Gerry was saved in 1958 and went to Tennessee Temple University. He and his first wife, Carolyn, were called to Canada in 1966. Canton Baptist Temple, Canton, Ohio, was and is their home church and sending church. Gerry helped Brother Garland Cofield begin Camp of the Woods in Dinorwic, Ontario, and Emmanuel Baptist Church. In 1968 the Lord moved them to Saskatchewan, where he started one church and pastored two other small churches in grain pool towns, driving 180 miles every Sunday to preach in each one. Prayer meetings were held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. In October of that year, Carolyn was killed instantly in an automobile accident while returning from a Children's Bible Club they had started. Gerry returned to the States for a time with his 16-month old son, Jeff. He worked in four different churches but continued to take laymen and young people to mission fields so they could see the need. Several of these people are missionaries today because of these trips. In January 1970, Gerry and Diane were married at her home church and had their second son, Jan Michael, near the end of that year.
The Lord called them back to Canada to plant another church in St. Catharines, Ontario. They began knocking on doors and leading people to Christ in March 1978. Over the almost 15 years there, they saw the Lord provide a Christian school, a church building with two houses, and a missionary program that supported over 50 missionaries for $60,000 a year through Faith Promise giving. Many lives were changed and many souls were saved over the years.
During their years in St. Catharines, Ontario, Gerry also founded and developed BIMI of CANADA. He handled this operation until 1992. Due to government regulations, churches across Canada were unable to send financial contributions to any organization or missionary in another country, including the United States, unless they had a registered office in Canada. Since BIMI of Canada's founding, many Canadian churches have sent hundreds of thousands of dollars for missions around the world.
In 1992 the Lord called Gerry to begin a Missionary Boot Camp/Institute where students age 16 and up, college and career age, adult singles, and married couples could come if they had been called to missions or full-time service or if just they had a serious interest in missionary life and service—CAMP BIMI l. Here they could learn the “behind the scenes” daily mundane and nitty-gritty details of a missionary's life and all that it requires, where no hidden surprises would cause the missionary to quit or fail on the field. They would be trained and taught by BIMI missionaries over 7 days, which includes many hours of classes, workshops, evening sessions, and time with the missionary staff. They could ask questions and find the answers that always seemed evasive. The next year, students could go to two different countries for a month to experience what it is like—first hand. This phase is called SMART, Student Missionary Apprentice Reality Training. Following that, they could return for 7 days of advanced classes and practical workshops—CAMP BIMI ll and lll. Some Christian colleges decided to give 2 credit hours for each one—CAMP BIMI I, II, and III and 3 credit hours for a SMART trip—as mission electives.
Also, in December 1992 Gerry was burdened to get Christian laymen on the mission field to capture a burden for missions while assisting our missionaries with building churches, repairing hurricane damage, etc. Thus, Christian Laymen Assisting International Missionaries (CLAIM) was born. CLAIM has continued since 1992 and many missionaries have received invaluable help. Those laymen's eyes have seen many fields and their hearts have been touched.
CAMP BIMI (CB) is a ministry of faith, funded solely by churches and individuals. CAMP BIMI has had 1,007 first time students. There are CB alumni serving as Christian laymen/women in full-time service, and they are in 76 countries and on every continent except Antarctica as missionaries.
Committed to Finding Where You Fit In Missions,
Dr. Gerry Baughman
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