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From Dream to Reality

by Richard Adams

Find out more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist Home Missions at


The life cycle of a dream…God calls church planters to a specific area to build a church. After being approved by the Home Missions Board, these men and their families begin itinerate to share their dream with people across the nation, gaining financial support from partners in the work to which God has called them. These men and women dream of building a Free Will Baptist church—a thriving, growing family of believers they have led to the Lord. 

After financial support is raised, the missionaries move to their designated city. They arrive with a few hymnbooks and a Bible. They search for a facility to rent in order to hold services. In most cities the price of rent is very high. Without their partners in ministry, it would be an insurmountable task to meet the need. After getting the word out about the new church, and getting to know the people in the area, they begin to meet, often in homes or borrowed rooms until they reach the point when they can afford to rent their own meeting place.



But these families still have a long way to go before their dream is realized. For a time, the churches cannot offer the variety of programs and staff that other area churches offer. The missionary families have their work cut out for them.

The FWB Home Missions Department felt the need to help these faithful missionaries fulfill their dreams. In 1990, the Build My Church campaign was initiated, a perpetual fund placed in irrevocable trust to help our missionaries.

The interest from the first million dollars placed in the trust is used for missionaries. To date, this fund has helped establish 12 home missionaries. All of these missionaries express their gratitude to those who helped establish this trust.

Tommy Jones – Pittsburgh, PA

Being one of the recipients of the Build My Church gifts proved to be a special blessing to our church. The gift in the amount of $35,000 enabled us to purchase a beautiful church building. The gift from Home Missions was proof positive that the whole denomination was behind Three Rivers Free Will Baptist Church and desired the success of the ministry in the Pittsburgh, PA area.

Rue Dell Smith - Monroe, LA

When we needed help to buy land and build a church we received $35,000 from the Build My Church fund. Words cannot express what that meant to our church.  

Eric Thompson - Bend, OR

In 2004, our church had outgrown our rented building, and we were looking for a more permanent facility. By God’s providence, and with the $25,000 received from Build My Church to finish out the down payment, we were able to purchase a church building.

Bill Reynolds – North Kingstown, RI

Finding land in Rhode Island for a church is very difficult. After two years of searching, the Lord allowed us to purchase a wonderful lot in a great location. The gift received from Build My Church enabled us to place a down payment on the land. Countless souls will hear the gospel preached in Rhode Island because of your faithful giving.

Roger Raper – Ft. Collins, CO

The Build My Church gift came at a time when there was a crucial need. Today there is a Free Will Baptist church in Ft. Collins, CO, because of the Build My Church fund, and our faithful and generous supporters. We are honored and humbled to be counted worthy of your confidence.

Mark Braisher – Overland Park, KS

Our county continues to grow from 12-15,000 people every year making this Kansas City suburb a prime place to plant a church. Without gifts like this $25,000, it would be impossible to be effective in our area, where land prices are up to $15 a square foot.

George Lemelin – Ogema, MN

“Miigwech.” Thanks from the Ojibwe Nation and Harvest Free Will Baptist Church in Minnesota. We appreciate so much our brothers and sisters in Christ who give so generously, pray so faithfully, and labor with us in the work of the Lord here on the White Earth Reservation in north central Minnesota. Thank you for contributing to the Build MyChurch fund.

Randy Puckett – Sugar Land, TX

The very day I was asked to write about the money from the Build My Church trust, I made an offer to purchase five acres. Knowing we had enough money to make a legitimate offer for the property was a boost in confidence. Because of the generosity of Free Will Baptists and the support of the Home Missions Department, we are able to do what we could not do alone. Although we were just starting, we still had the money to act immediately when we sensed the Lord’s direction concerning a permanent location for our church.

Rick Morris – Queen Creek, AZ

For the first four years, our Arizona mission church met in a middle school. What a blessing it was to receive funds from the trust. It helped us buy our property and build facilities that can be used as a tool to win souls to Jesus Christ.

Jerry Rayburn – Sierra Vista, AZ 

The gift from Build My Church enabled Desert Springs Free Will Baptist Church to finish the interior of our building. It helped to pay for paint, plumbing, light fixtures, etc.

Rick Bowling – Director of Hispanic Ministries

With the gift to the Gwen Hendrix Hispanic Bible Institute, we were able to train Aaron Lopez in the Word and teach him how to win souls and counsel people, especially the problems faced by Hispanics today. Aaron and others continue to benefit from training as they establish Hispanic Free Will Baptist churches.

Ron Wallace – Fairbanks, AK

At a time when the mission work in Fairbanks, AK, needed a financial and morale boost, we received a generous grant of $35,000 from the Build My Church fund. This gift enabled our mission to build the only FWB church facility in Alaska. We are eternally grateful to the generous donors who supplied the funds that made this gift a reality.

The Roy Thomas Memorial Trust was established to raise a second million. My dream is to reach this goal before I retire. So far, we have raised more than $876,000. We only need $123,139.46 to fulfill this dream. Will you help? The money will continue to build churches until Jesus comes again. The funds from both trusts will be loaned to Free Will Baptist churches, and the interest earned will help establish mission churches. Prayerfully consider a gift to help missionaries across the nation fulfill their dream.





©2007 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists