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Islands in the Sun

islands in the sun

by Larry Powell



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



Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

God has burdened the hearts of Roger and Sandra Raper to build a Free Will Baptist Church among the indigenous people of Kahului, Hawaii, on the beautiful island of Maui. Roger and Sandy will immerse themselves in the language, culture, and history of these Polynesian people.

Many nationalities are represented in the city of Kahului. The population includes Asians, native Hawaiians, and people from all over the Pacific Rim. Roger and Sandy will meet the tremendous spiritual need in Maui with a strong emphasis on repentance and faith for salvation in Christ alone.

The church in Maui will be Roger’s second effort in church planting. Today in Ft. Collins, CO, there is a beautiful and strong Free Will Baptist church because of Roger and his family. Let’s pray together that God will enable them to plant another great church in this island in the Pacific.

St. Croix, Virgin Islands

Just mention the Free Will Baptist Church and school on the island of St. Croix to anyone in business, education, or government, and they know about it. They usually respond, “It’s a great church and Christian School.” Perhaps what they remember most is that the Free Will Baptist school is home to the champion soccer team on the island.


Islands in the Sun


St. Croix is the largest of the three Virgin Islands. It is a United States territory. People from around the world have settled on the island. They come from the Windward and Leeward British, French, and Dutch islands to live and work in the community. West Indians from Trinidad and Tobago work in the oil refinery and industries of this island gem.

Pastors Kent and Jeanna Nelson, Stephen and Regina Beck lead the faithful Free Will Baptists of the church and School. They are a tremendous team doing an outstanding work on the island. The congregation is one of the largest evangelical groups on this tiny island that is 26 miles in length. Pray with me that God will continue this strong witness and outreach in this island paradise.


Puerto Rico (rich port) is located several hundred miles beyond Haiti and Santo Domingo. Called the “Jewel of the Caribbean,” this commonwealth of the United States is 95 miles of mountains, rain forest, and pineapple plantations. The island is marked by the stark contrast between ancient fortresses, deserted beaches, modern skyscrapers, traffic jams, and high crime rates in sprawling cities like San Juan, Mayaguez and Ponce.

Deep in the heart of the Carolina region lies Rio Grande. The First Free Will Baptist Church lies in this beautiful area not far from the city of Fajardo. It is a beautiful church with a faithful congregation.
Church planters David and Connie Roy helped build this fine facility. They have consistently shared the message of salvation for more than five years. David and Connie have a passion for the work. They have endured great challenges, and God has given them the victory. Pray for their continued safety and success.


Anyone who travels in Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico loves the high volcanic mountains and the ocean caves along the seashores. We love the warm, friendly people and their diverse cultures. But we must remember that the easy-going islanders need Jesus too. What an opportunity to bring these precious people to our Savior. I am reminded of the hymn we sing in church, “ Sing ye islands of the sea, echo back ye ocean caves: Jesus Saves!! Jesus Saves!!”


ABOUT THE WRITER: Larry A. Powell is the general director of the Free Will Baptist Home Missions Department in Antioch, TN. Learn more about the ministry of Home Missions at



©2008 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists