South Woods’ Purpose Statement: We purpose to make disciples who joyfully serve Christ together in ministry and missions.
International Missions is part of our heartbeat at South Woods! We believe that missions means involvement in the work of Christ’s Kingdom throughout the world by means of giving, praying, and going. Since 1989, members of our congregation have been involved in short-term mission projects in Brazil, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, Albania, Russia, Canada, Ukraine, France, Ecuador, Mexico, Sierra Leone and various countries within Central Asia. Former members serve as missionaries all over the globe. We are seeking to develop into a world Christian congregation, so that we live with a consciousness of what God is doing beyond our nation’s borders.
Within the past few years, South Woods adopted an unreached people group within Central Asia. We send teams to that area multiple times a year and recently commissioned two of our families to serve there long-term. We are praying for gospel fruit among those where He has not been named.
Below is a list of workers South Woods supports that can be named in such a public place:
Kevin & Edineia Millard
Kevin served as SWBC’s first pastoral intern and was involved in the first two mission trips by South Woods’ members. He is married to Edineia, and they have two children, Deborah and Stephen. Kevin served for about 5 years in Albania, before being evacuated by U.S. Marines during a coup, when he transitioned to service in Brazil. There he planted Faithful Baptist Church in Niteroi, which is a daughter church of SWBC, and began serving with FIEL Ministries, headquartered in Sao Jose dos Campos outside Sao Paulo, where he and Neia head up the “Adopt-a-Pastor” project that focuses on giving books, encouragement, and providing a yearly conference for Portuguese speaking pastors in Brazil, Mozambique,& Portugal (www.editorafiel.org). The Millards are also involved in helping with a church start in Sao Jose dos Campos.
Philippe & Francoise Serradji
Serves as the director of Institut Theologique de Soir in Paris where he also teaches theology, apologetics, and other courses. Philippe formerly directed the Institut Theologique de Nimes in southern France where Pastors Phil and Jim have taught (Philippe translating, of course!). Many of South Woods’ members have visited with the Institute and church in southern France. Philippe’s work includes off-site campuses in Nimes, Geneva, Togo, and Gabon. He is finishing his Ph.D. at the reformed seminary in Aix-en-Provence, France doing work in apologetics. Francoise serves as an assistant in the day school at their church in Paris. Philippe is a bright spot in a country that has only .08 % evangelical believers.
John & Jennifer Balmer
The Balmers are former members of South Woods when they both worked at Olford Ministries International. John is founder and president of Training Pastors International which focuses on the majority world where there is little to no pastoral training. John has pointed out that over 90% of church leaders are untrained. He does one and two week intensive seminars, especially on the African continent, where he seeks to deal with basic issues of Bible interpretation, sermon building, church life, leadership, discipleship, etc. The Balmers live in Lynchburg, VA and use that as their home base.
Ronnie & Jane Stevens
Former pastor of First Evangelical Church in Memphis after serving as missionaries in Germany and Russia, Ronnie & Jane moved to Budapest, Hungary where he is pastor of the Danube International Church while maintaining an ongoing teaching/preaching ministry in Eastern Europe. His church’s website contains updated information on their work as well as audio downloads of Ronnie’s sermons (www.danubechurch.org). They have 3 children and a grandchild.
Paul & Milka Ndung’u
A native Kenyan, Pastor Paul began to be burdened many years ago for the feared Maasai people, nomads who live in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Though his own people, the Kikuyu, are enemies of the Maasai, Pastor Paul began to labor among them. When he visited the U.S. to attend a preaching institute at Olford Ministries International, Pastor Phil invited him to speak on a Sunday night. The church fell in love with Pastor Paul! His ministry has had enormous growth, reaching thousands of Maasai with the gospel and planting over two dozen churches. They have now expanded their ministry into Uganda where they have planted churches, trained pastors, and done evangelism. He continues to maintain regular contact with South Woods, speaking before our congregation as recently as late 2012.