First United Presbyterian Church was founded in May of 1907 as a Presbyterian Mission. Our Church was named “Blessed Hope Mission.” We continue this legacy by contributing to the support of Christian Missionaries through prayer and financial assistance.
Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell came under appointment as mission co-workers in 1990 and since then have served as evangelists and church planters in four different states in Brazil. They began their latest assignment in July 2006 in Recife, a large city on the coast of northeast Brazil. They are nurturing a new congregation in an urban neighborhood without a Presbyterian church.
Eric and Cheryl Elmer joined Baptist Mid-Missions in 1970. They served in the Central African Republic until 1996 when Cheryl received a liver transplant necessitated by a chronic illness contracted in Africa.
Restricted from returning to the heart of Africa, the Elmers transferred to Bibles International in 1996, and have spent the past ten years as part of the BI team.
Bibles International provides Bibles for the literally millions of people who still do not have Scripture in their mother tongue. Their work in Africa had long acquainted them with the necessity of mother-tongue Scripture for planting strong, indigenous churches.
Bibles International was founded in 1981. It is the Bible Society of Baptist Mid-Missions. Our main office is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but our staff works around the globe.
BI's goal is to provide God's Word to people groups who have no reliable Scripture in their language. We accomplish this through Bible translation projects throughout the world, training nationals to be Bible translators and literacy consultants, producing primers and Old Testament storybooks to assist in literacy, and publishing and distributing the finished materials.
Eric is the Projects Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific while Cheryl works with the Stewardship Department to help fund the projects.
The Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics commemorated 10 years of God's faithfulness in March, 2008.
David currently serves as the President of the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics in Dallas, a new university that serves Wycliffe Bible Translators (and other mission groups, too) by granting graduate degrees to students preparing to serve in the Bible translation task. The students study the principles of Bible Translation, Literacy, Linguistics, Cultural Anthropology, etc, as they earn their Master of Arts degrees. However, David's first calling is to see that the students are passionate about their God, and that they leave for the field with a deepened trust in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Rosemary is loving her work in the medical clinic at the Wycliffe Center as a nurse/receptionist. The clinic serves the 700 people at the Center and responds to e-mails, phone calls from all over the world. "I really do feel like a door keeper in the house of our God," Rosemary Ross.