Why the School of Church Planting?

The School of Church Planting (SCP) is a ministry of the Pastoral Enrichment Program of Baptist Mid-Missions, an independent Baptist mission agency founded in 1920. Today they have a global ministry with church planters laboring in fifty-five countries around the world.

The SCP was born out of the frustration of a veteran church planter who transferred from Latin America to the United States and promptly lost his first church plant stateside. He was unprepared for the cultural changes that occurred during his decade overseas. He soon noticed that other foreign missionaries were experiencing similar problems when they returned to the homeland. He brought this to the attention of his field administrator, New attached image “Someone ought to write a book for missionaries on how to plant churches when they return from overseas.” [There were few church planting books in the early 80’s.]

Rev. Leigh Adams, who was serving as the North America Field administrator at that time, simply smiled and said, “You’re the man. Go to it!” Thus was born the 283-page “little green book” known as A Practical Guide to Church Planting in 1985. It went through several printings and quickly became the “go to” book for many independent Bible colleges and church planters all over the world.

It was soon discovered you can write a book, but you can’t make people read it. Thus, a few months later, church planters Ken Davis and Roger McNamara proposed to the North America Field leadership team that a School of Church Planting be established to equip and retrain missionaries and church planters coming home from overseas as well as those already in the homeland.

With permission in hand, they launched the first SCP in Indianapolis, Indiana in June 1986 New attached image with fourteen veteran church planters who had transferred back to the United States after serving overseas. The twelve-hour a day schedule was grueling for both students and teachers but the value of biblical, comprehensive and practical teaching was worth the five day investment.

Because of the specialized nature of the SCP, classes stay relatively small. This allows for great interaction between students and teachers. Students learn from experienced church planters who have “been there and done that” sharing what they have learned with those who are currently engaged in a church plant or soon will be. In all, several hundred church planters, missionaries, pastors and lay people have been trained from thirty-eight countries and twenty mission agencies.

Although the SCP was started to train their own church planters New attached image working in North America, sixty-four percent of those who attend are not associated with Baptist Mid-Missions. Thus, the SCP provides a valuable service to our independent Baptist and Bible-centered church planters and groups. Because the SCP is centered on biblical principles, those principles are transferable anywhere in the world. More than a quarter (28.5%) of those attending are national pastors or church planters working outside the United States. Seventy percent of the 2015 class were from overseas.

All of the instructors at the SCP have multiple years of church-planting or revitalizing experience, in North America and/or overseas. Thus, they have a multi-cultural perspective that enables them to teach church planters from around the world. The 2022 SCP is geared specifically for pastors and missionaries who want to strengthen and revitalize plateaued or struggling churches. Among other things, it will consider foundational issues, the need for intentional discipleship and the opportunities that many have for multicultural ministry.

New attached imageJon Jenks’ passion as an administrator and leadership coach is to strengthen churches so that they are alive and productive for Christ. He served as pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, for over 20 years, focusing the ministry on discipling intentionally at every age. While at Calvary, God allowed them to plant one church and revitalize two others, as well as send 25 individuals into full-time ministry. Jon now serves as the fourth president of Baptist Church Planters, a mission which exists to assist local Baptist churches to revitalize and plant churches by facilitating the process for churches, the missionaries they send, and the people they disciple to fulfill the Great Commission. He is a graduate of Cedarville College and Baptist Bible Seminary in PA.

New attached imageLarry Hobbs began his ministry as the pastor at First Baptist Church in Castle Creek, New York for over seventeen years. During that time the church was instrumental in the planting of Bethel Baptist Church near Albany, New York. For the last twenty years, Larry has been directly involved in planting two churches. The first was Berean Baptist Church in Lafayette, Indiana. The church was chartered in 2004 and called their first pastor in 2007. Since then, Larry has labored to plant Maple Hills Church in Chardon, Ohio. In August 2021, they merged with another small group of believers to continue their witness and outreach in the Chardon-Kirtland area. His burden for Arch Ministries is to encourage local churches across the United States and Canada to engage intentionally in the work of planting new churches in obedience to the Great Commission.

New attached imageLee Ormiston was the Founding Pastor of Family Baptist Church located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota and now continues to serve as an associate pastor at FBC. He is also Chairman of the Baptist Mid-Missions Foundation and has been part of the Elected Council of Baptist Mid-Missions for over 20 years. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from North Dakota State University, a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Sacred Ministries from Northland International University. He is an adjunct professor at Bob Jones University and Central Baptist Seminary in the area of multicultural ministry.

Carlyle Pic Michael Carlyle is a tremendous addition to the 2020 SCP team. Michael has been a missionary serving in Cambodia with BMM for over ten years. His primary ministry focus is on pioneer evangelism, discipleship and church planting. He has taught missions at seminaries both in the U.S. and abroad. Michael holds M.B.S. and M.Div. degrees from Virginia Beach Theological Seminary and is currently in the D.Min. program at Bob Jones University. Michael possesses special expertise in cross-cultural ministry.

Experienced Adjunct Teachers will also add their expertise to the SCP. Some of these men are members of the Pastoral Enrichment Program (PEP) and are experienced in U.S. or overseas church planting and/or church revitalization. Others are men who are planting churches currently in the U.S. or overseas and whose faithful, biblical approach is being graciously blessed by the Lord.

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Baptist Mid-Missionslink

Church Planting and Development Ministry Teamlink