Our Early Ministry
After pastoring a church in Georgia for two years, we began deputation in November of 1984. 17 months, 200 churches, and thousands of miles later, we were ready to leave for Japan. Our home church, Beacon Baptist Church of Nashville, Tennessee, commissioned us to carry the gospel of our Lord and Savior to Japan. By God’s grace, we arrived in Japan on April 2, 1986.
Shortly after arriving I began preaching in Japanese (it helps to grow up on the mission field). We began working in Chiba, a city 20 miles east of Tokyo, at Makuhari Bible Baptist Church. God blessed the work there. Cindy, after studying the language became active in the ladies’ and children’s ministry at Makuhari. By the time we left Makuhari we were averaging over 40 adults in our Sunday morning services. We have seen many Japanese trust Christ as their Savior.
While at Makuhari, God blessed us with several who were called into full time ministry. First, Brother Kitaoka was saved and called into the ministry. He started and is currently pastoring Sapporo Eastside Bible Baptist Church in Hokkaido, Japan. Next, Miss Amy Constantini (now Amy Smith), an American studying Japanese, was saved and called to serve the Lord. After graduating from Bible School, she married Jim Smith, who was also called into full-time serve. Jim and Amy and their 3 kids are currently in Japan as missionaries. More recently, Miss Keiko Ichihara, after being saved as a child through our Sunday School, was called to serve the Lord. After graduating from Bible School, Keiko married a man who is now an associate pastor in Kyushu. Most recently, Miss Reiko Kamiyama was called to serve the Lord. After graduating from Bible School, she married a man who is currently working as an associate pastor at Hallelujah Baptist Church, in Yamagata Prefecture.
In April of 2003, we turned the work at Makuhari over to a national pastor, Brother Kamiyama. Pastor Kamiyama and the people of Makuhari are faithfully carrying on the work. We are so thankful to see how that God is continuing to bless them and their ministry in Chiba.
Our Recent Ministry
After reporting back to many of our supporting churches, we returned to Japan in May of 2004. Upon our return, we went to Niigata Prefecture, very needy area where 2.5 million Japanese live without 1 Independent Baptist church.
For the next 3 years, we teamed up with a Japanese national (Brother Kajisa) to start the Joetsu Bible Baptist Church in Joetsu City (in Niigata Prefecture). During those 3 years, God blessed us with a good number of professions of faith and 5 who followed the Lord in believer’s baptism. After helping to get this work off to a good start, we felt the need to move on to another city in Niigata, the city of Nagaoka.
Nagaoka is a city 50 miles northwest of Joetsu, with a population of 280,000 people. Yet there is not one Baptist church in this city. We moved from Joetsu to Nagaoka in October of 2007. We are currently teamed up with another missionary family (the Stanfords) to start the Agape Bible Baptist Church in this city. We are also praying for a Japanese couple to join our team in Nagaoka.
Our main thrust, in reaching the Japanese, is door-to-door tract distribution. This is physically exhausting work, but we have seen God bless and use His Word to open the heart of the Japanese to gospel message. We are also using an web site to introduce our church and to provide audio preaching messages (in Japanese) to those who visit. We pray that God will continue to bless and use us in this new work.
We thank the Lord for His bountiful blessings. We are also thank those who have been so faithful to pray for and support our ministry in Japan.