friends at each place, and a church providing a condo along the beach—it turned into a refreshing vacation for our crew.

Both Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were enjoyed with Sabrina’s family and included brief trips to the Mississippi coast for celebrations with my relatives. At the beginning of December, I had a very productive trip to the Midwest, highlighted by being the missions conference keynote speaker for a church pastored by a close friend of our family [Pastor Johnny Crane, center, picture with Curtis Hall and me]. In Nigeria, another semester of our seminary was concluded in the middle of December, but not before the students traveled three hours together to help a church led by one of our graduates; the “seminary outreach” week has become something to which all of our students look forward.

Just before the New Year, our family and ministry were shaken by the news of the untimely passing of a great friend, Pastor Jared Decker, from cardiac arrest before the age of 36. Bro. Jared [pictured with one of our graduates] visited our ministry on six different occasions and was fundamental in the growth and expansion of two youth camps; his church in Alabama was a faithful supporter of both our work and a couple of church plants. The Decker family has known Sabrina and I since we were teenagers, and we’re planning some time to see and hopefully encourage his wife, their children, and the church.

Overall, I believe this has been our most productive furlough ever. We were able to make some finishing arrangements on a container of scriptures that will be shipping in January. More money was raised and consequential work completed for the City of Refuge project [pictured]; the first families have already been moved into the housing quarters. Plans are underway for six Soul-Winning and Leadership Conferences and five Student Missions Institutes for Training in Evangelism with several visiting guest preachers. Also, we’ve met with potential new missionary families who’ve planned survey trips to our work for 2019. Sabrina and I are looking forward to sending you many good reports once we return to the field.

September/October '18

My busiest time of our furlough cranked up in the middle of October through the end of the month, as I was a part of three Missions Conferences and two other emphasis Sundays. The Lord has allowed us to report on our work in nearly 25 places and schedule several new churches [and meet with a Nigerian friend here and there--pictured] to present our work. We are looking forward to traveling together as a family [pictured with my immediate family] at the beginning of next month. Thank you for your prayers towards Sabrina’s recovery from her procedure and for baby Aaron, who is growing and developing well.

Our family and ministry are very grateful to our longtime friend and co-laborer, Missionary Evangelist James Belisle [pictured with our seminary students], the Americas Field Service Coordinator of Fundamental Baptist Missions International, the mission board with whom we’ve served for 16 years. Bro. Belisle completed a first in October: a guest preacher traveling to Nigeria in our absence and conducting conferences in two locations! On the 14th through the 17th, Missionary David Maskey hosted a Missions & Leadership Conference at Independent Baptist Church of Port Harcourt, with morning and evening sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Bro. Belisle was the keynote speaker. Our youth pastor at Grace & Glory Baptist Church, Bro. Adewale Adesina, was also invited to preach and teach Sunday through Wednesday. On the 21st, Pastor Adewale [pictured on the right with 2 of our deacons] accompanied Bro. Belisle to Ibadan to minister for a Sunday at Independent Baptist Church of Ijokodo, followed by a full-day Pastors’ and Workers’ Conference on Tuesday.  Without Bro. Belisle, we would have been forced to cancel these meetings; instead, because of the Lord’s blessing and our friend’s determination, we are able to continue and even expand the work of encouraging pastors with conferences in several locations throughout Nigeria.

There are many ways to keep in touch with our work and family. We have a new page with several videos (vimeo.com/missionaryholmes), including the update that we’ve been showing in churches during furlough. Our mission board’s website has a page for us (fbmi.org/holmes), with a newly improved online-giving feature. On Facebook, you can find our personal page (markandsabrina) and our ministry page (search Abuja’s Conferences and Colleges). Our sending church also has featured us in many different ways; go to missionsclub.wordpress.com, and search for us by the tag “holmes”

July/August '18

Our newest member of the Holmes family, Aaron Samuel, arrived on September 10 at 4:06 p.m.; he weighed 6 pounds 9 ounces and was 19½ inches long. He was delivered at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; we brought Aaron home to my in-laws’ on Thursday. All of his initial checkups have gone well, though we did have to get his tongue-tie clipped to help with feeding. This is Noah and LaDonna’s first time to notice a baby sibling, so they [family pictured with my mother in post-delivery room] are overly excited to have him around.
Our time on furlough has started very well, with several invitations to minister in supporting churches, a chance to be a part of the first Missions Mastermind and Missions University with our mission board, the second opportunity for Joseph to go to Youth Conference in Hammond, Indiana, and the excitement of sending Brian and Victoria to a junior camp. In Nigeria, 3 Student Missions Institutes for Training in Evangelism [Port Harcourt camp pictured] and our first-ever Bible Club “Blitz” were conducted in my absence. The totals from the 3 SMITEs were 341 campers conducting 82 clubs, with 4,518 children enrolled and nearly 2,500 who raised their hand for salvation. Then 70 youths [pictured] from 2 churches in Calabar joined Evangelist Tunde Ajayi and 4 pastors to conduct 16 Bible Clubs throughout the last week of August after the Port Harcourt SMITE. We already have a second city planned for a Blitz after next year’s Ogbomoso Camp.
 
In February, our ministry was honored to be the focus of a nationwide Bible Day [advert pictured], sponsored by Bible Education And Missionary Service (we share the same sending church in Gulfport, Mississippi). The 5,000 whole, hardback Bibles, for which BEAMS raised money, will be included in a container that several other ministries helped us to fill. Missionary Evangelist Donald Wattenbarger, with Bibles Beyond Boundaries out of Liberty Baptist Church in Crossville, Tennessee, raised funds for shipping and sourced Bibles and testaments from Mt. Pisgah Scripture Printing Ministry in Oliver Springs, Tennessee; Bearing Precious Seed in Milford, Ohio; and Bible and Literature Missionary Foundation (Bro. Bobby Lemmon)  in Shelbyville, Tennessee. A new friend, Bro. Jon De Rusha, who has Back in the Battle Bibles, has provided hymnals and other materials; and Publish or Perish Printing Ministries, also in Gulfport, donated four pallets of boxes packed with Gospel tracts. Several churches and individuals have also sent Christian books for our library and funds for the distribution of materials. We are humbled by the efforts of those who have been joined together for this great effort to assist many Nigerian churches with needed resources.

May/June '18


On July 3rd, our family departed Nigeria, bound for Louisiana. We arrived safely, and all of Sabrina’s initial doctors’ appointments have gone well as we are anticipating the birth of our sixth child around the second week of September. During the two weeks before our flight, we had the pleasure of fellowshipping with two missionary families [Fasinro family pictured] as they visited Abuja, and special times were planned with the leadership of both churches [that of Truth BC pictured] in which our family is involved.

In May, all seven of us traveled to Port Harcourt to be a part of Independent Baptist Church’s Ladies’ Spectacular; we were pleased to be joined by Ms. Pat Hamburg, who has worked with our ministry for several years.  Though Sabrina experienced some health challenges, she was able to teach with Ms. Pat and Mrs. Maskey and several others, and I had the unique privilege of preaching on Thursday evening to all the delegates. It was my fifteenth occasion in twelve years to minister in this wonderful church!
At the beginning of May, the Providence Baptist College and Seminary completed its most active semester in our nine-year history. The ministers-in-training witnessed a graduation, pastors’ conference, and the first time to have five teachers together. All eighteen students [most pictured with one of our deacons] participated in a multi-day leadership seminar [some participants and teachers pictured], weekly driver training, and a week-long skills-acquisition time that taught them small business skills. Several had unique opportunities for village outreach, and all participated in the following various regular activities: Bible clubs for children, youth meetings, Sunday School classes for singles, Christian film showings both in the school and in the local area, government school ministry, and outreach Bible studies.
 
There are many ways you can intercede for our ministry over the next few months. Please pray for my family as we travel to report on our work and as we prepare in faith for the new addition. Truth and Grace & Glory will have over twenty different men preaching in my absence, and two pastors’ meetings will be held. Three teachers will continue the work of the seminary, beginning again in August. Finally, I know the McGuffees would be glad for your prayers as they prepare to conduct three youth camps starting at the end of July.

March/April '18

Sabrina and I wish to announce the good news that we are now expecting our 6th child! As we have with the birth of each of our children, my family [pictured on Easter Sunday] is planning a furlough to begin in July and last through the end of this year. If you would like for us to report on our ministry, please let me know by email or through Skype (U.S. # 225.910.6337), and I would be glad to add your church to our schedule. So far, her doctor’s appointments have gone well; nevertheless, we request prayer for Sabrina’s health and strength and for the baby to be delivered in September successfully and safely. 
S.M.I.T.E. Africa is now international! The Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism held its first youth camp outside of Nigeria in Ghana with Fundamental Baptist Church of Kumasi. We were thankful to work with missionaries from our mission board, Fundamental Baptist Missions International, in training their young people and seminary students to conduct children’s Bible clubs throughout their area. There were 76 campers [pictured] who attended classes each morning for five days; in the afternoons, they teamed together for 14 Bible clubs where a total of 946 children were enrolled, and over 500 responded to the salvation message. S.M.I.T.E. Louisiana will soon celebrate its 40th Anniversary, and we are thrilled to bring to other countries what Sabrina and I learned in the U.S.  
The same week that we returned from Ghana, I picked up from the airport our four guests (including the president of our mission board, Dr. Mark Bosje) for the 10th Annual Soul Winning & Leadership Conference. Now that we have four other venues for regional conferences, our Abuja meeting concentrates better on drawing pastors from the immediate areas around us. Over 35 churches were represented [pictured with Dr. Cox], and nearly all of them were from a five-hour radius around our capital city. On the Saturday after our conference, Dr. and Mrs. Mike Cox and Missionary Evangelist Jim Belisle [pictured with Pastor Nicolas Wayih and Joseph] joined me to Calabar for their 2nd Annual regional conference. This meeting has the greatest response from the host church members at Independent Baptist Church of Calabar; there were also 11 pastors in attendance.  
The day following our Abuja conference, Dr. Cox and I (along with our assistant pastor, youth pastor, and an area pastor) [pictured with Ms. Pat in front of first building] met at Truth Baptist Church with several converted families of the Fulani tribe, a people group that is almost completely Muslim. We are partnering with Dr. Mike Cox and Global Outreach in Springboro, Ohio, to construct a City of Refuge where these families (who, normally, upon conversion, are rejected and threatened by extended family and expelled from their home areas) can safely live, fellowship in church, and be trained to go back to their people with the Gospel.  That afternoon, we visited the property that God has already provided through churches who have given as Dr. Cox travels and presents the need. The property has the potential to house 30 families with a church, and you can join us to help construct a second living quarters, a bathhouse, and an auditorium. For more information, please contact me, or see the City of Refuge page.  

January/February '18

At the beginning of January, we started a new semester of Providence Baptist College & Seminary with 17 students, two of them new. Our Saturday-only Temple Baptist Institute classes also resumed with 16 students after a holiday break. On the last weekend of January, we welcomed two dear friends and veteran national missionaries, Dr. David Jacobs and Pastor Paul Lawal, to preach our graduation services [gift calendar pictured] and also the Sunday services at both churches where our family is involved.

During the first week of February in Ogbomoso (in the southeast region of Nigeria), our ministry embarked upon its 5th venue for hosting Soul Winning & Leadership Conferences. A three-day Pastors and Workers Meeting was conducted at Faith Baptist Church (in conjunction with their 13th Anniversary Celebration) with Missionary Evangelist Donald Wattenbarger of Bibles Beyond Boundaries. I was privileged to preach alongside Bro. Don [pictured with our hosts] each evening, as well as have some time for teaching sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday with representatives from nearly 50 churches. Back in our area on Friday, Bro. Wattenbarger traveled with some of our men to see two areas where we are planting churches with our graduates.

Over a span of three years, Grace & Glory Baptist Church has grown from a small Sunday evening Bible study in the living room of one of our founding members, to a thriving congregation of 13 families and three staff members. For the last 30 months the church has paid to hold Sunday services in a nice meeting hall of a secure area hotel [recent service pictured]; this has been a blessing in one way and a challenge in another, as the location has been great, but the cost has kept us from being able to hold regular mid-week services and other meetings at the venue. Even with the restricted schedule, we have found ways to integrate youth activities, Lord’s Supper services, a discipleship series, men’s meetings, and “singspirations” (a service filled with song specials and a Bible study) into the regular Sunday program. Grace & Glory is now in the process of securing a 10-year lease for a place that would be more conducive to three weekly services and outreach meetings; please pray that we can reach an agreement with the owners soon. Likewise, continue to pray for Truth Baptist Church, as we’ve dedicated ourselves to also grow this first church plant that will celebrate its 12th Anniversary in May.

November/December '17

In early December, we rounded up our 15th semester of Providence Baptist College & Seminary and were pleased to have 5 teachers [pictured at a Christmas fellowship] working together for the first time since we started in 2009. Two missionaries (Bro. Sonny McGuffee and Ms. Pat Hamburg) have joined us, along with 2 national pastors who have taught since 2013. On January 27, our 5th commencement will be held, with 9 graduating the seminary and 4 earning certificates from our Temple Baptist Institute. With these 13 added, the total of those who’ve completed training in our schools is over 100, and 36 churches have been planted so far with the graduates!
The month of November was rewarding in several ways. For our 9th Annual Great Commission Meeting at Truth Baptist Church, we had the privilege of hosting our mission board’s Field Service Coordinator for Africa, Bro. Jeremy Snipes [village visit pictured left]; he taught in our seminary and also conducted the first-ever missions conference for Grace & Glory Baptist Church [flier pictured above]. Next up was an ordination service for a pastor and two of our graduates at the church that has regularly sent the most campers to our annual S.M.I.T.E., Zion Independent Baptist in Jos. According to my records, it is the 20th time that I’ve had the honor of participating in an ordination. The week following, Thanksgiving was celebrated at our house with three American friends and families. December gave us a nice break from our regular schedule and a fulfillment of a few holiday traditions that have been developed over the years: a big breakfast on the day that our kids opened gifts from grandparents, a Christmas morning service and gift giving for the children of Truth Baptist, and a brief family retreat to an area hotel.

The year 2018 could prove to be my busiest year ever for hosting conferences and camps. Truth Baptist Church will hold the 10th Annual National Soul-Winning and Leadership Conference (SWLC) in April and the 8th Annual Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism (S.M.I.T.E.) in August. In February, May, and October, four regional SWLCs will be conducted, along with three regional S.M.I.T.E. camps in April, July, and August (including our first-ever in Ghana!). Over the years, the Lord has always provided for my cost of traveling to these meetings, and this year I would like to help four of the host churches with the expense of feeding the visiting delegates for their multi-day events. The average total for each of the four churches will be about $1,500. Please consider joining me in this investment to encourage church leaders and youth groups in our ever-expanding ministry of pastors’ conferences and youth camps.