Mark and Sabrina Holmes Prayer Letter: Growth Points for Truth BaptistThe two months of summer opened with an American Independence Day celebration among our missionary families, joined by a friend and fellow college administrator as our special guest. Pastor Ezra Owolabi of Blue Mountain Baptist College in Ogbomoso preached for us on the first Sunday of July, and we were privileged to have his entire family stay in our home and join us for the 4th of July festivities.

Since Truth Baptist Church’s 17th Anniversary in mid-May, our staff has focused on six areas of growth that have helped to bring our average attendance to around 300 for the first time ever. We have baptized converts every Sunday except for one, added two new Sunday school classes, consistently run two (and sometimes three) buses into the local areas, revived a Saturday workers’ meeting, and gotten more men involved in doing a visitors’ meeting after the services (so that each man can focus on one or two visitors). The sixth area of emphasis is having several men do soul winning every day; each of our staff members have picked a day to go out with two of our recent graduates and a couple of interns we had during the seminary break. These focus items culminated in a Friend Day in July, where we had 522 people on property—another attendance record!

Other highlights included a new semester of Providence Baptist College & Seminary beginning in the middle of August with 7 freshmen, bringing our total enrollment to 36 resident students. Grace & Glory Baptist Church installed a baptistery; before, we were using a church member’s swimming pool for baptisms. Our biggest family high point was hosting my oldest son Joseph and my mother-in-law for nearly two weeks while he was on break from studying aviation at the local community college in my wife’s home area. He took part in our Abuja S.M.I.T.E.; I will give the totals of the three camps in our next letter.

We have the following updates on our two building projects: floor tiles have been laid for the dormitory building, and the next step is the two bathrooms and ceiling fans in all rooms; the church property has been fenced, an access road has been added, and we’ve gotten a detailed estimate on what it will take to add pillars and a roof to our foundation for a new auditorium.

Please allow me to add two other major prayer requests for your consideration. Our Foundations Baptist Academy is now in its third year and is needing several things in order to expand to a full grade school. About $7,000 could buy necessary furniture, bookcases, playground equipment, and teaching materials. Lastly, the City of Refuge, our ministry that houses and trains former Muslims affected by persecution, needs about $5,000 to complete kitchen and bathroom facilities. In January, this unique ministry will witness its first three seminary graduates receive their degrees, potentially to start churches in states where there are no independent Baptist churches; six currently enrolled seminary students were originally reached by the City of Refuge, so we feel this work is truly worthy of your investment!

View a short video update here.

Believing God,

Mark Holmes
Written 20 September 2023