The Impact of One Life - Ed Stevens

One Life Matters – Ed Stevens

by Mark Powell, Director of General Baptist International Missions

For many years, General Baptists have celebrated the life of Rev. Ed Stevens. Ed Stevens was a missionary who served on Guam, Saipan, Tinian, and Chi Chi Jima. He died at an early age while en route to Guam to receive medical treatment. As is often stated, we honor his sacrifice each year through an annual international missions’ offering on the Sunday closest to September 22 in honor of his passing. But is that the only reason we honor this singular life? Not at all.

Ed Stevens accomplished an unbelievable amount of good in a few very short years. In doing so his life reminds all of us how one single life, consecrated to God, can have an eternal impact on thousands.

The length of Ed Stevens’ ministry as a missionary was from 1946-1952. Following his ordination in 1945, Ed was on his way to Guam less than one year later. He served briefly on Guam from 1946 – 1947 where General Baptists are the oldest Protestant denomination. He then pioneered a new work on Saipan when General Baptists became the first protestant denomination on that island – making him not only a missionary but a church planter. The next two years were miraculous as Ed Stevens began a new outreach on the nearby island of Tinian to a leper colony, led Vincente Silencino to the Lord and baptized him, and laid the foundation for a new work on the island of Chi Chi Jima as the result of a hospital visit to a man from that island.

Ed Stevens in two short years accomplished more than many would in a lifetime! As a missionary, he pioneered Saipan, Tinian, and Chi Chi Jima. As a church planter, he started the Saipan Community Church which has literally touched thousands of lives. As a pastor/missionary, he ministered to the hurting in the leper colony on Tinian. As a personal evangelist, he led many to the Lord, among whom was a “Filipino boy” who would later become our first General Baptist missionary to the Philippines impacting thousands of lives and producing over 300 churches to date! As a pastor/evangelist he would make a hospital visit to a man from Chi Chi Jima resulting in a new work for General Baptists on that island.

The product of these two years has made an eternal impact on so many that only heaven knows the singular value of this one man’s life! The ministries on Guam, Saipan, and the Philippines continue to change lives to the present day.

Ed Stevens spent two years back in the States from 1949 – 1951 where he finished his degree program at Oakland City University, served as pastor, and tragically lost a son in an accident. Despite the pain of that loss, Ed, his wife Gertie, and son David would return to Chi Chi Jima in the fall of 1951 to continue the work he had pioneered three years earlier. In September 1952 Ed Stevens would fall ill and seek medical attention on Guam. His ship was in sight of Guam and ready to enter the harbor when God called this faithful servant home.

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GBBC Update

GBBC Update – Growing Bolder and Braver Conquerors

By Joyce Porcadilla, President of General Baptist Bible College, The Philippines

Happy new year! We do hope all of you had a blessed Christmas celebration and that you are excited to embrace whatever the Lord has in store for all of us this 2017!

Here at GBBC, Christmas has always been a grand celebration. We started off with our annual Christmas missions outreach in a very remote elementary school where the students and staff of GBBC held a Christmas program, served a meal, and gave out gifts. This was held on December 6th. It is always encouraging to see our students voluntarily put their resources together and share their blessings to the pupils and their families, as well as teachers of the said elementary school. But more importantly, it was a great blessing to see the joy in them because of the love they felt that no matter how simple the celebration was, we were able to make known to them the real meaning of Christmas and the reason of the season we are celebrating—Jesus.

Furthermore, on December 12th, the college students went around the neighboring communities to share the Christmas story through giving out candy canes. The students had the opportunity to share the Gospel and pray for and with various families and even those they met along the streets.

Before we finally ended year 2016 and before everybody went on a brief Christmas break, the entire GBBC family came together on December 14th for its annual Christmas program dubbed as “Christmasensation 2016,” with the theme, “Christmas is Within Us.” It was truly a celebration with friends and family, but above all a grand celebration of the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. The program was highlighted with various musical presentations that revealed the true meaning of Christmas, giving emphasis on God’s amazing love towards us that caused Him to give us the greatest gift we could ever receive. As we have received and experienced that love, GBBCians made sure that we also share and demonstrate that love to others. Continue reading

Philippine Mission Team to India

Go Beyond Borders – Mission Beyond Ourselves

By Joyce Porcadillia, President of General Baptist Bible College, The Philippines

This post was originally published in the 2016 Spring issue of the GB Messenger. Don’t receive the Messenger? You can always catch the latest digital issue on the Messenger website,

Philippine missions trip to IndiaThe General Baptist Bible College, Inc. (GBBC) over the years has evolved from a small Bible school of 18 students to a multi-level educational institution. The dream to have a training school has been fulfilled. Through dedication, commitment and hard work this institution was built. We thank our leaders who have gone before us for their leadership, foresight, careful planning, and generosity. If not for their leadership and vision in the past, GBBC wouldn’t even be here today.

Most of us were not around when GBBC started, but we all know that moving towards where GBBC is now has been challenging as well as inspiring. The current reality is that in order for GBBC to be distinct in its offerings, we need to adapt to the fast changing landscape of basic education, theological education, and ministerial training. We need to be proactive in responding to the demands and needs of our stakeholders and the different fields of missions and ministries. Therefore, we need to maximize our physical, human and financial resources and adopt new initiatives to achieve the vision of becoming a premier institution for leadership development in Christian ministries and missions in the Philippines and around the world. Continue reading

Christmas in the Philippines

Christmas in the PhilippinesBy Phil Warren

This is the first post in a series, ‘Christmas Around the World,’ first published in the General Baptist International Missions Capsule. Don’t receive the Capsule? You can always catch the latest digital issue on the GB website under the International Missions tab and click on Capsule.

The Christmas season begins in September in the Philippines. For four months you hear Christmas music in the malls and the decorations brighten the atmosphere. Filipinos love Christmas! There is a part of me that is cynical when I hear “All I Want For Christmas Is You” over and over, but there is another part that says “Shouldn’t Christmas be in our hearts all year-long?” Maybe the Filipinos are getting it right.

Christmas here and Christmas stateside have little in common. There are no big trees with brightly wrapped gifts stuffed underneath for most families. The meal does not have a big brown turkey or smoked ham as its centerpiece. Yet, it is still loved as a time for families to gather and share love, laughter and music. Because of the strong Catholic influence, worship is still embraced as an essential part of the holiday celebration.

Poverty is still a big part of life here in the Philippines. Especially during December you become so aware, as the people from the mountain villages are allowed to come and beg in this city of over 3 million. At almost every stoplight young women with a child on their hip come to your window with a paper cup and making an anguished face and signing they are hungry.

Cynical…again it would be easy, but the reality is that they are poor. As I reach into my pocket for pesos, I do so with grace and try to place myself in their situation. With the pesos we give a tract that shares the Gospel story.

Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.” When they come, dirty and ragged, I get to help them. I get to show love and acceptance. I get to be Christ to them.

I urge you to love the season of Christmas. Enjoy family and friends and the blessings God has given you. Also, I want to urge you to not be cynical and see who you can help and share God’s grace with.

If you want to give a gift to the Philippines, we have pastors who survive on very little in their rural mountain churches. If you want to give a gift, I guarantee that it will be a Christmas they will remember.

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