The IM mission board met yesterday, May 6, 2020, via Zoom to review and discuss the current missionary status of Ken and Jayne Cash. After measuring their years of ministry experience, the IM board voted unanimously to change the status of Ken and Jayne Cash from missionary interns to career missionaries to Bulgaria; effective immediately.
“With 25 plus years of ministry experience, Ken and Jayne have proven their love for God, His Word, and lost souls wherever they go. Assigning career status to this couple was logical and wise. They are ready to be fruitful in ministry in Bulgaria. IM considers it an honor to have the Cashes on our team.” Clint Morgan, General Director
“The Lord continues to bless IM with remarkable people who are raising their hand and saying, ‘I will go!’ Ken and Jayne are seasoned ministry veterans with a visible heart for God, people, and Bulgaria. We are blessed to have them join an already stellar Bulgaria team.” Jeff Nichols, Board Chairman
Members present were Chairman Jeff Nichols, Vice-Chairman Rodney Yerby, Secretary Mark Price, Jan Banks, Jeff Manning, Cameron Lane, Will Harmon, and Darren Walker
While COVID-19 has closed our church buildings, the ministry of the Church has not paused. Many churches and ministers around the world have used this time to find new, creative, and innovative ways to continue sharing the Gospel and discipling believers. We have seen God at work in many ways throughout this pandemic. You can’t quarantine the Gospel! Despite social distancing, our missionaries have adapted their ministry efforts during this time. Below is a list of just some of those ways they have continued to reach people in their communities:
- LINE (a popular app in other countries, similar to Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp) communications with families, individuals, and small groups
- Writing thank you cards, old fashioned telephone calls, and text messages
- Video Bible studies and kids’ lessons
- Facebook Live or Facebook Watch Party
- Conversations at a distance with neighbors
- English lessons and discipleship courses taking place via Zoom
- Translation of D6 Family at-home discipleship materials to provide to families
- Virtual choirs being created by WhatsApp groups who share and then combine individual videos
- Video Zoom calls, FaceTime, WhatsApp
- Using Bible study apps amongst a small group
- Pre-recorded video sermons and lessons to share to websites, Facebook pages, and YouTube.
- Delivering essentials to the elderly in neighborhoods
- Sending supplies to nursing homes through Amazon
- Sending encouraging videos to nursing homes
- Stateside missionaries participating in video interviews with pastors.
- Social media has been a great way for missionaries to provide updates, build relationships, and connect with family or friends through posts and conversations.
The incredible part about technology is how our missionaries have truly maximized their reach of who has access to hearing the Gospel. People who may not have been as likely to join a service or Bible study in person each week have recently joined the conversations by viewing pre-recorded videos or accessing shared links from their friends, exposing them to Truth. The at-home discipleship materials are being used by both saved and unsaved families, igniting spiritual conversations. Because of all of this, we ask that you will continue to lift up your local church and our IM missionaries through prayer and financial support. The IM mission statement reads, “We exist to labor with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.” You are a part of the Body of Christ and together, we must reach the unreached people across the globe with the Gospel.
Your continued support enables the many IM ministries. Bible and pastoral training, church planting, national youth camps, and missionary efforts around the world are able to continue in the Great Commission because of your prayers and giving.
IM Board met April 20-21, 2020
Board members in attendance were Jeff Manning, Jeff Nichols, Janice Banks, Casey Cariker, Will Harmon, Cameron Lane, Mark Price, Darren Walker, and Rodney Yerby. General Director Clint Morgan, and Directors Rob Conley, Kenneth Eagleton, Jr., Neil Gilliland, Curt Holland, Danny Gasperson, and Don Matchett were also present.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held via ZOOM. Chairman Jeff Manning commented, “Conducting our April board meeting virtually was certainly different, but our mission remains the same: getting the gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world. Not everyone will contract the coronavirus, but everyone needs to hear about Jesus and that is ultimately what our board meeting focused on.”
The board was able to conduct business as usual. Policy changes and a framework budget were adopted. The board heard and accepted the results of a very favorable audit. Auditor Tommy Wooten, from Blankenship CPA Group, congratulated the board and the IM team for a very good year. No new missionary candidates came before the board during this meeting.
This being Chairman Jeff Manning’s last meeting as a board member, he was honored with gifts by special delivery and words of encouragement. General Director Clint Morgan said, “We cannot express our appreciation enough for Jeff Manning’s 15 years of service and dedication. His leadership, organizational skills, and attention to detail will be greatly missed.” This was followed by several encouraging comments from other board members and directors.
Jeff Manning stated, “My time on the board has been so full of privileges: meeting new missionary candidates, hearing breaking news about the advancement of God’s Kingdom, working in partnership with some of the finest servants both on the field and in the office. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
A warm welcome is extended to new IM Board Chairman Jeff Nichols and Vice-Chairman Rodney Yerby. Mark Price will continue to serve as secretary.
Jeff Manning will officially remain as a board member until July, but emphasized the need to make these transitions now while the board was meeting.
ETEAM 2020 Announcement
After much fervent prayer, wise counsel, and careful research and deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to cancel ETEAM for 2020 due to the high risk of exposure to COVID-19.
To our ETEAM students, please understand that we share in your sadness and disappointment. This decision was not easy for us to make. We value the opportunity ETEAM provides for us to interact with our wonderful high school students but we love you too much to put your health and welfare at risk. We realize that every mission trip has a level of risk but we do all we can to minimize that risk. We have delayed making this call as long as possible in hopes that this crisis would pass quickly but unfortunately, that has not been the case. For us to proceed with ETEAM, the threat caused by this virus would need to be extremely minimal for a considerable length of time. We have found no credible predictive models that indicate this is a reasonable expectation for the timing of ETEAM this year. Therefore, we are convinced this is the wisest decision.
Because we have had to take this action, we are offering these options to you.
1. You can choose to participate in ETEAM 2021. We have determined that all students who were selected this year will be given first priority for next year’s teams. All the support that you have raised this year will remain in your account and be applied to your trip next year. You will need to submit a new application and references so that our records will be current but your application will receive first consideration. Please realize that your destination will likely be different from this year but your place on a team will be secure as long as your eligibility for the program remains intact. This will be the default decision for anyone who does not notify us by the application deadline with another option.
2. You can choose to withdraw from the program. If you do not want to commit to participating in ETEAM next year, you can request a refund for the support you have raised. It is important that you understand that you will only receive money that you have given for your trip. Money that has been donated to your account from others will be returned to the donor. Also realize that by withdrawing, you will forfeit your automatic selection for next year’s ETEAM. You will be able to change your mind and reapply next year and will receive fair consideration for acceptance. It is your responsibility to notify us if this is your decision.
3. If you are a senior who will be graduating this year, we are offering additional options for you.
A. We will allow you to remain with ETEAM for next year and follow the guidelines of Option 1 above. You will be assigned to a team next year and be designated as a student leader of your team assisting your adult team leaders.
B. You can opt to participate in either a CMP or THP trip and transfer your account in full to that program. You will need to fill out the appropriate applications for the program that you select but will be given special consideration in the selection process.
We will be happy to work with you to help you make the best selection for your circumstances. You must notify us of your decision prior to the deadline for ETEAM applications this Fall.
If you are able to attend the National Association meeting this summer, we would love for you to drop by our booth to chat with us. We also invite you to join us for the ETEAM reception on Monday night of the convention. This invitation includes those of you who are new to ETEAM this year. You are already part of our ETEAM family.
If you have questions, concerns or need help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, we regret to have to make this decision but we are already looking forward to ETEAM 2021.
You, your family, and your church are in our prayers during these difficult days.
Director of Mobilization, IM Inc.
Antioch, TN— The Board of IM, Inc. met in a year-end session December 11-12, 2019, in the Antioch, Tennessee, office.
General Director Clint Morgan reflected, “The December board meeting is over and, once again, the diversity of personalities and perspectives proved profitable as we discussed matters of importance concerning Free Will Baptist global ministries.”
The board welcomed new board members Darren Walker and Casey Cariker, heard reports from the leadership team, reviewed financial reports and budgets, considered and acted on proposals, and interviewed candidates.
Candidate shepherd Neil Gilliland brought five couples and two single adults to the board for interviews. “Praise the Lord,” IM Board Chairman Jeff Manning exulted. “He’s still calling people into His harvest, and humble servants are still answering that call.” Following interviews, the board:
- Appointed David (Kentucky) and Myriam Reeves (France) as career missionaries to France. David and Mimi recently completed their two-year internship and will continue working with the JPENSE team in France.
- Approved Ken and Jayne Cash (North Carolina) as two-year interns to Bulgaria.
- Adam and Carol Duncan (Missouri) were approved to work with our partner ministry, Jungle Kids for Christ in Ecuador. They will serve as short-term interns as a counselor and nurse, respectively.
- Approved Walt Schorsack, Jr. (Oklahoma) as a two-year intern to Japan.
- Approved Sam and Lauren Riggs (Tennessee) as two-year interns serving in Spain.
- Approved Annabelle Ellis (Tennessee) as a two-year intern to Tokyo, Japan.
- Approved Joshua and Bethany (Tennessee) as two-year interns with The Hanna Project in Spain.
- Extended Victoria Little’s internship status for one year. Victoria recently completed her internship in Kenya and will use the next year to assist IM’s mobilization department with College Missions Programs (CMP), developing discipleship programs, recruiting, and investing in the lives of college students interested in missions.
“I am truly thankful,” General Director Clint Morgan expressed, “for an amazing board that comprehends the urgency of the task and the necessity of sending out qualified missionaries.”
The board approved a budget of $10.5 million for 2020 including operational ministries, IMpact projects, The Hanna Project trips and projects, and potential new candidates.
All board members (Jeff Manning, chairman, NC; Jeff Nichols, vice-chairman, TN; Mark Price, secretary, OH; Janice Banks, TX; Casey Cariker, OK; Will Harmon, AR; Cameron Lane, AR; Darren Walker, NC; and Rodney Yerby, AL) participated in the meeting.
Happy Reformation Day! Fall is in full swing here in Shumen, and as we enjoy cooler weather, the school-year routine, camping among the colors of fall on the Shumen plateau, and steadier attendance at our weekly gatherings, we are reminded once again of the indescribable Creator who designed so many things for our enjoyment- including pumpkin spice and colorful leaves! Tomorrow we will open our home and our hearts to the people in our city, as we host a fall festival in our yard. We praise God for the relationships He has given us with believers and non-believers and the opportunities to share His truth. We pray that this event, while not “religious” in nature, will be used for His glory and bring our friends and acquaintances one step closer to understanding their need for our Savior!
We are thankful for the opportunity the Father has provided to begin meeting regularly for Bible study with “R” in the village of Vehtovo. Please join us in praying that her eyes would be opened to the truth as we read together and discuss passages from the life of Jesus. We also pray that her neighbors would join us and come to know Jesus as well!
In the month of October, we began a group for training and raising kids according to Scripture. This is an exciting opportunity for growth in the lives of families who come to our weekly services, and we are praying that more families participate in next month’s meeting. In the first meeting we were joined by one other couple, but several others have expressed interest in coming and we pray this will be a helpful ministry of our church in the coming months. This month we spoke about anger and how to handle it Biblically. Our next meeting is about respect. I (Lydia) am thankful for this opportunity for the Lord to convict and grow us as a family while also sharing with others about His plan for families. This is not a commonly accessible resource here in Bulgaria and we appreciate your prayers as we try to meet this need. May God call whole families to walk in His ways and be a light and example for those around us!
We have been so excited about what God is doing in and through Sevdi, an orphan who has seen the King of Glory take his chaotic life, fill him with peace, adopt him as a son and fill him with purpose. Sevdi sings with gusto, faith, and contagious joy for his Creator. We love that God uses adoption to describe our place in His kingdom. What a privilege to be children of the King!
Along those lines, we would like to share with you some very exciting family news. Our Father God has put a burden on our hearts from before He even brought us together as husband and wife, and He has now led us to act on this calling. We believe He has a child out there who is meant for our family and we have stepped out in faith to apply for adoption. We appreciate your prayers as we follow Him on this new journey. We have now started a three-month period of background checks and home studies before we can be officially added to the registry and they can search for a match for our family. So even though we haven’t met him yet, we are passionately praying for our child and the Father’s protection as we wait to bring him home.
Antioch, TN—General Director Clint Morgan announced Danny Gasperson, of Asheville, North Carolina, has accepted the position of director of mobilization. As part of his duties, he will also become the administrative director of The Hanna Project. Gasperson will begin his new role on July 1, 2019.
Morgan noted, “We are excited to have Danny join our home team. His work in missions, church mobilization, and discipleship clearly reveal his passion for missions. We look forward to the great impact his work and heart will have on IM’s efforts to “labor with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.”
Gasperson has pastored Zephyr Hills Free Will Baptist Church in Asheville for 19 years. He and his wife Jackie have promoted missions awareness and involvement during their tenure. Danny once said, “We thought we were a ‘missions-minded church’ but discovered we were just a church that didn’t mind missions. As we examined our priorities and oriented them to God’s priorities, missions went from being part of the program to the heart of the program. Our people developed personal ownership of missions.” That heart for missions became evident as the congregation sponsored an annual prayer summit. Missionaries discovered Zephyr Hills attendees truly knew them—their prayer needs, their family members, their particular missionary efforts, and their fields of service. As a result, missionaries love to participate in this local church endeavor. Morgan affirmed, “We’d love to see Danny help churches across the country make a similar journey.”
Though a congregation of fewer than 100 people, Zephyr Hills is consistently one of the top donating churches to the WMO (World Mission Offering) and overall missions support. In 2018, Zephyr Hills gave more than $32,000 to IM, ranking in the top 20 donating churches in the nation. Their $19,200 WMO offering placed them at number four in the country. Gasperson regularly promoted IM and THP at association meetings and other FWB churches. He also encouraged churches in western North Carolina to participate in a Perspectives course, broadening their vision, understanding, and participation in the Great Commission. He has led multiple overseas trips with The Hanna Project, primarily in Central Asia. Many of his church members have participated in mission trips both overseas and in the States.
The 59-year-old was elected to IM’s board at the 2018 National Association of Free Will Baptists. His acceptance of the Director of Mobilization position will necessitate the election of a new board member at the 2019 convention in Ohio.
Danny graduated with a B.A. from Welch College in 1984. He earned his M.A. from Bob Jones University in 1985. Married for 37 years, he and his wife Jackie have two children, a son-in-law, and two grandsons.
Gasperson informed his church of the new position on Sunday, May 12. “Pray for Zephyr Hills,” Danny asked, “as they make adjustments and seek a new pastor. Jackie and I are eternally grateful to our wonderful Zephyr Hills Church family who faithfully loved, encouraged and supported us for the past 19 years. We, too, desire your prayers as we transition into this new stage of ministry. I am thrilled and honored to join the IM family to learn from and labor with them as we strive to make God’s Name famous to the ends of the earth.”
Antioch, TN—The Board of IM, Inc. met in its annual session, April 29-30, 2019, in Antioch, Tennessee. During the two-day meeting, the board received reports, interviewed candidates, discussed policy, and acted on proposals from the administrative staff. The board engaged in productive, in-depth discussions concerning long-term funding needs as well as the joys and challenges of developing international ministry teams.
“I thoroughly enjoy wrestling with missiological issues,” reflected General Director Clint Morgan, “but nothing compares to the joy of hearing the testimonies of candidates as they come before the board or the thrill of seeing their elation when they are approved to serve.”
Candidate shepherd Neil Gilliland, Ph. D. brought eleven candidates to the board for interviews. As a result:
The board reinstated Debbie Griffin as a career missionary to Japan. Debbie, initially appointed in 1985, faithfully served 26 years as a missionary in Japan. In 2011, in response to the request of family members and God’s guidance, she resigned to care for her mother. Mrs. Griffin joined Heaven’s chorus in November 2017. The Japan missionary team looks forward to Debbie rejoining their effort to reach the second-largest unreached people group in the world.
Born in Cuba, 22-year-old Keren Delgado grew up in Cuba, Panama, and Russellville, Arkansas. Keren served in Bulgaria during the summer of 2018 through IM’s College Missions Program and discovered an opportunity to teach Spanish as a second language. The board approved Keren as a two-year intern to Bulgaria. Keren will graduate May 10, 2019, with a B.A. in intercultural studies from Welch College in Gallatin, Tennessee. She will receive certification in teaching Spanish as a second language in Spain before transitioning to Bulgaria.
Floridian Jacob received approval as a two-year intern in southern France with Shane and Joy (surname withheld) under The Hanna Project. The 22-year-old is scheduled to graduate from Welch College in Gallatin, Tennessee, in May with a degree in English. Jacob wants to use English as a means to improve the lives of North African immigrants in France.
Casey Jones, a 33-year-old Oklahoma native, served a short stint with IM a decade ago in Central Asia. Health issues brought an abrupt end to his ministry. Unable to serve overseas, he began serving immigrants in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area. The board reinstated Casey as a career missionary seconded to American Dream Center, an organization founded to provide advocacy, education, and help to refugees and immigrants.
Ohio native Rachel Burns received board approval as a professional servant/educator seconded to Resourcing Christian Education (RCE) at Dakar Academy in Senegal. The 25-year-old graduated from Welch College with a B.S. degree in elementary education in 2016. She has taught for three years at Ashland City Elementary School in Ashland City, Tennessee.
The board approved transitioning Matt and Courtney Lindsey to professional servant/educators seconded to RCE in Japan. In April 2018, the couple received a partnership blessing to serve through RCE. The Lindseys play a vital role in the new Hope Alive church plant in the Tokorazawa City area of Tokyo.
The board approved 22-year-old Brenton Driscoll and 21-year-old Debbie Trifonova as two-year interns to Bulgaria. The couple plan to marry this summer on July 12. Brenton, a missionary kid from Japan whose parents serve with OMF International, will graduate with a B.S. degree in Christian ministries from Welch College later this year. Debbie, the oldest of IM’s national missionaries Trif and Vanya Trifonov’s children, will graduate on May 10 with a B.A. in English, also from Welch College.
The board interviewed Jonathan and Michelle Chereau. Jonathan, of French descent, was raised in a Christian home and in the Saint Nazaire FWB church with missionary Jerry Gibbs as his pastor. Jonathan served with Operation Mobilization for two years. Michelle grew up in the Villalba FWB church outside Madrid, Spain. Jonathan and Michelle married in 2012. The couple lived and worked in Spain for several years, before moving to France. Mentored by missionaries Robert Bryan and Dennis Teague, Jonathan and Michelle serve on the church council of the St. Sébastien church. Discussions between the general director, France field leadership, and the board are ongoing to determine the best way to classify this committed couple.
“What a blessing it was to hear missionary candidates talk about their desire to be obedient to God’s calling,” stated Board Chairman Jeff Manning. “If this meeting was any indication of the future of IM and its involvement in fulfilling the Great Commission, I’d say the future is very bright!”
An unmodified approval of the audit was received from Blankenship CPA Group. The board approved a $7.5 million framework budget for 2020 to be presented at the July 2019 convention of the National Association of Free Will Baptists in Cincinnati, Ohio. The operational budget for 2020 will be approved at the December 2019 board meeting.
The board reelected Jeff Manning as chairman, Jeff Nichols as vice chairman, and Mark Price as secretary.
Board members in attendance were: Janice Banks (TX), Will Harmon (AR), Danny Gasperson (NC), Cameron Lane (AR), Jeff Manning (NC), Jeff Nichols (TN), Mark Price (OH), and Rodney Yerby (AL).
Antioch, TN— Sam McVay, director of mobilization for IM and director of The Hanna Project, submitted his resignation citing personal reasons earlier this week. General Director Clint Morgan accepted his resignation and is honoring McVay’s request to make it effective immediately.
In his letter, Sam stated, “It has been a dream come true to serve…in some role or other since 1997.” McVay began his ministry with IM when he and his wife June were approved as missionaries to Spain in August 1996. They faithfully served with the Spain missionary team until 2013 when Sam was asked to join the IM staff as the associate director of advancement which morphed into the director of church relations. He moved to director of mobilization and director of The Hanna Project in 2017. These roles have kept him in the skies and overseas a good portion of each year as he oversaw short-term ministries on IM mission fields and with ministry partners in many countries.
General Director Clint Morgan expressed, “I received the resignation letter of my dear friend and colleague with sadness. But I know the Lord has the next step prepared for Sam and I am confident he will follow it.”
Before joining IM, Sam served as youth pastor and pastor’s assistant at Cofer’s Chapel FWB Church for more than 21 years. Sam and June also helped direct the Truth and Peace Leadership Conference from its inception until going to Spain.
Sam graduated from Welch College with a B.A. in biblical studies and pastoral administration (1978) and holds a Diploma of Estudios Hispanicos from the University of Madrid.
Sam and June (Picirilli) married in August 1975 and have two daughters, one son-in-law, and three grandchildren.