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By Gary Sprunger
Where there is no vision, the
people perish: but he that
keepeth the law, happy is he
(Proverbs 29:18). In the early
years of BIMI, God gave a
number of men a vision to reach
the islands of the Caribbean
with the Gospel. Ray Thompson went to St.

Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and established
Calvary Baptist Church and Bluewater Bible
College. Jim Cooper went to the Caicos
Islands and planted a church. He then became
burdened for Nassau, Bahamas, where he
established New Testament Baptist Church and
Bible Baptist Church. Freeman Goodge went to
Anguilla. Jerry Johnson went to Antigua and
planted Grace Baptist Church. Sam Chastain
started Emanuel Baptist in St. Thomas. Bob
Faile went to St. Martin and started Good News
Baptist. Clifford Husky focused on Trinidad
and Tobago and assisted Fundamental Baptist
Mission of Trinidad. God used these men along
with many other BIMI missionaries to plant
churches throughout the islands.

Throughout the past six decades, soul winning
and church planting have been the priority of
missionaries in the Caribbean. As churches
were established, missionaries desired to have
God-called national leadership to replace them
so they could start more churches. Throughout
the Caribbean, God raised up strong national
12 Number 2, 2020
leaders and over the years, most of those
churches became autonomous. Many of the
national leaders trained at Bluewater Bible
College in St. Thomas. Others trained through
systematic Bible institute programs. We praise
the Lord for the legacy left by the first wave of
pioneer missionaries. There is now a new wave
of missionaries planting churches throughout
the Caribbean.

Don and Bridgitt Dryden have been working
in the area of Port-au-Paix, Haiti. Don has
been instrumental in starting eight churches.

A number of years ago a 5-year Bible institute
was started and now Benji, Don’s son, is
directing this ministry. This year they have
145 men preparing to be pastors and lay
workers. This ministry incorporates a number
of national graduates who teach courses in
satellite locations. National graduates are going
into the interior to start new churches.

On the other side of the island of Hispaniola
is the Dominican Republic (DR). In 1994, Pat
Creed became the Caribbean Director. He
had a vision to reach the DR and encouraged
a number of young men from Independent
Baptist Church in Clinton, Maryland, to
consider the need. As a result, Steve Sidler
went to the DR to join Ronnie Autrey and
Alexis Givans in Santo Domingo. There
Resurrection Baptist Church and Emmanuel



Baptist had been planted. Jerry Reece helped
establish Resurrection Baptist Bible Institute
that continues under the direction of Ronnie
Autrey. Currently, over 75 national pastors
have been trained at Resurrection Baptist.

Steve later felt God leading him to the
Quitosueno area west of Santo Domingo.

Mount Calvary Baptist Church was established
along with a Bible institute. There are five new
church plants as a result of Mount Calvary
Baptist Bible Institute. Joy Wesson, wife of
the late Josh Wesson, and family are laboring
with the deaf. Sara Fish is on deputation and
planning to help Joy with the deaf.

Also in Santo Domingo, Michael and Anna
Doering are serving at Grace and Truth Baptist
Church. God has given them the opportunity
to disciple many young people. They have been
instrumental in starting a mission in an area
where there is a pocket of Haitians. God is
richly blessing this ministry.

Alexis Givans started Emmanuel Baptist in
Las Habitaciones. The church is located in the
center of around 250,000 people east of Santo
Domingo. A Bible institute has been started
there also. This church is reaching out into the
country (campo) to start new churches. Their
outreach has reached some towns as far as the
north coast.

Our BIMI missionaries have been praying that
God will allow us to see the northern shore
evangelized. God began answering our prayers.

In recent years BIMI missionaries have started
churches in the northern area of the DR. Erik
Johnson planted Truth Baptist Church in San
Francisco de Marcoris. Out of that church two
other churches have been started with national
pastors in the area of San Francisco. Truth
Baptist is also assisting several other national
pastors in the campo near their city.

A couple of years ago, Chad Pape and Jeffri
Polanco started a storefront church in the city
of Nagua. North Shore Baptist Church has
already outgrown the building. In December,
God provided a much larger and better-located
facility. Souls are being saved and God is using
Jeffri and Pamela in this new work. Jeffri
recently shared that they are canvasing the
entire city and putting a copy of Romans with
the Roman’s Road in every home.

Last year (June 2019) we were able to ship
750,000 Romans booklets and 1 million tracts
in Spanish into the DR. In spite of the shipping
agent tampering with our documents and the
port authority charging unbelievable wharf
fees and taxes, God intervened through the
President of the DR who exonerated all fees and
taxes. Now fundamental Baptist missionaries
have access to these booklets and tracts.

John and Rebecca Tinkle have finished
their language preparation and will soon be
joining the Polancos in Nagua. The Covid-19
quarantine has delayed their departure.

It is exciting to see new missionaries go to the
field. A couple of years ago, Paul and Amy
Valles arrived on the island of North Caicos
with their family. The Valles are the first BIMI
missionaries to serve in the area of North
Caicos. God is using this family.

On the island of St. Lucia, Wes and Faith Ann
Bartley began a ministry in Denne. The Bartleys
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