Emergency Preparedness Project Joseph
This day is a historic day for us as we make our first official church planting efforts by air in "15 glorious degree temperatures" to the city of Menomonee, Michigan. This city is on the coast of Lake Michigan and the border of Wisconsin. These are actually two cities that are divided by a river that places the other part of the city in Wisconsin. It is a blessing to use the aircraft to transport us to a town that is over 2 hours away by can and only 40 minutes by airplane. Off my left you can see at a higher altitude as I make a steep left bank turn and begin our decent to the airport.
The housing and airport are close together. In the picture to the right, I am turning for my base approach to the airport at about 300 feet. you can view the houses out the front windshield.
Upon landing, we were able to walk from the plane across the street and begin soul winning with the intentions of establishing in-home Bible studies in order to build a nucleus of people that later on would make up a small congregation that would be willing to meet in a facility. Our efforts did yield some fruit and we trust so will the future efforts of our church planting here in Menominee.
Did You Know?
In 1900, there were 27 churches for every
These are some of the areas that we have started churches
After my wife delivered our forth child Rebekah in the state of Florida in December of 1985, we headed west to Seguine Texas. Seguine at that time was a town of about 22,000 people in population. When we arrived, there was no Independent Baptist Church. Seguine is approximately 35 miles east of San Antonio. The seats in the above picture were removed and replaced with pews. The removed seats were later placed in the Falfurrias work. Look and compare the pictures.
After completing the church planting work in Seguin, we headed south to Raymondville, Texas. This small Texas town was about 9,000 in population and was 35 north of the Mexico border. We parked our travel trailer in a park in the middle of the city and lived there. We were able to acquire a large house on a lease with the option to buy, which option we exercised after the 1 year lease was up. The house pictured above was large in that it went deep and was longer than wider. It had 2 bath rooms, and 4 bed rooms along with a large living room and kitchen. A garage was out back that was converted in to children's church. This ministry was very fruitful. We had our share of problems, but it could not compare to the blessing of the salvation of souls and a new church established for our Lord.
Our ministry is focused on rural America. You will notice that the town that we reach are not very large. Falfurrias was one such town. Falfurrias is located in deep south Texas on highway 281. The population is 6,0103. Oh how I think of the tremendous need in America's Rural cities. By now aviation is beginning to play a major roll in our church planting methods. Because our ministry is rural, distance is a problem. As pictured on our aviation page, you can see the logical use of an airplane.
I was able to purchase 3/4 of an acre of land for $750 on the edge of town. I then transported an older mobile home to the property and began a remodeling project. We gutted the inside and converted it into a church building. Besides the black widow spiders, scorpions and rattle snakes, we saw much fruit here in this little work. There was a small radio station located in the center of town and I was able to preach on KPSO radio for 5 years here in this town.
Kingsville, Texas had a population of about 25,000. Believe it or not, with no Independent Baptist Church! There was one, but it had closed it's doors. I preached revival meeting for this church but now it was gone. The building was in foreclosure as well as the property. I contacted the bank and made an agreement with them, that I would make a mortgage payment every week (5 month worth) until the mortgage was brought current. The Lord blessed and we had a building but now needed people. Through this ministry, we established the Heritage Baptist Church, a printing ministry, a Bible Institute, and a Christian School. Through the ministries here, there were 5 men called into the ministry. 2 of these men are in full time ministry (view the Alumni Profiles page).
From here, we were able to train preachers and here the Church Planters Institute was born. As an example, through the aviation ministry, we would fly these preachers over to towns such as Hebbronville, Texas (Population 4,000) and begin to conduct in - home Bible studies and door to door soul winning. There was over 300 people saved in Hebbronville. We were also able to conduct two city wide tent revivals and bought land to build a church if the Lord would allow.
I remember in my early 20's the desire that I had of reaching the Northern part of Michigan. Upon the realization that our ministry in Texas has now come to a close, our sights were set to head up the the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We arrived in January and moved into our house in March and began having services immediately in Harvey.
We were able to secure the Township Hall in Harvey. The Lord has allowed us to meet there for the past several years. Last summer, were able to purchase 4 acres of land and have begun building our new church building.
Pictured above is the building. I will have more current pictures in an upcoming up date of it's progress. Rural evangelism. Rural Church Planting. This is an exciting and rewarding ministry. Please continue to pray for us that the Lord would continue to use us in this ministry.
The Shiloh Baptist Church building !!
The fellowship hall
viewed during our missions conference