Preacher Training in Central America
by: Stafford North | October 14, 2014
The Biblical Institute of Central America reports some excellent results from its three locations in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. George Hall, Executive Director over the three schools, says that the two-year preaching schools are doing very well using local preachers as teachers, and the students are taught something about every book in the Bible over the two year period. Especially they are given a heavy emphasis in evangelism.
Since the first school was opened in 1998, nearly 400 students have graduated from the three schools and their total enrollment currently is over 100. Upon graduation, these preachers become self-supporting, life-time missionaries in their own culture.
Classes are held from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday. On weekends, the students do practical work in door-knocking and training others in local churches to do Bible studies. Sundays offer them the opportunity to preach. Each year these schools conduct thirty week-long evangelistic campaigns with students participating. These campaigns along with the weekend Bible studies produce about 2,000 baptisms a year and they are a strong part of the student’s education. One of the special features of the program is that each student conducts about 700 Bible studies over the two-year period of his training. Many of these studies take place on the weekends when a student works with a church which connects him with a prospect and, if that prospect is converted, then that person is taught to reach someone else
Following their studies at the school, the students either work with an existing church or establish a new one. One student who established a new congregation had a hundred baptisms in the first year. If a student needs vocational training after he graduates, such training is provided before he goes out to preach. Sometimes students are given equipment to get started. If the student, for example, knows welding, he will be given a start with some tools; if he knows computers, he will be provided with equipment to get him started; if he knows farming, he may be given enough chickens to begin a self-sustaining chicken operation.
The schools have no full-time faculty. Experienced preachers come to the school to teach for one week and the following week, another will come.
The Fairmont Park Church of Christ in Midland, Texas, oversees the school in Guatemala; the Northside Church of Christ in Temple, Texas, oversees the school in Nicaragua, while the Belton Church of Christ in Belton, Texas, oversees the school in Honduras.
To reach George Hall for information on this work or to find about supporting it, email firstname.lastname@example.org.