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Sixty Years of Leadership
By John Ramsey
I was thinking about this 60th Anniversary and
what has happened in my 48 years with BIMI,
first in the Bahamas and then with finances in
the Home Office. How has God brought the
Mission to this point? My father used to say,
“It will not be that God does it that will amaze
you—it will always be HOW He does it.”
The Mission started with pastors asking Tom
Freeney to head up a Board that would encircle
the world. He drove his VW Bug to many
churches, encouraging men and women to
give, go, and pray. He organized countries into
regions and appointed veteran missionaries
as field directors to coordinate the work.

Frank Rosser and Clifford Huskey were asked
to help, and eventually Ray Thompson and
others came on staff. Soon we were encircling
the world with the Gospel! He then added a
Printing Department, a Business Office, and
secretaries to help with the workload. A new
headquarters was built at 800 Dodds Avenue
in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

When Tom Freeney retired, the official Board
looked to Don Sisk to become the General
4 Number 2, 2020
Director. He recruited more men and women,
and soon Baptist International Missions, Inc.

(BIMI), was channeling well over a million
dollars a month to missionaries. Under his
leadership, BIMI grew to nearly a thousand
missionaries in about 100 countries with over
7,500 regular donors. The headquarters moved
to Harrison, Tennessee. New fields of service
were opened. An Audiovisual Department
was established, Bible distribution projects
were encouraged, and the radio ministry was
furthered. College recruiting, Camp BIMI,
CLAIM ministry, Deaf ministry, and so many
more were all born during this time.

If Tom Freeney was the organizer and Don Sisk
was the motivator, then James Ray, our third
president, was the administrator. His skills in
organization and administration were what
we needed to grow and go. The requirements
of the government were rapidly changing, and
BIMI had to keep up. It was his leadership that
helped develop the policy changes needed
without burdening the individual missionary.

With governments overseas changing, we
enhanced ministries that would get the Gospel