As newlyweds, Mark and Sabrina served at their sending church where Mark oversaw the bus ministry and helped in the youth department, Sunday schools, and junior churches. He was privileged to start a children’s church and young adult class during his two years of service, and he also regularly preached at a prison ministry and taught for a local Bible institute. Sabrina taught private piano for two Christian schools; she played often in the church services and also taught the beginner Sunday school class. Mark and Sabrina started full-time deputation at the end of May, 2003. Mark Joseph, Junior was born on December 4th of the same year.
In June of 2005, the Holmes family began their first term as Fundamental Baptist Missions International missionaries in Nigeria. Soon, Truth Baptist Church along with Temple Baptist Institute was started, the church now averaging 220 on Sundays with 42 graduates from the ministry training school. Property with buildings was purchased, and Providence Baptist College & Seminary opened its doors in August 2009 and has now produced 30 graduates. Over 30 churches have been started by those who have been trained or ordained by their ministry, including the most recent, Grace & Glory Baptist Church in Abuja. Mark and Sabrina have returned to the U.S. for the birth of:
Victoria Noel 12/14/05
Brian Michael 8/20/07
Noah Preston 2/3/12
LaDonna Elizabeth 7/3/14
For nearly a decade, Truth Baptist Church has been the home of a national pastors’ conference and annual youth camp; a full curriculum DVD correspondence college recently became their newest ministry.
Where We Are
The Niger River is Nigeria’s most remarkable physical feature, as well as the source of its name. Formerly a British colony, Nigeria gained its independence in 1960 and became an independent nation of three culturally distinctive regions and at least 250 different language groups—more than any other African country. Home of the world’s largest black population, it is estimated that almost one out of every six Africans resides in Nigeria.
Upon independence, Nigeria inherited a currency that was more valuable than the U.S. dollar at the time. Yet the country has consumed itself with the sell of oil and other natural resources and all but abandoned its agricultural sector, leading to Nigeria’s diminished currency value and heightened reliance upon imports and aide from other countries. Military coups, ethnic tensions, a thirty month “civil war” that claimed over a million lives, and economic corruption have been the driving forces behind Nigeria’s instability of the last forty years. In 1998 a democracy was established, ending fifteen years of military rule.
Baptists have enjoyed a presence in the country for over 150 years with the Southern Baptists growing their own national convention and an estimated Baptist population numbering more than 3.5 million people; the former President of Nigeria was a claimed Baptist. However, Muslim influences are growing greater, indigenous beliefs are still popular, and many existing Baptist churches have abandoned biblical doctrines. There is a great need to reach the rest of the more than 170 million people of Africa’s most populous and possibly most influential nation.
What We Believe
Our Statement of Faith is consistent with…
The church from which we are sent: Faith Baptist Church in Gulfport, Mississippi
The mission board with which we are affiliated: Fundamental Baptist Missions International in Hammond, Indiana
The college from which we graduated: Hyles-Anderson College in Crown Point, Indiana
For more details, visit fbcgulfport.com, fbmi.org, or hylesanderson.com