he is putting that local pastor's children at risk. It is common to see that many
times the children of these local leaders do not follow in their parent's footsteps.
We often lose that second generation.
Therefore, in order for missionary churches to become stable and self-supporting,
it is essential to establish a local school to train local pastors. This is something
that I have believed for many years and something with which I have been
burdened ever since I was in seminary many years ago. I am a self-supporting
medical missionary working in north western Puerto Rico with Pastor Steve
Buchanan, a full-time BIMI missionary who is pastoring Iglesia Bautista Berea
(Berea Baptist Church) in the town of Aguadilla. Aguadilla is a medium sized
rural town, but a million people live scattered within a half hour's drive.
Last year we decided to go ahead and start a theological seminary in our
church. The response has been surprisingly positive. It seems that many other
denominations have the same problem as the independent Baptists. There is
a hunger among God's people from different evangelical churches for solid
Bible teaching, especially among those who wish to be leaders. After a while,
superficial, emotional preaching does not satisfy. We are now in our third
semester of slowly and carefully covering Bible doctrines (theology). The first
semester we had three students, the second semester we had four, and this
semester we have had nine so far. Two of the students are current Baptist pastors
or assistant pastors.
8 Islander – No 1, 2013