J. B. Godfrey

Vice President and Executive Director

When I was two years old, my parents were divorced and I was reared by my grandparents who faithfully sent me to church. At twelve years of age, I accepted Christ as my Savior; however, it was not until I was sixteen that I became serious about serving the Lord. While I was attending a funeral, God called me to preach—a decision I made public in the next church service. I began to study my Bible and to listen to Oliver B. Green, Harold Sightler, Dr. M. R. DeHaan and other great preachers on the radio. I also began to read books by Dr. John R. Rice, R. A. Torrey and other great preachers. The Lord revolutionized my life!

At age seventeen I joined the United States Marine Corps as an opportunity to serve my country and be a witness to my fellow Marines.

I married Linda Burrell in 1969 and we set out to serve the Lord together. In 1970 we moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to attend Tennessee Temple University. Before I took my first class, God used a small article in the Baptist Bible Trumpet, published by Dr. John Waters, to burden my heart about reaching Muslims in the Sahara. The article was written by Dr. Dan Truax, who became my Director for many years. I graduated from Tennessee Temple with a Bachelor's degree in Missions. In December 1973 we joined Baptist International Missions, Inc. (BIMI).

After a year of deputation, we arrived in Albertville, France, to study the French language. We spent a year and a half in France and then took a ship down to the country of Senegal, where we worked until 1990. God blessed our years there. Two of our five children were born in Senegal. While there we learned the Wolof language and had the privilege of seeing Muslims come to know Christ.

At the request of BIMI, we moved to the country of Zaire in 1991 to reopen the work of missionary Anton Andersen. Just two weeks after our arrival in the village of Tshene, serious fighting broke out in the country. The next eighteen months were filled with many dangers, culminating in our family being airlifted from the country in 1993. During the time we spent in Zaire, we learned another language (Kikongo), saw many people saved, and worked with the many believers who were there.

When we arrived back in America, we were going to take a year's medical leave; however, God had other plans for us. Our home church, Grace Baptist Church of Landrum, South Carolina, called me to be their pastor. At the same time, Ambassador Baptist College was in need of an experienced missionary to add to their teaching faculty. For the next nine years I pastored a growing church, taught at Ambassador two days a week, and served on the Executive Board or as an officer of the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools.

In August 2001 Dr. Les Frazier asked if I would pray about becoming Far East Director with BIMI. After seven months of prayer and much heart searching, I accepted this position. I resigned as pastor of my church and as instructor at Ambassador in May 2002.

For ten years I served as Far East Director.

In the summer of 2011, I was asked to serve as Vice President and Executive Director at BIMI. I took that position in January 2012. My tasks are many. We spend time out on the mission fields assisting our missionaries. I do the “Moments for Missions” radio broadcasts. Most weeks I preach in a missions conference or on a college campus. There are also many projects on which I work for Dr. David Snyder at the World Missions Center. We count it a blessing and a privilege to serve a wonderful group of missionaries and the churches which send them out.

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Vice President and Executive Director

Dr. J. B. & Linda Godfrey
Read more about the Godfreys. He can be contacted through the BIMI office (423) 344-5050.

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