Pastor and Mrs. Philippi

Pastor Philippi

Missionary Sketch of Myron and Dotty Philippi

After graduating from the Moody Bible Institute in 1955, Dotty and I were married, and together we made preparations for going to Latin America, as missionaries.  In the spring of 1956, we moved to San José, Costa Rica, for an intensive study of the Spanish language for one year.

Upon completion of language school in 1957, we went to Venezuela, where we were involved in evangelism and church planting for fourteen years.  We started a church on the Venezuelan-Colombian border where we ministered for four years.  For the remaining ten years we were actively evangelizing in small towns, as well as isolated villages in the Plains, with the use of an airplane.  We are thankful for God’s protection as I flew several thousand hours over that extensive area.  New towns were opened up to the Gospel, and we had the joy of establishing churches in several towns and villages.

God gave us three sons and one daughter.  In 1970 we returned to the United States to care for the educational needs of our children.  Shortly after getting settled in Indianapolis, we met several Latin American people in shopping centers.  Realizing the opportunities that were before us, we began holding a Bible class in Spanish in our home every Sunday afternoon.  In the fall of 1972, we started another Bible study on the east side of Indianapolis on Saturday nights.  Later, we joined these two groups together, organized the First Spanish Baptist Church, and a storefront building was rented for regular services.  In February of 1978, we were able to purchase a lovely church building located near the center of Indianapolis.  In 1979 a full-time Spanish pastor was called, and the work continues under the leadership of faithful men.

After nine years in Indianapolis, God gave us an open door to return to foreign missionary service.  In June of 1978, we were accepted by Baptist World Mission to work in Mexico.  We thank God for directing us to this fundamental mission board, which gives emphasis to personal evangelism and church planting.  We served the Lord from January 30, 1980, to August 26, 2003, in Guadalajara, an industrial city of six million people.  It is very sad to realize there are only a handful of fundamental missionaries serving the Lord in such a large city.  There is little or no Gospel witness in many large housing developments of middle and upper class homes.  These complexes are springing up everywhere as the city continues its rapid growth.

After arriving in Guadalajara, the Lord opened up many opportunities for us to witness and begin Bible studies in different homes each night.  The people are extremely fanatical, and at times the progress was slow.  Time after time, after starting a Bible study, many would decide to reject God’s Word and follow the many traditions and superstitions of a convenient religion.  We praise God for those who opened their hearts and homes to the teaching of the Gospel, for only God can liberate them from this extreme darkness.  With so much opposition to the Gospel, we needed and appreciated the prayers of God’s people.  God was at work, and we thank Him for encouraging our hearts and letting us see fruit for our labors.

In 1985 we began having Bible Institute classes for three hours on Thursday evenings, for the purpose of preparing pastors and Christian workers.  I taught the men and women two hours, then Dotty taught a women’s Christian education class while I had a ministerial class with the men.  There is never a graduation so the students just keep on learning.  Our burden was to train national pastors and church workers and assist them in establishing churches wherever the need was greatest.  At present there is one mission ministry, which we pray someday will become a self-supporting church.  A highlight every Monday night was the men’s class, where I taught approximately 40 men the Word of God.  The first hour was dedicated to asking questions the men had on their hearts and answering them with the Word of God.  The second hour they received an in-depth message in the Word of God, studying a book of the Bible verse by verse and applying it to their own lives.  These classes were a means of spiritual growth in the lives of many believers, as well as reaching friends they invited.  Slowly our group of believers grew, and a church was established for His honor and glory.  In 1986 our church group purchased land, remodeled a small horse barn, and built Sunday school rooms.  Six years later we constructed our 750-seat church auditorium, giving room for growth.  Presently we have more than 300 in regular attendance.

In 1994 I began writing special Bible study lessons to encourage our church members to have in-home Bible studies with their unsaved families and friends.  In 1995 I compiled these lessons into a book, Llegando a Ser Cristiano (Becoming a Christian).  We challenged the members of our church to hold “one-on-one” home Bible classes.  Presently they are teaching a total of 42 home Bible classes each week, using this book as a study guide, giving the unsaved an opportunity to understand the plan of salvation. We thank the Lord for hundreds who have come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior as a direct result of this ministry.  In a short time we saw our church attendance more than double. In less than two years 9,000 books had been printed and sold in a number of Latin-American countries.  In December of 1997, we published Becoming a Christian in English.  Little by little pastors in the United States are recognizing its value as an effective tool for their own members to use in holding home Bible studies with the unsaved.  We give emphasis to using this study in connection with local Bible-believing churches.

In May of 2003, we revised the book Llegando a Ser Cristiano and printed 10,000 copies.  It is now a 156-page fill-in-the-blank study book presenting a comprehensive explanation of God’s plan of salvation (the first five chapters)) and a discipleship study for the born-again Christian (the last five chapters).  These books are being sold in bookstores and churches in both Latin America and the United States.  We feel an urgency to share the Gospel with the world.  We want to encourage you to do the same.  “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).  Please continue to pray for this ministry!  If you are interested in starting a home Bible study, please contact me here, and I will be happy to help you.

We praise the Lord for the way that He has blessed the ministries in our church in Guadalajara.  On February 2, 2003, Miguel Angel Camacho was ordained to the ministry of the Gospel.  Then, on March 16 we had a business meeting for the purpose of presenting my resignation as pastor of the church, effective May 18, 2003.  Even though I had read my “Letter of Intent” in January of 2002, it was still difficult for them to face our leaving.  In that same meeting the Board read a letter recommending that Pastor Miguel Angel Camacho be called as pastor of the church.  We praise the Lord that the church was unanimous in calling him as pastor.  Pastor Miguel Camacho was led to the Lord 14 years ago by one of the members of our church.  He started attending faithfully all of the services and our Bible Institute, and since that time has been growing by leaps and bounds.  For 14 years Pastor Miguel’s greatest desire has been to serve the Lord, applying all he has learned to the ministry.

On August 24, 2003, the church had a special farewell service for us, with a special program and a dinner planned in our honor.  Emotionally it was very difficult for all of us.  Pastor Miguel asked me to preach the evening service, which gave me an opportunity to give final words of counsel and expressions of love to our church family.  At that time we accepted an invitation to return in March of 2004 for a special Bible conference.  On August 25 we moved to Saint Petersburg, Florida.  What a thrill it is for us to continually hear good news of the progress in the ministry we started 25 years ago in the city of Guadalajara!

Since coming back to the United States, we have been actively holding Bible conferences and seminars on evangelism in various churches to help train church members, who are interested and burdened to serve the Lord.  We are promoting “one-on-one” Bible studies with those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.  In order to help Christians understand the “Great Commission,” given by Jesus prior to returning to heaven, we have to realize that all of us are responsible to “make disciples of all nations.”  This involves reaching out to that friend or neighbor in our own country, city, and neighborhood where we live.  This is the reason I translated the book, Becoming a Christian, into the English language.  This will help guide you, and does the major work for you as you hold “one-on-one” Bible classes with an unsaved person.  The method of study is simple and understandable.  Both the teacher and the student use this fill-in-the-blank book, which directs them to the Bible to find the answers, for we are teaching the Word of God, not a “book.”  We covet your prayers that many will come to a full understanding of true salvation through these classes.

At the present time all of the Texas state prisons and all of the Florida state prisons now have the book, Becoming a Christian, in their libraries.  Since then, we have received requests for books in both languages from 137 prisoners.  It would be a thrill for you, as it is for us, to read many of these letters as they expressed their desire to use the book as a guide for their Bible study in their cells. We are grateful to those who have made donations to this project to furnish books to the prisoners free of charge.  While I was in California, churches and individuals donated $1,500 to put Becoming a Christian in their state prisons.  If you are interested in reaching out to the prisoners in your state, please write or call me and we will be thrilled to help make this possible.

This ministry is dependent upon the continued support by His people through your prayers and special gifts.  They are so very much needed at this time.

May the Lord give you a burden for the lost and richly bless you as you serve Him!