Baxter Institute is Good News in Central and South America
by: Stafford North | October 9, 2017
The Baxter Institute of Biblical and Cultural Studies, located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, provides training for those who want to preach, be missionaries, or be church leaders among churches of Christ throughout the Spanish-speaking world. The Institute offers several different courses of study: (1) a one-year correspondence course, (2) various multi-year weekend training courses, (3) a four-year university-level program, and (4) a new marriage and family counseling program for its graduates with 5 years of church experience from which thirty will graduate in December of 2017.
Currently Baxter has fifty-seven students from eleven different countries: Cuba, Columbia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, and Honduras. These students spend their weekends at an assigned local congregation which often results in baptisms—about fifteen to twenty each month.
Over the last fifty-three years, more than 600 men and women have graduated from Baxter’s four-year program. Of these, most preach and teach at congregations across Latin America and in the United States. Baxter graduates have started five two-year Bible schools, an orphanage and recently its graduates have formed sixteen mission teams to spread the good news to the lost of Latin America.
Baxter also has a medical clinic to serve its staff, students, and people of the area. In addition to providing their health care, the medical staff teaches Baxter students courses in public health and to be first responders. Early each weekday morning, patients from across the city of Tegucigalpa come to the Baxter Clinic to be seen by licensed physicians. These patients typically present cases of upper respiratory infections, gastrointestinal ailments, parasites, diabetes, hypertension, or dengue fever. Frequently, visiting doctors and health care workers expand the clinic’s services to include such things as eye and ear care. The average number of patients seen daily by the medical and dental clinics is forty. As a result of the daily Baxter Clinic services and of the visiting medical mission brigades, over 10,000 patients in Tegucigalpa and outlying areas of Tegucigalpa are served each year.
In addition to these programs, Baxter also helps in other ways. They have a nutrition program which offers food staples and health care for the whole family. Just $45 a month provides all of the above for a malnourished child in the program. They even offer courses on the family, how to become a beautician, and sewing classes. Many mothers with hungry children enter the program and, upon graduation, have learned how to get a job and care for themselves.
Another program begun two years ago on the Baxter campus is the “Hope to Walk” program. During this time, 224 different people have been provided with prosthetic legs through the Baxter Clinic which now works in a newly renovated building. Both Dr. Erazo and social worker, Eistey Mejia have been trained in making and fitting prosthetic legs.
Baxter Institute is located on a beautiful, thirteen-acre campus on property which previously served as a weekend country home and coffee farm. Two buildings remain in use from the original coffee farm, but the center of daily campus life is the Harris Goodwin Administration Building, a four-story administrative and teaching center. This building houses offices, classrooms, a computer lab, the library, and a chorus rehearsal room. On the top floor is the chapel where daily devotionals are held. The adjacent Damas de Baxter Cafeteria, a two-story dining hall and student center assembly area, provides a hub for campus life outside the classroom. Food service is provided for the single students who eat their meals in the dining hall; married students eat with their families in their apartments. Situated behind these two buildings is the 1,200-seat, covered Armando Pacheco Amphitheatre, a great place for large youth gatherings and area-wide church worship services. A multi-purpose sports court provides a variety of recreational activities on campus, including soccer, basketball, baseball, and volleyball.
As a residential ministry training program, Baxter provides housing for students on campus. The Walter Frazier Men’s Dormitory can house up to seventy single men in double rooms. The Burton and Sissie Coffman Apartments are home to twenty married student couples and families. Each of these apartments is furnished with a kitchen for family dining, and the proximity to the other families creates a close-knit community.
The Baxter Institute is sponsored by the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond, Oklahoma. To learn more about this work or to contribute, go to www.baxterinstitute.org. Baxter can also be followed on Facebook and Instagram.