Gary Fallis sent a first of the year report. The work is good and the information is below. If you would like to see the full report with pictures, click here.
2011— A FULFILLING YEAR
The motto of the Bear Valley Bible Institute both in Denver and in the Extension Program is “We train preachers.” This purpose is embedded in the Great Commission and in the life of Jesus himself. The one preaching the Word may be doing so full-time or part-time, fully supported or self-supporting, in America or on foreign shores, but the constant is the Word. Acts 8:4 says, “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.”
Whether in Denver, CO or around the world, every Christian studies the same curriculum of 48 courses concerning what to preach, how to preach and why to preach. Students in Denver are on one tract--the degree program--approved by the Colorado Board of Education through Bear Valley. However, students in foreign schools may be in either the certificate program or the degree program. The simple reason for this is that some men in other countries do not have the same educational opportunities and background. Those without a minimum of a high school education will not be required to do some of the same scholarly research and composition, though they will be taught with the same thoroughness and Biblical correctness. These will study in the certificate program. Others can do the work required of the degree program. By having two different tracts or programs, every faithful brother who wants to learn God’s word and preach it is able to do so.
Whether stateside or in foreign schools, every teacher adheres to the same doctrinal standards set forth by Jesus and the apostles. The theme verse of every school of preaching is likely 2 Tim. 2:2, and the key word in that verse is faithful. Paul says, “And the things that you have heard from me entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” The Bear Valley elders consider this first and foremost before a school begins. In my powerpoint presentations, which many of you have seen, I have a slide which details the following: Foreign Extension Schools: train more men, at less cost, by experienced teachers in their own country and culture, to evangelize their own people. The experienced men, whether in the USA or foreign country, are those who believe and practice New Testament Christianity.
During 2011, I taught in India, Nepal, Cambodia, Guatemala (twice) and Ghana. I don’t count the miles, though the airline does. What I do count is the number of those who hear the message which I teach in each school, “the faithful men.” What I am unable to count is the “others,” the others whom the faithful men teach. LET US REMEMBER EACH DAY OF EACH YEAR IT IS ALL ABOUT THE OTHERS. May God bless you in 2012!
Doing The Work Of The Father
I was born and educated in a village in Ghana. I then moved to Accra, the capital, where I was converted to the church in 1978 at the age of eighteen. I had been raised in a religious home; therefore, I immediately took charge of the congregation’s Bible Correspondence Course. Two years before I entered Ghana Bible College in Kumasi, I worked with Ed Mosby, an American missionary. I printed and addressed a monthly paper, The Word of Life, and answered Bible questions sent to the missionary by members and nonmembers of the church. My study of the Bible helped me to answer questions essential to one’s salvation. Five of the scripts were later printed as tracts.
While studying at Kumasi, I established a congregation at Begoro in the Eastern Region and preached there until 1986. I then moved to Agona Swedru in the Central Region to start a business of chickens, sheep, goats and vegetable production to serve as a source of income for my preaching. During the ten years I lived at Agona Swedru, I preached for six smaller congregations without pay. Unfortunately, none of these congregations has a preacher now. I also won an award from the government of Ghana for the proper care of my animals and correct bookkeeping.
I have now been preaching for ten years at the Chapel Hills congregation in Cape Coast, the capital of the Central Region. During this time, we have ordained five elders and eight deacons. Chapel Hills has five main ministries in our evangelism program. The Radio Ministry, which consists of 45 minutes of weekly preaching, covers a 100 miles radius of Cape Coast. The Deaf Ministry trains brethren to “sign” so they can teach the deaf. The hearing impaired regularly meet and worship with us. The purpose of our Campus Ministry is to establish congregations in high schools and universities. Attendance ranges from 20 to over 200. In Ghana, churches are allowed to preach and have congregations in schools. Child Education is another vital ministry. Since people in Ghana are not educated because of poverty, we have established a basic school in a village for children. Church Planting, which is intended to establish congregations in villages, is the fifth part of our evangelism.
I am in the Master’s Program of the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver, CO, a part of the training offered at the West Coast School of Preaching at Takoradi, Ghana. This Bible education has been a challenging, inspiring, fulfilling exercise for me. I am thankful for capable teachers such as Garry Hill, Ted Cherry and Gary Fallis.
—Kojo Aquah Beenyi
THE WEST COAST SCHOOL OF PREACHING, TAKORADI, GHANA
In 2009, The West Coast School of Preaching and Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver joined forces in teaching faithful men to preach the gospel of Christ in West Africa. The association with Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver has added the opportunity for students to earn Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The purpose of our newly combined efforts remains the same for both schools; teaching the whole counsel of God for the glory of Christ and the salvation of men’s soul. This new partnership has strengthened the Lord’s work in Ghana. Students have access to a rich curriculum and a greater variety of instructors. We are encouraged for the good that may come to the Lord’s kingdom in Ghana.
The church in Howe, TX oversees the work of the school, which is located on the outskirts of Takoradi, Ghana in the town of Ituma. Daniel Ampadu Asiamah, who has extensive experience in training preachers, is the director. The school was established in 1997 in the basement of the church building at Kweikuma, a suburb of Takoradi. Don Tarbet of Denison, TX and Toby Soechting, who was preaching for the South Haleyville church of Christ in Haleyville, AL, provided the funds for its establishment. The school operated at the Kweikuma location for 7 years. In 2005, students moved into a new administrative and educational building (2048 sq. ft.) and a two story dormitory (2600 sq. ft), located in Ituma.
An average of 8 students each year has graduated from the two-year program during its fifteen years’ existence. The majority of students are from Ghana, but some also come from Nigeria and Liberia.
We expect a dramatic increase in enrollment as a result of our partnership with Bear Valley and the excitement being generated in Ghana. In fact, at the recent graduation in November, there were over 300 guests and eleven graduates.
The school has operated on a limited budget of $1800 per month, but as enrollment increases, more funds will be needed. It is commendable that several Ghanaian congregations provide some of the financial support for the school. However, the majority is provided by Howe, TX, Burleson (Hamilton, AL) and Wewoka, OK. These brethren make annual trips to inspect and support the work. The Howe elders would welcome the opportunity to speak with congregations interested in assisting with support.
Toby L. Soechting Contact Information:
Howe church of Christ
P.O. Box 275, Howe, TX 75459
Toby L. Soechting
P.O. Box 275, Howe, TX 75459 Phone: 903-532-6441
2011 GRADUATION OF WEST COAST SCHOOL OF PREACHING
Three hundred guests and family members arrived over a two hour period. Many had to walk or travel a long distance. Women were wearing their finest. Children of all ages were remarkably patient. Tents had been set up for their comfort. I had arrived a day early in order to deliver the graduation message as the Bear Valley representative. As the weather was hot, I knew why I rarely wear a suit coat as I did on this occasion.
Graduation occupied four hours. African brethren know how to celebrate. Charles Mensah, one of the faculty, introduced the program. I followed with a sermon from the commission of the prophet Isaiah in Chapter six. Isaiah was instructed to “look up to God and see His holiness; look in at himself and see his own sinfulness; look out to others and see their need for God’s message.”
After the speeches and singing, older preachers prayed for the graduates and committed them to their mission. Some guests brought gifts for the graduates. A contribution was taken and divided among the graduates to help them begin their ministry. Naturally, hundreds of pictures were taken to mark the occasion.
After a fulfilling, but tiring day, everyone left to prepare for worship on the first day of the week. I heard a sermon by one of the graduates the next day. The following Sunday, I preached about Jesus, the Good Shepherd from John 10. I then taught ten Master’s students for two weeks on the subjects of Christian Education and Church Planting.
The 11th Annual Graduation of the West Coast School of Preaching took place Nov. 5, 2011. The students had memorized scripture, read countless books, done a variety of Biblical assignments and preached on weekends and during special evangelistic meetings planned by the faculty. They were excited! They were now to be recognized as graduates of the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver, CO.
If you would like to help financially with Training Preachers In Their Native Land, please send your gift to:
Bridgewood Church of Christ, P.O. Box 8524, Fort Worth, Texas 76124
Please make a notation on the envelope or a note with the check “Gary Fallis Mission Fund.” A gift of $20.00, $50.00, $100.00 or more will help us in the training of gospel preachers.