The BGFM ministry began in 1939 in Sobral, Ceara located in Northeast Brazil. The Mission was officially organized in 1945 and incorporated in the State of Illinois in 1955. In the 40s and 50s, missionary ministries in Brazil were difficult due to religious opposition and unimproved roads. However, during those years a good number heard the Gospel and small churches were established along with special training schools for men and women.
1960-1979 - The seeds planted in those early years began to flourish. A good number of new missionaries joined those who were involved in the early planting. New churches were established along with several special ministries. Those ministries were Radio, Film, Theological Education by Extension, Bible Camp and Bible Institute. The special training schools for men and women continued. BGFM missionaries spent many hours every week training Brazilians, both in the local church and through the special ministries. As a result, the Brazilian leadership grew in all areas of our ministries. An Association of Churches was established providing fellowship for all of the churches and opportunities to plan and set goals together. A national ministry organization was established for sending out Brazilian missionaries to new areas in Brazil.
1980-1999 - Working along-side Brazilian brothers and sisters provided a new emphasis in the ministry. The leadership of the Association of Churches went from being all missionaries to all Brazilians. During these years, many churches were turned over to Brazilian leadership. Many of the special ministries now included Brazilians in important positions or roles. During the early 80s, the BGFM and the GMU began joint administration of the SIBIMA Seminary. This school has had a vital part in training leaders, many of whom are now serving as pastors in our churches. Both missionaries and Brazilians are involved in teaching in the Seminary and Bible Institute. Christian grade schools were started by missionaries and nationals, providing excellent opportunities for evangelism and training. The millennium ended with many of BGFM’s goals realized, especially in relationship to having established national churches.
2000-Present - Now What? What Lies Ahead?
We are grateful that presently there are over 70 established national churches with Brazilian pastors. These churches are burdened for spreading the Gospel and are supporting Brazilian missionaries serving in rural areas and cities in various locations throughout Brazil. Recently, their sights have become focused on foreign missions. In 2007, they formed a new mission organization for sending Brazilians to other countries. Missions conferences are important parts of the yearly schedules of the churches, Seminary and Bible Institute. The process of evangelism and training leadership continues to be a vital part of the Brazilian churches. In 2 Timothy 2:2, God’s Word encourages us to train faithful men so that they, in turn, will train others. Gratefulness flows from our lips as we realize that God has allowed BGFM missionaries to have a part in His wonderful plan of building His Church. Special ministries have always been vital to the overall goal of the BGFM. The ministries established in earlier years continue and have experienced steady growth. In 2007, the SIBIMA Seminary was completely turned over to Brazilian ownership and leadership. In 2008, a new field in Southern Brazil was opened. Several BGFM and Brazilian missionaries are teaming up to minister in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul.
God has richly blessed the BGFM with 19 families and 4 single ladies serving as missionaries on our fields in Brazil. At present, we minister in the states of Ceara, Alagos, Rio Grande do Norte and Rio Grande do Sul. State-side we have two couples serving in the Home Office, along with part-time administrative assistants, and one couple on loan to another ministry. Seven couples and a single lady have retired from BGFM since 1993.
Together with our Brazilian brothers and sisters in Christ, we continue to reach out to Brazilians with the Gospel message.
Here We Stand!
In today’s religious world it is necessary to clearly state one’s position. Especially is this true of mission societies. Because missions are an arm of the church, and because they draw their support and recruit their workers from the local church, it is necessary that the stand of a mission be clearly identified.
The doctrinal statement of the Brazil Gospel Fellowship Mission makes plain the sound fundamental theological position of the mission. We gladly fellowship together and work with one another on this solid basis.
However, more than once, missionaries, home council members and new candidates are asked, “Where does the mission stand concerning the ecumenical program? Does your mission cooperate with the World Council of Churches program on the field?”
Although it may not be possible to answer all such inquiries in a brief and simple statement, we endeavor to make clear our stand.
The Field of Council of the Brazil Gospel Fellowship Mission at their meeting in July 1963, passed a resolution stating that, “this body stands for the fundamentals of the faith, eschewing liberalism, modernism, neoevangelicalism and all other groups which favor ecumenism and which detract from the faith once for all delivered to the saints.”
This resolve we re-affirm today.
It is the desire of this mission to be faithful to our Lord until He returns.
Evangelism and church planting in Northeast Brazil have been, and continue to be, our first responsibility. We shall use every legitimate means to accomplish our God-given task. But compromise in essential, fundamental doctrinal matters is for us a wrong course to follow.
From time to time new moods and movements come and go on the religious scene. We therefore, reject the ecumenical proposals to cooperate in programs and projects that remove the clear line of separation between believer and unbeliever.
We also reject the teaching of the modern charismatic movement, which we believe involves many sincere Christians, but confuses the scriptural teaching and is used by the enemy to bring added confusion to the church of Jesus Christ.
Here we stand! Still firmly committed to a strong, fundamental, Bible position. Still laboring to achieve our God given goals. Still determined, God helping us, to stand apart from the ecumenical program of cooperation with all religions. We stand, we believe, with Him Who stood without the camp. We must at times also bear with Him the reproach that He bore.
We invite all truly saved people, who share our convictions to stand with us in prayer and financial support.
Our ministries are many in the presentation of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…” Matthew 28:19. We invite you to follow up your interest by contacting us.
The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures, all 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, to be the verbal, plenary, inspired Word of God, the only sufficient, complete and final authority for faith and practice, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12-13).
We believe in one Triune God, Creator of all things, eternally existent in three distinct persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – coeternal in being, coequal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 1:16).
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, without ceasing to be God, became man, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God and be the sole Redeemer of sinful man (John 1:1-2,14; Luke 1:35). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for all mankind as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, that His death is efficacious for those who believe, and that the believer’s justification is grounded upon His blood and attested by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24-25; 5:9; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2:24; Ephesians 1:7). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where as the believer’s High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of representative, intercessor, and advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that God the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, that He regenerates and indwells believers, and is the agent in the baptizing work of Christ whereby, at the moment of salvation, all believers are placed into His body. The Holy Spirit is the seal by which we are sealed unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14). We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher who illumines our hearts and minds as we study His infallible Word (1 Corinthians 2:9-12; Romans 12:2;
Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:18).
We believe it is the duty and privilege of all believers to be continually filled with the Spirit. This filling occurs when the believer is yielded to the Spirit’s control, and its results include Christ like character, worship, submissiveness and service (Acts 2:4; 4:31; Romans 8:14; 12:1-2; Galatians 5:16, 22-23; Ephesians 4:30; 5:18; 1 John 1:7).
The Total Depravity of Man/Sin
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God, and that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:12,22-23; Ephesians 2:1-3,12).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace alone, and received by personal faith alone, in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19). We believe that salvation includes repentance, which is a gift from God. Repentance is a change of mind and heart concerning God, Christ and sin, resulting in a change of lifestyle (Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25; 1 John 3:6).
The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1,38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:5). We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).
The Sanctification of the Believer
We believe that sanctification is a setting apart from sin unto God. This setting apart is threefold: (1) positional sanctification refers to the completeness of the believer’s setting apart through the death of Christ; (2) progressive or experiential sanctification deals with the victory of the believer’s new nature over the old nature as he obediently responds to the enabling of the Holy Spirit; (3) perfect or ultimate sanctification will occur in the presence of Christ, when our position and practice are brought into complete accord (John 17:17; Romans 6:13; 8:12-13; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 7:1; Galatians 5:16-23; Ephesians 4:22-29; 5:25-27; Colossians 3:10;1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 10:10,14; 12:10; 1 Peter 1:16;
1 John 3:13; Jude 24-25).
We believe that believers should live in such a manner as to not bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord, and be separated from sinful pleasures, practices, associations and religious apostasy as commanded of God (2 Timothy 3:1-5; Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 2:15-17;
2 John 9-11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-7).
We believe that modern movements from which we should separate include ecumenical and charismatic movements in all their forms (2 Timothy 3:1-5; Romans 16:17;
2 John 9-11; Titus 1:9).
We believe the triune God, by a free act and for His own glory, without the use of existing materials or secondary causes, brought into being; immediately and instantaneously in six literal days by the word of His mouth, the whole visible universe. ( Genesis 1:1-31; Exodus 20:8-11; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalms 104: 24-26; Isaiah 40:21-31; John 1:1-5; Colossians 1:16-17).
We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by word and by life to the truths of the Holy Scripture and to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19-20).
The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts, that the gifts of evangelist, pastor and teacher are given for the perfecting of the saints today, and that sign gifts, including healing, revelation, tongues and interpretation of tongues, gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:3-4; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13; Romans 12:6-8). We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accord with His own will, for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; 1 John 5:14-15).
We believe that the Church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons of the present Church age, which began on the day of Pentecost, and continues until the Rapture with Christ as its Head (Acts 2:1-4; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23). We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17,28-32;
1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
We believe in the autonomy of the local church, free of any external authority or control
(Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 28:28; Romans 16:1,4;
1 Corinthians 3:9,16; 5:4-7,13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
We believe in only the following ordinances for the Church in this age: believers’ water baptism by immersion as a testimony of one’s faith and the Lord’s Supper as a remembrance of His death (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41,42; 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
We believe that the Scriptures, interpreted in their normal, literal sense, reveal distinguishable economies in the outworking of God’s purpose. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these – the age of Law, the age of the Church and the age of the Millennial Kingdom – are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (Genesis 12:1-3; John 1:17; 2 Corinthians 3:9-18; Galatians 3:13-25; Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:24-25; Hebrews 7:19; Revelations 20:2-6).
The Personality of Angels/Satan
We believe that God created an innumerable host of sinless, spiritual beings known as angels, who are messengers of God. A great host of the angels fell through following Satan and are his agents in the carrying out of his unholy purposes. Satan is a person, the author of sin, the open and declared enemy of God and man; and he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11; 25:41; Revelations 20:10).
The Second Advent of Christ
We believe in the “blessed hope,” the personal, imminent, pretribulational and premillenial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to rapture His redeemed ones, and in His subsequent return to earth, with His saints, to establish His Millennial Kingdom (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Zechariah 14:4-11; Revelations 19:11-16; 20:1-6;1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelations 3:10).
The Eternal State
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26;
We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, (which includes the Church at the rapture and all other redeemed at the end of the tribulation) when body, soul and spirit are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; Revelations 20:4-6; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection following the Millennium when body, soul and spirit are reunited and shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment (Luke 16:19-26; Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Mark 9:43-48; Revelations 20:11-15).
Updated October, 2014
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Springfield, IL 62704