I. Background Information
Open Door Baptist Missions was initiated as a ministry of Morningside Baptist Church in September of 1990 as a means of funding projects in Poland and other Eastern European countries. The changing political climate at that time was bringing about unparalleled opportunities to openly share the gospel. Inasmuch as the heartbeat of Morningside Baptist Church is missions, there was a desire to enter these newly opened doors. Numerous churches channeled funds through ODBM for the printing and distribution of Bibles, tracts and other literature.
In December of 1991,Â the pastorÂ and three deacons took Bibles and gospel literature into Russia. The team also had the opportunity to visit Lithuania. One of the deacons on that team was led of the Lord to return to Lithuania as a missionary. Thus, in 1992, ODBM shifted from a "projects-only" agency to one that included missionary personnel. Soon afterward, the Lord called another family to serve as missionaries in Grenada. Since that time, ODBM has been blessed with growth both in personnel and projects.
Because of its position on the importance of the local church, the mission was set up as a ministry of Morningside Baptist Church and thus registered. The pastor serves as chairman and the board consists of the deacons of the church. There is a full-time director and financial administrator with an office on the church property.
Although the chairman and directorÂ receive no salary from the mission, there are operating expenses such as postage, phone, office supplies, travel,Â printing and promotion.Â Designated gifts from churches and ODBM missionaries, as well as interest received from account balances assist with this need.Â Â
IV. Missionary Candidates
An applicant for missionary service with ODBM must be a member in good standing of a Baptist (Baptistic in doctrine and practice) church and meet certain criteria. Each must complete a detailed application form that deals with his salvation, testimony, doctrinal position, scholastic preparation, call to missions, etc. Upon receipt, the pastor and director evaluate the application. References are then requested. If necessary, the applicant is approached for clarification or additional information. If we feel that the applicant meets the criteria of ODBM for missionary service, he is invited to meet with the board for an interview. After this interview, the board vote as to the acceptance of the applicant. For a married couple, both must complete the application and meet with the board. Accepted candidates are expected to work closely with the mission and to raise the estimated monthly support for their field of service.
V. Services Provided
A candidate seminar is held each summer to provide orientation for new missionary candidates. Instruction is given in areas such as:
- Adaptation to a new culture
- Preparation of a slide presentation
- Prayer cards and missionary displays
- Health on the mission field
- Family life on the mission field
- Financial reporting
- Technology as a tool
- Home schooling
- Interpersonal relationships
We assist each missionary candidate in the establishment of a financial support estimate and in acquiring needed visas. For both our candidates and missionaries on the field we provide assistance in:
- Receipting gifts
- Paying monthly bills
- Providing a monthly financial statement
- Transferring funds monthly to each missionary family
- Handling inquiries from churches and individuals
- Encouraging the missionary through letters and personal contact.
NOTE: Morningside Baptist Church supports missionaries serving with other fundamental missions agencies. Those called to the field from among its membership are urged to follow the Lord's leading concerning a missions agency with no pressure to apply to ODBM. Although many of the missionary candidates have been members of Morningside, applicants are accepted from other fundamental Baptist churches. With a stated purpose to promote the work of Christ in regions that have no or little gospel witness, we are open to the consideration of any field for missionary outreach.