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View excerpts of General Director James Forlines' report to the National Association online at


ANTIOCH, TN The Board of Free Will Baptist International Missions approved Tim and Lydia Awtrey for service in Bulgaria on July 18, 2006, at a meeting held in Birmingham, AL.

The Awtreys are uniquely suited to serve in this particular field. Lydia was born and raised in Bulgaria. Her early influences were strictly communistic. She was 18 when Bulgaria gained its independence from the USSR, and in succeeding months she was introduced to the Bible and the person of Jesus Christ. A little over two years later, Lydia surrendered her life to Christ.

Tim was born and raised in a Christian home in California. He accepted Jesus as his personal Savior as a young child in Sunday school at Sherwood Forest FWB Church. Although he experienced rebellion in his teen years, while in college Tim cemented his relationship with Christ. After obtaining a B.A. in history, he spent five years in Bulgaria, working on college campuses, establishing Christian student organizations, and training Bulgarians to continue the ministry. Tim and Lydia met while working in these student ministries.

The Awtreys plan to begin their work in Svishtov, a town of 30,000 people situated on the Danube River in northern Bulgaria. The town is also home to a large university, placing 10,000 students within the city throughout the school year. A core group of about 10 believers live in Svishtov and have invited the Awtreys to work with them. The couple hopes to “build a community model of church life which expands beyond Sunday morning and into the daily lives of the people of Svishtov.” Aggressive Bible literacy, children’s ministries, leadership training, and short-term, hands-on internships for Bulgarian pastors are all components the Awtreys see as significant to establishing a vibrant, church-planting movement in Bulgaria.

In addition to his undergraduate history major, Tim has received a M.Div. in Biblical Studies and a Th.M. in Old Testament Biblical Studies from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

The couple lives in California. They have spent the last six years as active members of Discovery FWB Church in Stockton. Tim has served on the church staff as congregational pastor, directing educational ministries, for five years. They have two children: eight-year-old Yanna and three-year-old Alex.



Hokkaido, Japan About 30 members of the Miharashidai FWB Chapel in Hokkaido, Japan, participated in the annual church camping trip July 15-17. They enjoyed a Hokkaido-style barbeque and spontaneous worship Saturday evening.

A Sunday morning pancake breakfast was followed by an outdoor worship service. Lake Toya served as a baptismal pool on Sunday afternoon. Mika Sasaki (right), a young career lady, and Fuma Tokiwa (left), a junior high boy who grew up in the church, gave their testimonies. After singing, congregants rejoiced together as the two believers made a bold profession of faith through baptism.

Mika was introduced to Christianity through English classes at Miharashidai Chapel. Over the last few years she has studied the Bible with several missionaries, and came to trust Christ as her Savior many months ago. She deeply wanted to be baptized last year. However, when she shared her desire with her parents, they were extremely opposed to the idea. She asked church members to pray for her and her family. This past spring she once again raised the topic of baptism with her parents. This time, they were supportive and agreed.



ANTIOCH, TN Nelson Henderson was presented by the nominating committee of the NAFWB for membership on the board of FWBIM at the National Association in Birmingham, AL. Delegates elected Henderson on Wednesday, July 19, 2006.

A pastor for more than two decades, Henderson has pastored First FWB Church in Pocahontas, AR, for the last 17 years. He is the moderator for the Arkansas State Association of FWB. He acted as a trustee for his alma mater, Hillsdale FWB College in Moore, OK, for 10 years. His interest in missions has been demonstrated through his involvement in Arkansas’ A.C.T.S. 1:8 Mission Task Force, which he currently serves as chairman.

Nelson and his wife Melba have two adult children.



ANTIOCH, TN—Communications Director Mark McPeak recently announced the 2007 theme for International Missions Emphasis Month and April’s World Missions Offering as “His Name Among All Nations.” Drawn from the title of a book by pioneer missionary Laura Belle Barnard and Luke’s account of the Great Commission (Luke 24:47), the theme expresses the purpose of Free Will Baptist International Missions and every Christian.

Miss Barnard penned her treatise on the biblical basis of missions in 1946. The second half of her book records FWB missions efforts from 1935 to publication and issues a challenge to Free Will Baptists to continue. The last chapter highlights desperate needs in Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Central Asia, Siberia, Brazil, and other countries.

“The challenge to Free Will Baptists today is the same challenge Miss Barnard issued 60 years ago,” General Director James Forlines passionately declared. “And I quote her, ‘The work of evangelism can never be finished as long as it is regarded as a secondary obligation. It is our primary duty…’”(His Name Among All Nations, p. 197). “I wonder,” he continued, “if she would be proud of what we have accomplished.”

“We trust, as churches use materials with this year’s theme, a renewed fervor to reach the nations will be ignited among our people and our denomination will look at the regions beyond with an increased burden,” McPeak said.

Thematic supplies will be available by the first of December and may be ordered online at, or by calling toll-free, (877) 767-7767.



ANTIOCH, TN Tim York tendered his resignation as director of development in July, effective July 31. Although his service at FWBIM had proven extremely effective, York found he “missed the pastorate” much more than he had anticipated.

Woodbine FWB Church in Nashville, TN, approached York about becoming their pastor. After weeks of prayer and internal struggle, York determined God was leading him back into the pastorate. “Quote from Tim belongs here. Sorry, aving a hard time putting words in his mouth,” declared Tim York. “He probably will use at least this many words and I may even have to cut a few.”

“Tim will be greatly missed,” stated James Forlines. “His ministry within the department led to a record-setting World Missions Offering this year. But beyond that, his team-player attitude, positive outlook, and sense of humor made him a delight to work with.”



International Missions’ website has recently undergone extensive renovation. “We wanted to furnish a web site that is more user-friendly, provides timely information, makes online donations and ordering resources easier, and increases our use of video and PowerPoint resources,” stated Mark McPeak, communications director of FWBIM.

We offer extensive information about our Mission, its history, and structure. News updates, stories, and prayer requests are easily accessible on the site and updated frequently. Opportunities for involvement as well as applications for career and short-term service are now available online. Learn about the countries where IM is active, the personnel we send, and the strategies we employ. View and download video footage.

Visit regularly for information, updates, prayer requests, and resources.



CHITRE PANAMA Thirteen new Christians were immersed in Chitré, Panama, on July 16, after completing a month-long baptism class.

Two of the converts resulted directly from contact with the Overseas Assistants who taught English for eight weeks during the summer.  Of the two, the young lady, Sarah, was instrumental in leading her entire family to faith in Christ.  All of them now attend the Good News FWB Church.

An 85-year-old lady was baptized, as well as her daughter and grandson. Dr. Doug Earls, pastor of the Calvary Chapel FWB Church in Buffalo, MO, was present for the baptism. He and his wife Betsy hosted a pastor's retreat July 12-14.  Over 30 people attended the retreat and appreciated the teaching of Dr. and Mrs. Earls.



ANTIOCH, TN The Board of FWB International Missions met Tuesday, July 18, 2006, at the Sheraton in Birmingham, AL. The following actions were taken as a result of the four-hour meeting:

Tim and Lydia Awtrey were appointed as IM’s first career missionaries to Bulgaria.

Heath Hubbard was approved for a two-year term of service in creative access countries. Mike Corley will supervise his ministry.

The board approved a repayment plan for the purchase of property in Chame, Panama. The property was previously owned by New Tribes Mission and will serve for youth camps and a “home” for training leadership. Monies may be sent to FWBIM and designated VISION Chame.

A new regional director position was created, increasing the RDs to four. Clint Morgan will fill the new position of Regional Director for Creative Access Ministries (Central Asia, North Africa, Ivory Coast, and the Middle East). Jeff Turnbough was selected to replace Mr. Morgan as RD for Europe (Spain, France, Bulgaria, and Russia). The other two RDs are Stan Bunch (Central and South America) and Dale Bishop (Asia).

IM board members present were Milton Worthington (chairman), Danny Williams (secretary), David Williford, Sherwood Lee, Jerry Norris, Jeff Manning, Tom McCullough, Randy Wilson, and Bill VanWinkle. Milton Worthington completed 12 years on the board and this was his last IM board meeting.





©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists