I was sitting in my office one day at our location in the San Marco Area of Jacksonville, when a young seminary student from Luther Rice Seminary walked into my office. He had been an officer in the United States Coast Guard, and after leaving the Coast Guard had been a businessman in Georgia.

He had felt God’s call on his life to leave the business world and to go to seminary to prepare for full-time Christian service. Part of his business experience was the publication of a magazine for Christian businessmen called “Challenge.”

He said, “Pastor, I have a non-profit corporation that the Lord has told me I am to sign over to you. I am to give it to you.”

I was the Senior Pastor of Central Baptist Church, a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, and had several students in my congregation who attended Luther Rice Seminary. My response to him was something along the lines of “Well, I don’t have the foggiest idea why the Lord would want you to give it to me, but, if the Lord told you to give it to me, He will tell me what to do with it.”

So, he signed the Non-Profit Corporation “Challenge” over to me. There were no assets, nor were there any liabilities. I asked two or three men to act as Officers of the Corporation and they did. I went to the bank, took ten dollars out of my money clip, and opened an account in the name of Challenge Ministries, and said to the Lord “Okay Lord, now we’ll see what you want to do with this.”

Over the years, God has shown us what he wanted to do with it.

Challenge became our Missions ministry, both nationally and internationally. “Challenge” became the name of our Radio ministry. “Challenge” became our Foreign Missions ministry in which we identify, train, equip and support foreign nationals, especially in the Philippines and India, as they evangelize their nations through preaching and planting churches.

Challenge became the ministry under which we undertook the total support of an orphanage in the Philippines, and partially underwrite another orphanage in India.

As we continued to be led of the Lord, we eventually gave up our denominational identification with Southern Baptist, and became a “non-denominational” ministry, ministering across denominational lines. During this process we simply became – “Challenge Ministries.”


Challenge Ministries International © 2010