There is no greater fulfillment than investing in something that will outlast you. The history of BCP is the story of how visionary men and women have established sound fundamental Baptist churches throughout North America. These churches established in the past join the dozens of current church plants that are an investment into eternity.
1990 – A Small Beginning
On May 25, 1990, Baptist Church Planters was born in the hearts of seven missionary men who were earnestly praying and seeking God’s will about reaching the lost of North America. They purposed to start a mission agency that would “meet America’s greatest need.” Together they determined this agency would be a church and missionary-directed mission.
1991-2004 – Steps of Faith
Starting with nothing but a dream, these missionaries stepped out in faith. Space was available at West Side Baptist Church, Lorain, OH for the new mission to organize. It was at West Side that a staff was formed, missionaries were interviewed, and Baptist Church Planters was established. God supplied the helpers to make the initial days productive.
God also supplied a leader. In 1991, Rev. Frank Hartwig was named the first president. Under Brother Hartwig’s leadership, missionaries, churches, and many of God’s people rallied to construct a debt-free facility that would serve the agency’s needs. In May, 1995, the mission moved into the new facility at 36830 Royalton Road, Grafton, OH.
In 1997, Rev. David Little was appointed president. Under his leadership the agency took further steps of faith. The mission increased credibility, hired staff, and cast a vision of church planting for the future. President Little’s leadership resulted in heightened enthusiasm for church planting throughout North America.
In 2004 ChurchCare began as a subsidiary corporation of Baptist Church Planters with David Whipple as director. ChurchCare provides counsel to churches in difficult situations, such as contemplating closure. In addition, ChurchCare handles monies in a Revolving Loan Fund, designed to make loans to church plants for building projects.
2005-Present – Moving Forward
In March of 2005, the year of Baptist Church Planters’ 15th Anniversary, the Council voted to expand the present facility. God clearly led the Council to begin the process of adding 6,500 square feet to the existing building.
The building started in early spring 2006 by a major team of five men and many volunteers coming from surrounding areas at different times to help. It was completed the summer of 2007. The Dedication Service was August 9, 2007, with Dr. Kevin Bauder, Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN as the keynote speaker. The total cost was $400,000. At the time of the dedication the building was pronounced debt free. To God be all the glory! God provided through His people $400,000. The new facilities are used for training sessions, candidate school, pastor’s workshops, and Council meetings.
In 2010, Baptist Missionary Builders came under the umbrella of Baptist Church Planters, and ChurchCare Construction was born. God has built this team of missionary builders to encourage pastors and churches with the development of land and facilities.
In 2010, techPartner began as a non-profit subsidiary of Baptist Church Planters to provide technical support to missionaries, pastors and churches for the sake of effective presentation of the Gospel. Chris Brown served as director until resigning in 2015.
In 2013 Chip and Karen Wood joined the mission to serve in the role of JOY Club Coordinator. In 2015 Chip became Director of BCP Youth Ministry as the ministry expanded to include junior and senior high materials. Chip developed teaching and other seminars to help churches in many areas.
At the March 2014 Council meeting, Rev. Stephen P. Little accepted the call as the third president. Steve is a visionary leader. His church planting experience is a great benefit to the mission and missionaries.
In 2016 Eric Wilmeth joined the Administration as Director of Operations.
In 2017 Jon Jenks joined the Administration as Director of Training, and Mike Peck became the first Retiree Coordinator.
In 2018 Scott Owen joined the Administration as Director of Intentional Transitional Ministry. Jon Jenks’ title was changed to Vice President of Training and Eric Wilmeth’s to Vice President of Operations to align their positions better with documentation.
In 2019 Paul and Debbie Reimer became the new Retiree Coordinator and wife as well as Candidate Coordinator.