My name is Ron Back. When I was eight years old, a missionary from a local independent Baptist church in Pierceton, Indiana, invited my brothers and me to church. My parents enjoyed the thought of having a break from us boys every Sunday, so they encouraged us to go with the missionary family. Shortly after this first encounter with Bro. and Mrs. Ernie Mason, I received Christ as my Saviour in Junior Church in 1980. I believe, even though I was only eight years old, that God put the desire in my heart to be a missionary, but since my family was not saved nor in a local church, Satan was able to quench that call.
My young adult years were spent out of church. I did not get scripturally baptized until 1994 while I was attending a Baptist church in Rancho Santa Marguerita, California, during my enlistment in the United States Marine Corps. Shortly after I was baptized, God called me a second time to the mission field under a missionary to Australia. I went to the pastor and inquired of him about missions. I thought God wanted me to go build churches physically with hammer and nails, not by preaching. My pastor told me that we did not support missionaries except the kind that go and preach the Gospel and win souls to Christ, building the churches with people, not materials. I was convinced that I was not the missionary type because I did not think I could talk or preach to large groups of people.
When my enlistment in the USMC was up, I chose to be a husband and a father instead of a career soldier. We went back to Warsaw, Indiana, where my family was and decided to start our family there also. Within two weeks of getting back to Warsaw in the spring of 1996, we found Open Bible Baptist Church, pastored by Sam Carns, a Hyles-Anderson College graduate. I thought that I had finally found a home that would be permanent for my whole family.
In May of 1996, Layne Jones, a missionary to the Philippines, preached at my home church of the need for more missionaries. This time I realized God’s call on my life. I immediately responded to the invitation and surrendered to be a missionary. Within just a few months, I understood that God wanted me to go to Australia.