Great is His Faithfulness

The story of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions is a testimony to each missionary’s total dependence on God’s faithfulness. We’ve been sorting through the archives for dates in IBPFM history that provide a window on the way He has called and equipped some 300 missionaries for service. This timeline is not meant to be a comprehensive historical record, but a useful reminder of that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. This is truly His Story.

June 27, 1933

J. Gresham MachenPrinceton Seminary professor J. Gresham Machen was elected the first president at organization meeting of the IBPFM. The Board is formed in response to rising modernism in Presbyterian missions. “But I had rather be condemned for an honest adherence to the Bible and to my solemn ordination pledge than enjoy even the highest ecclesiastical honors and emoluments as the reward of dishonesty,” said Machen.

April 9, 1934

Miss Louisa LeePresbyterian missionary veteran Miss Louisa Lee, appointed missionary to India under the IBPFM – “Praise God there are no impossibilities with Him!”

February 18, 1938

WarPioneer missionary to northern China Dr. Albert B. Dodd writes a P.S. to his letter, “Battle apparently nearing. Thank God for Psalm 46:1 and 91:1.” – during the Sino-Japanese War.

June 24, 1938

S.S. Santa RitaRev. and Mrs. Delbert Jorgensen sail on the S.S. Santa Rita from New York for Callao, Peru.

February 8, 1939

PyongyangMissionary to Korea Rev. Floyd Hamilton writes from Japanese occupied Pyongyang, “Last night, after the exercises were over, the chief of police called the students…that they would have to go out to the shrine right then. One boy stood out and told them that he would not go for it was contrary to the Word of God.”

October 23, 1939

Dr. and Mrs. Albert B. DoddDr. Dodd preaches the opening sermon “The Lord is My Shepherd” at the opening of the Shankiang Presbyterian of the Presbyterian Church of Christ in China. The Dodds would later flee to Formosa before the fall of China.

May 13, 1940

IBPFM HeadquartersDedication of new IBPFM headquarters at 153 Maplewood Ave., Philadelphia.

February 14, 1942

Dr. Sarah HosmonDr. Sarah Hosmon reports a severe epidemic of smallpox in towns north of her location in Muscat. In 6 days she vaccinated 6,755 and left 2,000 disappointed because the vaccine was finished.

October 1948

Rev. Francis SchafferRev. Francis Schaffer resigns as a member of the Board of Trustees of the IBPFM, to become, along with his wife Edith, the Board’s first missionaries to Europe.

November 1948

Dwight MalsbaryDwight and Pauline Malsbary begin an 8-year teaching term at the Pusan Bible Institute in Korea. They began with 30 students and increased to 300. The institute testified marvelously to the Lord’s glory.

April 14, 1954

Dr. Thomas A. LambieDr. Thomas A. Lambie, pioneer medical missionary, statesman and author, was called home to be with the Lord in the Garden Tomb, as he prepared for the Easter Sunrise Service. His ministry extended to the Sudan, Ethiopia, and what is today Palestine.

January 1959

Roland K. Armes Memorial HospitalDr. Matthew Johnson performed the first surgery at the Roland K. Armes Memorial Hospital in Mwingi, Kenya.

December 1959

Malcolm FrehnDr. Maclolm St. Clair Frehn visits snow covered region beyond Jozankei, Japan and finds “not one of the homes had ever read anything on Christianity. The darkness and dullness of their minds is deadening. Well, each home received six pieces of literature” (gospel tracts).

April 2, 1961

Dr. and Mrs. Albert B. DoddDr. and Mrs. Albert B. Dodd celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary in Tamsui, Taiwan.

June 27, 1961

Dorothy Roberts and Marian McNeilDorothy Roberts and Marian McNeil have completed another term in Africa and sail for America.

July 25, 1964

Dr. Sarah HosmonDr. Sarah Hosmon passes into glory after serving the Lord in missionary service since 1911.

November 1966

Miss Louisa LeeLongtime India Mission head Miss Louisa Lee reports that during this month they made 96 visits to 78 different villages; 60 of these visits had Bible lessons and prayer.

December 24, 1966

Roland K. Armes MemorialRoland K. Armes Memorial Hospital in Mwingi opens its first laboratory.

October 4, 1967

Faith Bible InstituteThis day marked the opening of Faith Bible Institute in Kang-Won-Do province of Korea. Missionary Malcolm Frehn writes that the course of instruction is the Reformed Faith as set forth in the Westminster Confession and the catechisms.

October 1968

Rev. Paul MooreRev. Paul Moore writes from Cameroon: “Our correspondence course in Bulu is mushrooming. Already 230 believers have send back their lessons . . . pray that the people will be faithful in their study of the Word . . .”

January 30, 1975

Marian McNeilLog book reads: Marian McNeil had heart attack . . . Dr. Arriagada said she could not survive the trip to Nairobi. He and missionary staff took over treatment. The Lord handled the rest.” Miss McNeil completely recovered.

December 1976

Creamer FamilyThe Creamer Family writes that the Christmas services in the Holy Land were a real blessing. “The hospital chapel was full for the service here, and about 150 came to the service at Shepherd’s Field, where the Word was given in Arabic and English.”

July 28, 1977

Korean Order of MeritRev. Dwight Malsbary, D.D., was killed in a Korean taxi accident while returning to Seoul from the mission station in Too Chon. He was 78 years of age. He posthumously received the Korean Order of Merit.

July 1, 1981

SOMEFirst Student Overseas Missionary Endeavor (SOME) teams, sponsored by the IBPFM. Leaving from Philadelphia to Kenya and Israel, this was the first of many six-week teams to assist missionaries on the field and educate young people in missionary work.

January 2, 1982

Dr. William Le RoyDr. William Le Roy writes from São Paulo, Brazil, that they had one of the best Fundamentalist Pastors’ and Laymen’s Institutes with 114 paid students along with visitors.

January 11, 1985

Dr. and Mrs. Charles JacksonDr. and Mrs. Charles Jackson arrive in Nairobi to take over leadership of the Bible College of East Africa.

February 2003

Judith CollinsAfrica Mission veteran Judith Collins writes, “Our Headman, good Segelan, needs prayer. He is a force for good, but hesitates to make the final commitment. When he and I were talking during our visit there last month, he admitted to me he is not “in Christ,” but he honors Christ for who He is.”

January 2009

Bethesda NurseryThe Bethesda Nursery in rural northeast Brazil opened its doors, taking in 130 abandoned children. These children will be fed and have regular schooling as well as Bible lessons. IBPFM’s Rev. and Mrs. Woo Sun Kim inaugurated this ministry.

February 27, 2010

EarthquakeEarthquake in Chile saw the IBPFM raise $9,500 to assist the Andes Mission in responding to immediate needs.

March 2011

SoccerFrom the pen of Rev. Tim Ki in London: “People have given their hearts to their national sport, which is soccer. They talk about 2012 summer Olympics, but the churches of Christ are empty. What shall we do? Would you pray for this land?”

January 17, 2012

Zion Middle SchoolZion Middle School started the new school year with 107 students. The Kang Family reports that they have two junior classes with 50 students and three freshman classes with 57 students. Praise God for the five girls meeting after school for extra Bible study.