Late 2007, while walking and praying on the beach in Virginia Beach, Brian had a divine download from God about starting a Bible College in Mtwara, Tanzania. The whole plan for the school, its interdenominational board, its purpose to reach the unreached Muslims in Mtwara and its format came quickly as Brian heard from God what was on His heart for the region: Start a Bible/missions training center that will prepare pastors and evangelists to effectively take the gospel and plant churches into the many unreached villages in Mtwara Region.
The download came with an amazing grace and supernatural favor as Brian moved forward on this plan. The Regional Education Officer (REO) of Mtwara welcomed the Bible College, the first of its kind in the region! As Brian began to share the vision for the Bible College with pastors in Mtwara, they affirmed the vision and gave their support. Pastors rallied to offer buildings and housing for classes and students, a board was set in place, and recruiting for students began.
The first class for the Antioch Missionary Bible College (the name chosen by the board) arrived in February 2009. Eleven brave pastors and ministers-in-training gave the Bible College a chance. These men and women attended 3 weeks of intensive Bible training--each week focusing on one course. The 3 courses offered each semester were developed around the following concept: One Week - Being (The spiritual formation, character, leadership, intimacy with God). One Week - Knowing (Theology, Bible Courses and Hermeneutics) . One week - Doing (Church-planting, effective evangelistic techniques to Muslims, Marriage and Family), etc. The following terms, typically February and August, 3 students from northern Mozambique joined the Bible College. Our desire to see the AMBC touch the Swahili speakers in Northern Mozambique was beginning to become a reality! This was exciting. The Bible College maintained its small class size thorought the next 3 years, but the richness of trust, relationship, understanding of Bible and effective evangelistic tools bonded these men and women. God moved in the Classroom. Pastors were touched by God with new zeal and passion and a new burden for Muslims. They gave testimony to what God was doing in their churches and their communities between Bible College Sessions. God was at work!
In March 2012, we had the glorious privilege of graduating the first class of Antioch Missionary Bible College. 8 students completed the 3 year program and graduated with diplomas. The graduation was charged with excitement and energy as there had never before been a Bible College graduation in all of Mtwara! Pastor Chiwango, pastor of a large, free Pentecostal church in Mtwara said, "We have never seen a Bible College graduation before in Mtwara. We've never had anything like this." The local pastors heading up the "Ministerium of Unity of Pastors" in Mtwara endorsed the Antioch Missionary Bible College at the graduation and said that they would like to see more students come to the school in the future. Graduation Day became a new launching pad for the school's future! What an exciting time!
The school at this time has been closed due to a lack of students, but tremendous fruit has come from this graduating class! Now, a few years later, our graduates are planting and pastoring churches all over the region. They are also partnering with World Vision and a church in America to take care of the at-risk children in Mtwara. Brian visited Mtwara December 2016 and was amazed at the spiritual growth and continually advancing work of God in the region! God is good!