Gospel Fellowship Association Missions
By Anonymous

Preparation & Planting: BJMBC's Beginnings

The summer of 1975 found me as one of nine Bob Jones University (BJU) students on the Philippines Team hosted by the de Guzman family. This team was the fruit of our classmate Edith de Guzman’s fervent prayer for her country, resulting from her heartfelt appeal in Mission Prayer Band for such a team. That summer gave us a life-changing taste of missions, and six team members became GFA missionaries—with five heading to the Philippines.

With our education, wedding, and deputation behind us, my wife and I arrived in Manila in 1984. Our plan was to help establish a training center for the many young people who had surrendered to serve the Lord through the ministry of GFA church planters Gary Jones and Dennis Potts.


We were encouraged by Paul’s example of training disciples daily in the school of Tyrannus in Ephesus, which resulted in the whole province hearing the Gospel (Acts 19:8–10). However, putting the treasures of our BJU training into an appropriate curriculum was no small task. The resulting curriculum covered the Christian life, major doctrines, each book of the Bible, the basics of Hebrew and Greek, and various ministry classes including music. We began with two full-time Bible teachers, while my wife covered music, library, and office matters. An evening schedule (T/Th/F) seemed best for Bob Jones Memorial Bible Institute (BJMBI), as many would-be students worked or had ministry responsibilities. Opening night was Monday, November 18, 1985. Seventeen students from five churches were in the first class. Word of the school spread quickly, and by the early 1990s, student enrollment was over 80. What a joy it was to entrust the Word to faithful men and women!


God’s provision of facilities for BJMBI through the years is one clear evidence of His amazing faithfulness. We soon outgrew the ground-level garage of a GFA missionary’s home in southern Metro Manila, and we accepted the de Guzman family’s kind offer of their large, air-conditioned lecture hall in the Guzman Institute of Technology (GIT). Located in central Manila’s “University Belt,” it seated 80+ people for classes and chapel. But we still needed space for the library and office.

God’s provision was again amazing! As I was scouring the newspaper ads one morning, I noticed a “school-front” building for rent. There were few phones in Manila in 1988, so I walked to a small local store to call. That storefront was right across the street from the entrance to GIT, and so I hurried home, got all the money we had available, and rushed downtown. Just after the landlord agreed to rent me the building, two ladies arrived. They wanted that building for an eatery that could cater to thousands of GIT students—so they were not exactly happy!


Now easily accessible from all parts of Metro Manila, BJMBI opened the 1988–89 school year with the comfortable class- room that doubled as chapel space and our own office and library across the street. All was going well until the night of December 30, 1992, when a neighbor’s liquid propane tank exploded and burned down GIT’s six-story building. Thankfully, though we lost the classroom with our new piano and hymnals, our office and library across the street survived the fire with only blistered paint!

For months we crowded into our storefront library for classes and chapel while God’s plan for our next building unfolded. During the next four years, GIT allowed us to use the back half of a lot they owned beside our office/library. Rather than pay rent, we were to pay their skilled trade students to build a basic one-story building to our specifications, which was much cheaper than renting comparable space nearby. We again rejoiced in God’s provision! This became BJMBI’s home until 1997.


After teaching the book of Isaiah one night, I happened to look up and down the street while locking BJMBI’s door. The Lord burdened my heart. In this crowded district there were many people who had not yet heard the Gospel! Soon regular evangelistic outreaches became part of the annual school schedule with meetings for GIT students and people from the neighborhood, the distribution of New Testaments, neighborhood Bible clubs, and film showings. Eventually a neighborhood mission was established.

Some of the Lord’s finest Filipino Christian soldiers trained at BJMBI during these years and became pastors, pastors’ wives, or full-time Christian workers. They had not only endured rigorous training but also hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic, often arriving home late at night. One provincial student so thoroughly developed the skill of letting the Bible speak for itself that when he planted a church near his home province, other pastors asked him how to prepare sermons!

Looking back on it, BJMBI’s heartbeat was:

“Give us Thy vision of the need of men,
All learning will be used in service then.”

“Bob Jones University Hymn,” by Bob Jones Jr.