General Baptists Expand to Japan

Global Missions is pleased to announce that an effort is underway to expand the General Baptist family to Japan. This project is a joint project between the General Baptist Church of the Philippines, Inc. (GBCPI) and General Baptist Global Missions (GBGM).

Under the leadership of Rev. Jaime Maputol, GBCPI has taken the bold step of moving in the direction of becoming an international mission organization. GBCPI is taking advantage of a simplified immigration policy put in place by Japan for Filipinos of Japanese descent.

General Baptist Global Missions will provide a five-year annual block grant to help fund the project. Presently, GBCPI and GBGM are working through the details of the memorandum of understanding (MOU). An initial development grant is expected to be released soon followed by five annual block grants rewarded each year in conformity to the MOU.

The mission in Japan is under the leadership of point person Nelson Odoy. Nelson served on the faculty of the Matigsalug Bible Institute (MBI) for 22 years eventually becoming “officer in charge” of MBI before resigning to move to Japan where he will now head the leadership team for the Japan mission. Teaching Pastor for the mission will be Pastor Joel Panlaan. Oversight for the mission will be by the board of trustees of the General Baptist Church of the Philippines, Inc. and GBCPI moderator Rev. Jaime Maputol. Initial funding for the project will be from annual block grants from General Baptist international Missions.

GBGM Vice President Mark Powell emphasized the importance of allowing GBCPI to take the lead on this project without undue outside interference. Social media and other outlets make it easy for communication to take place these days, but outside of encouraging words it is important to let this process proceed in such a way that GBCPI has not only official oversight of the project but actual oversight of the project. “The best thing we can do here is to help fund the establishment of the mission through block grants and perhaps send an occasional word of encouragement to the young mission in Japan,” Powell stated.

Hopefully, the MOU will provide a roadmap toward success and self-support so that there is a funding start and end date and in the end a successful church plant capable of not only funding itself but expanding through future mission projects.

The Japan mission will be a member of the General Baptist Church of the Philippines, Inc. Of course, our prayer would be for it to eventually develop into its own national General Baptist body following the example of its mentor GBCPI. Perhaps someday there will be a General Baptist Church of Japan, Inc.!

We are very excited to see the General Baptist family growing by this move to Japan and perhaps even more excited to see the Philippines stepping up as an international missions organization. Our prayer is that this will become the impetus for an Asian missions movement among General Baptist, and only the first of many future cooperative expansion projects between GBCPI and GBGM.

You may support this effort by visiting donate.generalbaptist.com (or text GIVE to 573-282-7171), select International Missions, and type “Japan Mission” in the notes box that appears. Or send your gift to Japan Mission, Attn: GBIM, 100 Stinson Dr., Poplar Bluff, MO. 63901 and write “Japan Mission” in the memo area of your check.

All gifts for the “Japan Mission” will be managed by the General Baptist Church of the Philippines, INC. in accordance with the MOU. Thank you!