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December 2021- February 2022

We Need Each Other


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Free Will Baptist North American Ministries is dedicated to planting churches across America as well as Canada, Mexico, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Chaplains minister to thousands of men and women in the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, and Reserve forces. And cross cultural church planting specialists connect with people who have come to America from all over the world. Learn more about our ministry:

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Updates From Across the Nation

Antioch, TN—At North American Ministries (NAM), we thank the Lord for the many exciting things happening in our works. We acknowledge 2020 and 2021 have been difficult years for church planters due to the pandemic. And, just as 2021 began to mark progress, the Delta variant caused new outbreaks of COVID, prompting many churches to pull back once again from hosting outreach events and special services. Still, throughout these difficult days, God has been at work. We have much for which to be thankful, including the following blessings reported by our teams:

  • Brad Ransom, Chief Training Officer: “One of NAM’s long-term goals was to institute an on-site assessment center where we can bring church planting candidates to Nashville for an intensive assessment process before they are recommended for approval. To date, six couples have completed assessment and more are on the schedule in the near future. This is a huge step toward making our church planting ministry the best it can be. We are extremely thankful for the progress.”

  • Terry Austin, Chaplain Support Officer: “It is good to know Free Will Baptists have a host of chaplains ready to serve and share the gospel at home and abroad.”

  • Daryl Grimes, Erie, Pennsylvania: “We are thankful to be in our new location. We’ve welcomed guests from the community and several individuals have been saved and baptized since spring. Please continue to pray for us, as we plan to go self-supporting in May 2022.”

  • Don Ellerd, Mariposa, California: “God made a way for us to move to Mariposa, helped us get our home ready to sell, and supplied a job for Teresa. God also has been traveling with us up and down the state of California and supplying for us financially through new partners and support. We are excited to meet so many wonderful Free Will Baptist people as we share our vision for Mariposa.” Note: Just prior to printing, Don Ellerd lost a battle with COVID-19. We will honor him in the next issue.

  • Timothy York, Buffalo, New York: “NorthPoint FWB Church’s deaf ministry has doubled in the last six weeks. One deaf person has been baptized in that time. God is really moving among the deaf community in Buffalo.”

  • Chris Willhite, Princeton, Texas: “CV Church turned three at the end of September. After surviving a pandemic and leadership change, CV is still moving forward. We continue our mission to fully experience and personally share the real and eternal life found in Jesus Christ.”


  • Joel Franks & BJ Eaton, Athens, Alabama: “We are excited to announce Amilcar Castro from El Progresso, Honduras, joined the Athens team in October to begin a Hispanic ministry.”

  • Chad Kivette & Marcus Stephens, Sevierville, Tennessee: “The 24/7 Church has experienced wonderful growth over the last few months. We have seen the monthly average grow into the 70s and just baptized two new converts. We celebrated our one-year anniversary in November 2021.”

  • Frank Webster, The Villages, Florida: “Debbie and I are getting to know people in our area and learning more about the unique demographic here. We have had conversations with fellow believers, those who feel Jesus is fantasy, and those who have had little spiritual influence in their lives. The need for more Christian influence in the area is evident.”

  • Steve Schmidt, Albuquerque, New Mexico: “We have a core group committed to meeting in-person through New Mexico’s eventual fall/winter shutdown.”

  • Zach Parent, McPherson, Kansas: “I am excited to be more involved in the local community since being appointed as chaplain of the McPherson Police Department. Pray opportunities for Awaken Church to minister will come from this appointment.”

  • Josh & Clayton Hampton, Missoula, Montana: “Summit Church had a grand opening at our new location with 109 in attendance and one salvation in August.”


  • Jim Kilgore, Waco, Texas: “We have been extremely busy on itinerate since June. We’ve traveled thousands of miles to churches in California, Arizona, Missouri, and, of course, Texas. The churches have been incredibly gracious in their support, and we are raising funds much quicker than anticipated. The response to the message preached has been fantastic.”

  • Amos Dillard, Chula Vista (San Diego) California: “A strong team of 20 people has moved to Chula Vista in efforts to help plant City Lights Church. We have been able to build relationships quickly in our neighborhoods and have been sharing the gospel regularly. We have already multiplied our Community Group by launching four families to start a second home group. This will provide more space for people who feel far from God and from home to know they belong.”

  • Kris Willis, Anchorage, Alaska: “We are now in our home in Wasilla, Alaska, after four and a half months in an RV. God provided just what we needed and the perfect place for our ministry. Our neighbors helped plant a church (as part of the launch team) a few years ago, and we are enjoying Bible study together on Sundays. I believe they will become part of our launch team, Lord willing. Joshua, our oldest son is now attending Southeastern FWB College. The main reason he decided to go to Bible college is that moving to Alaska to plant a church increased his faith and gave him a renewed desire to serve the Lord. Rebecca, our oldest daughter, is moving from North Carolina to Alaska to help us plant the church. I know she will be a big help to the team and has recommitted her life to God’s will.”

  • Stephen Kimbrell, Irvine, California: “After 11 months of holding services outdoors, Grace City Church held its first indoor service after a year and a half. Our people were beyond grateful to worship together in such close proximity to our previous location in a beautiful facility. We’re excited about this next phase of our journey. Please keep us in your prayers as we make disciples that make disciples in this new location.”

  • Dan Houghton & Brooks Phillips, Burlington, Vermont: “We praise God for several accomplishments, including being a point of contact for all donations to foster care in our county. Associate planters Brooks and Jennifer Phillips have moved to Burlington, and we now have 30 people on our launch team. Dan’s parents, who have been in ministry for many years, have moved to help with the church. Every leadership need has been filled!”

  • Jim Martin, Rochester, New York: “Our first back-to-school giveaway led a new family to the church. They have been looking for a good church, and the great thing is, they connected with another couple in our church. We are excited we gave away nearly 100 book bags of school supplies, and we had the opportunity to help the family of a fire fighter who recently passed away, leaving behind six children. We started a men’s and women’s Bible study in October. One man told pastor Jim: ‘I am very interested in learning to become a pastor. I’m hungry to dig deep into the understanding of His Word and to take up my cross for the service of others.’”

  • Carl Spruill, Waipahu/Kaneohe, Hawaii: “We praise God we have grown to a faithful 70 in attendance every Sunday and have had several salvations and baptisms. We have been discipling people and training them on what/how to teach Sunday School classes. We remain busy with church renovations in preparation for relaunch in 2022.”

  • Rufo Gomez, Smyrna, Tennessee (Hispanic ministry): “We are excited to see how God is working in all our efforts. Iglesia El-Shaddai is focused on house-to-house evangelism and apartment Bible studies. Iglesia del Rey, our church in Honduras, has about 250 members and two new missions.”

  • Gene Wooton, St. Croix, US Virigin Islands: “We are thankful to begin the 54th year of ministry (church and school) in St. Croix, USVI. The school has increased enrollment from last year, praise the Lord! Both church and school are learning to adapt to new regulations due to COVID. The church now has all services streamed on Facebook and YouTube, so anyone can join us every week!”

  • Bill Reynolds, North Kingstown, Rhode Island: “We praise God for the five people baptized this month.”

  • Maitland Bailey, Morgantown, West Virginia: “We praise God for guiding us and keeping us through the COVID storm. Although we have experienced loss, we are looking forward to a new beginning. We thank the Lord for a new perspective on ministry because of the passing storm.”

  • Terry Miller, Ft. Collins, Colorado: “We praise God for 21 people present on Sunday. A young man we have been praying for came to the service, and we have had guests almost every Sunday since Easter.”

Coming out of a global pandemic, when things are difficult for all of us, we tend to forget God is still at work. Yes, plans had to be altered and some folks chose to step away from leadership, ministry, church, and even society, but God knew all along what was going on. He has continued to bless the ministry of NAM and our team, and we are grateful for all He has done. Much work remains, and we are excited to see what God will continue to do in the future.

Your continued prayers and financial support are vital to see our church planting efforts continue. We are grateful for the sacrifices many have made, and we are thankful for and depend on God and our faithful partners. Find regular updates:



©2022 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists