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apply to BIMI. 3 The Coopers applied for service with
BIMI and were accepted 18 February 1965.
mailing list. When the Coopers mentioned in a prayer
letter that a plane was needed, the businessman sent
them a letter and said that he was going to give them a
plane to be used in the work.
The church grew rapidly and other churches were A few days after receiving the letter, Betty “hopped” on
organized on the island and the ministry expanded the next plane that landed on the island and went to
Lakeland. While she was there, she called
to other islands. The churches grew
go their new friend and told him that Jim
and young men were called into the
was coming soon to pick up the plane.
to many new areas
ministry. He wanted to know if Jim was going to fly
that had never been
fellow missionary from Nassau
the plane to the island. The businessman
visited the Coopers and took Jim
evangelized. was astounded when Betty told him that
on a plane ride to a neighboring island
Jim did not know how to fly.
to visit a mission church. By boat, the trip would have
taken eight hours but by plane, it was only 20 minutes. Incredulous, he asked, “Well, how does he plan to use
Jim realized how his mission work could be expedited if this plane?” Betty thought for a minute, and then replied,
he had a plane. He decided that he would make that a “Well, we know that the same God who provided the
prayer request. Actually, it should have been two prayer plane through you will also provide instructions for Jim
requests because Jim did not have a plane; neither did to learn to fly.” Stunned by her answer, the businessman
then realized that God was in the middle of all that was
he know how to fly one!
going on and that God was the real provider!
God moves in mysterious ways. A short time later
ater, when Jim arrived in the States, their new friend
a businessman landed his plane on their island. He
sent his personal pilot down to Florida to give Jim
had no idea that he was being led by God to this out
of the way location in answer to an earnest prayer. He flying lessons. Jim attended ground school so he would
soon discovered that the purpose of his journey to this know how to maintain this aircraft. After successfully
completing all of the preliminaries, he received his
remote island was more than he had anticipated.
pilot’s license. Jim and his instructor flew the plane back
During his visit, he met Jim and Betty Cooper. He was
to Caicos. The pilot’s last words to Jim were, “Don’t kill
awed by such dedication and asked to be put on their
yourself, Jim.” 4
6 3. James Ray and Mary Ray, Original Minutes of Baptist International
Missions, Inc., 1960-1967, 5 vols., (Chattanooga: Baptist International
Missions, 2003), vol.1: 94.
4. Clark, 38.
Jim & Betty Cooper
The plane was a great blessing to the ministry. Jim
was able to go to many new areas that had never been
evangelized. The plane was also used for medical
evacuations. Along with offering the hope of the Gospel,
people in pain were flown to locations where help was
available. Because of their compassion, Jim and Betty
Cooper became known as THE ANGELS OF MERCY.
Eventually, the church built a building and it was full
from the first Sunday.
Jim believed that the Lord wanted him to start another
church in Nassau, so Howard Mills, who had been
converted under Cooper’s ministry on Caicos, became
the pastor of Baptist Bible Church. The Coopers also
established New Testament Baptist Church in Nassau.
B Betty was having some physical problems, so Jim felt
aptist Bible Church and New Testament Baptist
that he should go to Nassau where she could get medical
Church became thriving churches. In 1995, the
attention. He also planned to establish a church there. Baptist Bible Church in Nassau celebrated its 25th
The Coopers began the Baptist Bible Church in their Anniversary with over 2,500 in attendance. 5 David
home and later rented a building in downtown Nassau.
5. Ray Thompson, “Caribbean Island Ministry,” BIMI WORLD, vol. 2,
Nassau Christian Academy provided a place
of ministry for many young couples and
single men and women who served as short-
term missionaries with BIMI. Their ministry
was a blessing and help to the Academy and
the ministry of the Academy was a blessing
There were no American BIMI missionaries
in Nassau in 2004. All the work of the churches
and schools that had been organized by the
missionaries is now under the leadership of
the national Christians. The missionaries
who served in Nassau were successful in
their goals as missionaries; they had worked
themselves out of a job!