Personal Biography and Testimony
When I was 9 years old, I accepted the Lord as my personal Savior. My Sunday school teacher led me to the Lord after S.S. class in Elkhart, KS.
At the age of 16, finally with Dad´s blessing, I followed the Lord in baptism in the Fellowship Baptist Church, where Bro. Bill Frerking was pastoring in Perryton, TX. In the following months, I became very faithful to all the services and felt God dealing with me to prepare for full -time service. After battling His leadership a couple of months, I surrendered to go to Bible College.
I entered Baptist Bible College https://gobbc.edu/ in Springfield MO majoring in missions at the age of 17. I chose missions so that I would not need to return to study no matter what area of the ministry I felt led to enter. I did not know God’s will for my life other than I needed to prepare to serve. I stayed the fourth year and got my B.A. only because no one offered me a job after my third year; being only 20 years old I did not know what else to do. Before I graduated with my B.A. I was asked to return to my home church to do missionary internship for one year. (My major was missions) I still had no idea to what field (if any) I was to go to, even after I had stayed 6 months more than we agreed as associate pastor (missions intern) in Perryton TX. I had no leading to a specific field. I was offered a permanent position at the Perryton church, but could not get peace about it. I felt that if I was to be a missionary, I needed pastoral experience so I began looking for available churches. Being only 23 years old, I accepted my first pastorate in Geneseo, Illinois. I pastored there for almost 5 years.
I entered Baptist Bible College majoring in missions at the age of 17. I chose missions so that I would not need to return to study no matter what area of the ministry I felt led to enter. I did not know God’s will for my life other than I needed to prepare to serve. I stayed the fourth year and got my B.A. only because no one offered me a job after my third year; being only 20 years old I did not know what else to do. Before I graduated with my B.A. I was asked to return to my home church to do missionary internship for one year. (My major was missions) I still had no idea to what field (if any) I was to go even after I had stayed 6 months more than we agreed. I had no leading to a specific field. I was offered a permanent position at the Perryton church, but could not get peace about it. I felt if I was to be a missionary I needed pastoral experience so I began looking for available churches. Being only 23 years old, I accepted my first church in Illinois. I pastored there for almost 5 years.
I had planned to serve a year or two and then surely God would reveal to me where I should go. I had no plans nor desire to stay long with those Yankees who talked so differently! Finally, I surrendered to stay there the rest of my life, if that was what God wanted. It was then that God allowed me to visit Perú as a pastor with the sole intent to learn more about missions and missionaries in order to be a better supporting pastor. I stayed with Tom Brown and his family who we as a church supported at the time.
God used that trip to touch my heart for the field of Perú. I fought the Lord for one year arguing that I would be more effective as a pastor in the USA. Finally I let the church know of my internal struggle and resigned. I stayed until a new pastor was called and then moved back to Perryton. I then worked in the oil field as a roughneck for a couple of months until I was officially approved as a BBFI missionary in May of 1982. After an eleven month deputation we were off to language study in Mexico for one year.
Experience and Qualifications
- Married July 12, 1974
- Associate pastor to W. A. Frerking, 1½ years (Perryton, TX)
- Pastor, First Baptist Church, Geneseo, IL, http://www.firstbaptistgeneseo.com/home.html 4+ years – it was much smaller in those days
- Deputation of 11 months on the road
- One year of language study in Queretaro, Mexico; Georgia Webb, director & founder
- Our immediate family consists of three children:
- daughter, Dionne (married);
- son, Cade; and
- daughter, Shay (also married)
- And now 9 grandchildren.
Work in Perú since 1984 WE (Deb, I, & family)
- Started church in Paramonga (3 hours north of Lima)
- Helped start work in Piura (Castilla) North Perú
- Started work in «Virgen del Sol» north Lima — September 1994 known as the “Iglesia Biblica Bautista” located in “los Alisos” (which has since closed its doors)
- Pastored churches in:
- Peralvillo (north of Lima near Chancay),
- Huaraz (co-pastored in the Andes Mts.),
- Ingeneria for one year in missionary Rudy Johnsons absence
- Helped in missions in:
- Yungar (near Huaraz),
- Choque (Near Puente Piedra),
- Santa Rosa,
- Tupac Amara de Villa (Delicias)
- Also attended & helped as a missionary member of Independent Baptist churches in:
- San Borja, & Pro (both churches in Lima),
- Huaraz (when we first arrived as missionaries living in the Andes Mts.), and
- Centro Biblico Bautista in Villa Salvador (southern Lima).
- Used the BBFI «Missionary Projects Offering» (MPO) revolving fund for church projects in Perú to:
- Roof the Pro church REPAID
- Buy land in Huaraz REPAID
- Buy land in San Borja REPAID who have since sold the land purchase.
- Build in Paramonga – repaying monthly
- Repair in Villa Salvador – repaying monthly
- Build in Condor now: Iglesia Bíblica Bautista del Callao REPAID
Organized works in Santa Velita (near Pulcalpa in the jungle) and Cerro de Pasco (Andes Mts.)
- Started and organized a mission in Gorgor (Cajatambo); closed because of terrorism
- Numerous missions trips and preaching engagements, as well as summer church camps & retreats
- Professor at “Seminario Biblico Bautista (Chillon)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghJc8-JsK-M BBFI Bible College in Lima, Perú;
We (both Debbie and I) taught various courses in both day and night schools.
- Helped in rescuing Central Bible Baptist Church in Villa Salvador from doctrinal problems.
- My wife and I are also founding board members for an orphanage “Kids Alive” in Lima
Bible college professors at the Seminario Biblico Bautista serving there for many years
- We were also Bible college professors in local church institutes.
My wife, Debbie:
- Was a founding board member of a crisis pregnancy center in Lima.
- English teacher at John the Baptist University in Lima, a secular liberal arts school.
- Professor at Baptist Bible College of Lima (Seminario Biblico Bautista)
- Always active in Sunday Schools and supplying teaching materials to other churches.
- Active in translating materials for churches in Perú.
- Always active in founding and directing ladies groups in local churches.
- A much sought after speaker for camps, retreats, and other special events.
- Active as a teacher and Sunday School Superintendent in the “Iglesia Biblica Bautista la Molina” in Lima, Peru.
Other Items Helpful in My Christian Growth
- Sword of the Lord Conferences in the USA & one Hyles pastors school
- Seminars by Bill Gothard, Basic-Advanced-Pastors
- My wife’s books and love for reading
- Contact with so many supporting churches’, pastors, + others
- BBFI (MOM nickname for our missions office) missions retreats in Colorado and Arkansas
- Teaching «Through the Bible in One Year» by Alan Stringfield (taught in Spanish & English)
- Contact with other missionaries (BBF and other groups)
- Baptist Bible Fellowship Missionary Retreats
- Goal of reading the entire Bible each year (I’ve read it a number of times, cover to cover, in English and Spanish.)
Founded a spiritual counseling office on John the Baptist University Campus https://www.upsjb.edu.pe/ (2,000+ students) which functioned for 2 years.
Lima Home Bible Studies with businessmen and political officials resulted in a new mission work in La Molina. It was finally organized into a church in 2009.
In 2001 established a Perúvian based interest free revolving loan fund, “Project Perú” to buy land and improve church buildings. One hundred local churches have benefited many of which have totally repaid their original loans and even second and third loans.
In 2019, we celebrated that Peruvian churches, led by Peruvian pastors, have repaid to the fund PP over one million American dollars to the fund. Which means the base fund has rotated several times and has grown to from a little over 200 thousand too a quarter million because of offerings from Peruvian churches.
From fall of 2004 (a furlough) to Spring early 2008 we worked in Amarillo, Texas with the Arden Road Baptist Church pastor Dale Bigham (https://www.ardenroadbaptist.com/) with the Hispanics there and left a mission functioning on its own with a building and parsonage. It now holds services in English with Spanish speakers attending. We served there as United States Language Group missionaries with the BBFI.
In May of 2008 we returned to Perú changing fields back to Peru as BBFI missionaries. Since our return we have relocated the La Molina Bible Baptist Church (Nuevo link) (Organized 2009), after renting for many years we now own the property (bought in August of 2017) where we now meet. We have also purchased a BBFI owned apartment in the area of the church congregation where we comfortably live now, with no annual rent increases.
Our Sending Church is and always has been:
Fellowship Baptist Church (link : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fellowship-Baptist-Church/165188980173722)
current pastor: Wes Stevens