NEW JERUSALEM SAINTS

Inner-City Missions’ first organizational mission was a softball team called, New Jerusalem Saints; consisting of 12 Christian men who committed to weekly Bible study and high caliber winning softball in order to compete in the City Leagues of Los Angeles. The objective was to be witnesses of Jesus the Christ by our mutual love and encouragement of each other, by team prayers before and after each game, and then by direct discourse whenever anyone, player or fan, would demonstrate interest or thirst for the Lord. This was a seed sowing ministry that we believe others watered and to which God gave the increase.

 

Prison Chaplain

In 1979 Evangelist Benson became a Volunteer Chaplain for California's Department of Corrections and began his ministry at Chino State Prison. He was required to commit 24 hours per week in service to each of the four Chapel programs located in the four sections of the prison compound, that ranged from maximum to minimum security. For the next six year's Mr. Benson enjoyed an exceptionally fruitful ministry, as he conducted services and Bible studies, counseled inmates cell to cell, held baptismal and foot washing services, marriage ceremonies, and sponsored outside Church groups. His services were so well attended, and by all races, that prison guards often took note and even attended themselves. The outgrowth was the start of a small Church in Los Angeles which served the families of many inmates while they were incarcerated, and was there to receive then upon their release.

 

Counselor (Project in South Central Los Angeles)

A Fortune Five Hundred property management company, ‘Goldrich & Kest’, contracted with Inner-City Missions to employ Evangelist Stephan as their liaison to residents of more than 900 Section Eight units within Compton, Watts, and Pasadena. His duties included: counseling individual residents and families, mediating residential disputes, preparing residents for Government Inspections, administrating evictions, and organizing and teaching specific classes designed to educate and inform residents. Evangelist Stephan recognized a divine mission within the scope of his duties to minister the Gospel message one-on-one, to be a witness for Jesus, and to organize and teach Bible studies.

 

 

School of The Prophets

The School of the Prophets was a discipleship ministry consisting of between 15-20 dedicated Christians who evidenced or expressed a desire and calling to minister the Word as a Teacher, Pastor, Sunday School Teacher, Evangelist, Exhorter, or Singer/Song Writer. Members sat under the teaching ministry of Evangelist Stephan Benson; and then were trained in the production of as well as constituted the live audience for a weekly one hour cablecast television program, ‘Gospel Video Magazine.’ The program ran for more than five years and during its peak could be seen every night of the week on any 1 of 7 Cable Networks, with a viewership of nearly half a million.

 

‘DAYSPRING HIGH’ (LIVE 90 MINUTE RADIO PROGRAM)

‘Dayspring High’ was broadcast each Saturday morning from K.M.A.X. Radio out of Arcadia, California; which in the early nineties enjoyed the largest area coverage of any Christian owned radio station west of the Mississippi River. ‘Dayspring High’ was a variety program consisting of Bible teaching excerpted from sermons preached by Evangelist Stephan, Gospel Music, interviews with Community leaders, questions and answers, and prayer.

 

 

Missionary Evangelist to Belize

In 1999 Inner-City Missions sent Evangelist Stephan Benson to Belize to conduct a two-year cross-cultural teaching ministry. Early on Evangelist Stephan worked with a local Church under the Pastor’s direction and conducted outreach training to interested members. In a short time he began his two year teaching ministry as the host of a daily one hour live radio broadcast from one of Belize’s two Christian radio stations called, ‘Bible Study Hour.’ The program was heard each morning from 8:00 am to 9:00 am and was patterned after the late Dr. Vernon McGhee’s radio program, ‘Through the Bible Radio’. It featured expository Bible teaching, Book by Book, verse by verse; alternating between the Old and the New Covenants. The Evangelist covered 26 Books of the Bible. The ‘Bible Study Hour’ was heard and followed by many and could be heard throughout Belize in neighborhoods, within businesses, in vehicles, and even on the Nation’s military base. Evangelist Stephan also conducted monthly Church services in Belize’s one prison in Hattiville, for men and women.

'Midnight Cry' (Last Days of the Terminal Generation)

In 2006 Inner-City Missions sponsored Evangelist Stephan Benson’s relocation to Charlotte, North Carolina; in order that he might write a book that he believed the Lord directed him to write, ‘Midnight Cry’. It constitutes a message he believes the Lord gave him to give to the Church first, and then to the world. He is currently preaching the Gospel and teaching Bible prophecy around the Country, as well as promoting his book.

Work in Liberia

In the Spring of 2012 Evangelist Benson fulfiledl a 15 year plan and relocated to Buchanan City, Liberia, and conducted a nation-wide Bible teaching radio ministry, as well as preached the Gospel and strengthened churches in villages throughout the country. Additionally, he worked along with the International Gospel Outreach (IGO) and his friend and fellow Dallas Seminary alumn, Pastor Clifton Eaton, its new Head. His task was to train pastors enrolled in IGO'S Bible College and to strengthen their churches. One of Pastor Eaton's annual reports below provides a detailed portrait of the nature and scope of the work.

International Gospel Outreach (IGO Baptist Missions)

REPORT ON WORK IN LIBERIA, WEST AFRICA JANUARY 13, 2012

BACKGROUND

Liberia is located on the northwestern coast of the continent of Africa. It is east of Sierra Leone and west of Cote D’Ivoire. It was founded in the 1800’s by Americans and was the first independent nation south of the Sahara. The current president is also the first female president of an African country. The capital of Liberia is Monrovia. Other cities are from east to west, Grand Cess, Greenville, Buchanan City, and Roberts Port. IGO operates out of Buchanan City.

Liberia has always been a Christian country. In the mid 1900’s a former president of Liberia was also president of the Baptist World Alliance.

From the early 1980’s until 2004, the country was ravaged by a civil war which substantially destroyed all infrastructure such as roads, water and electrical supply systems in the areas outside Monrovia. The populace is thus deprived of the basic necessities of life, including clean drinking water. These needs have opened the way for groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Islam, and several cults to come “bearing gifts” to these needy people.

There is therefore, a great need for Christian workers to be grounded in the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. Many missionaries will explain that a major problem on the mission field is that new converts try to blend their former religious practices with Christianity, or try to simply add Jesus Christ to their plethora of gods.

International Gospel Outreach (now renamed IGO Baptist Missions) was founded in 1989 by Reverend Dale Boyles, a former Baptist evangelist to Japan, and a present lecturer at Dallas Baptist University. After spending several years in the country as a missionary building churches establishing a grade school, and training village pastors and evangelists. After returning to the United States, he led several short term mission trips until 2003 when his doctor ordered him to stop because of failing health.

His successor, Reverend Clifton Eaton, pastor of Harmony Baptist Church in Sherman, Texas came on board in 2004, and leads a mission trip to Liberia every year. These short-term mission trips are designed to ensure that pastors and Christian workers are grounded in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.

SCOPE OF IGO’S WORK IN LIBERIA

At the present time over 40 churches are affiliated with IGO Baptist Missions. IGO’s ministry in Liberia involves work in the following areas:
1) Annual conferences for the training of pastors and Christian workers. About 500 pastors and evangelists attend these five-day conferences each year.
2) Operation of a grade school for students in kindergarten through 12th grades. During the civil war, the school building was occupied by refugees who burned the benches and desks as firewood. The building itself is also in need of repairs. The estimated cost of these repairs is $2000.00.
3) Completion of a Bible School Building to provide ongoing training for pastors and evangelists. This building is almost complete and is now being used for training. When completed it will also house a library and a health clinic. The estimated cost to complete this building is $5,000.00.

4) Economic Empowerment Projects

At the present time over 40 churches are affiliated with IGO Baptist Missions. IGO’s ministry in Liberia involves work in the following areas:
1)   Annual conferences for the training of pastors and Christian workers. About 500 pastors and evangelists attend these five-day conferences each year.
2)      Operation of a grade school for students in kindergarten through 12th grades. During the civil war, the school building was occupied by refugees who burned the benches and desks as firewood. The building itself is also in need of repairs. The estimated cost of these repairs is $2000.00.
3)  Completion of a Bible School Building to provide ongoing training for pastors and evangelists. This building is almost complete and is now being used for training. When completed it will also house a library and a health clinic. The estimated cost to complete this building is $5,000.00.
 
4) Economic Empowerment Projects
 
a)  Soap Manufacturing and Pepper Planting Projects
During our visit two (2) soap manufacturing projects and two (2) pepper planting projects were started in four churches. The soap project will employ about 10 women to manufacture and sell the soap. Two Hundred and Fifty-five Dollars ($255.00) was invested in each soap project to produce 750 bars of soap that will sell at $10.00 Liberian Dollars each. One Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($125.00) was invested in each pepper planting project. The projects will benefit church members, as well as provide funds to finance the annual pastors’ conferences. Other churches requesting projects were put on a waiting list. At least two other soap projects and one pepper planting projects will be started in another month. Manufacturing projects allow for a much faster turnover of capital than agricultural projects such as chicken, goats, cassava, or pepper.
b)  Goat Rearing Project
The Goat Rearing Project which was started last year is doing very well. Seventeen (17) families received animals in the initial distribution, and all of the female animals have reproduced. In David Zeogar’s absence, we were not able to ascertain who remained on the waiting list. We were told however, that not all the families who requested animals had received them.
c)  Well Drilling Project
Three (3) communities were targeted for the drilling of at least two (2) wells each to provide clean drinking water. These are the Tarr Bar, Corn Farm, and the Wazhon communities. In August 2011, one well was drilled and commissioned in the Tarr Bar community at a cost of $2500.00.
d) Use of IGO Church Buildings as Elementary Schools
Many villages in Liberia are too small to warrant the government placing schools in them. They are also so far apart that one school cannot serve several villages. This program will allow pastors to use churches in small villages as schools during the week to teach children to read and write We have identified two villages in which this project could start. Each would require $50.00 per month to pay the teacher.
e) Repair and Maintenance of Church Buildings
There still exists the need to replace at least 2 church roofs per year and to provide roofs for new churches.   Each roIt costs about $500.00.
f) Bible School Building: The Bible School building is still not yet complete. In the main section of the building several windows need to be installed, while work on the clinic and the library section of the building has not progressed due to lack of funds. The clinic area although not yet complete is usable. However, the library area has far to go. It still needs doors, windows, and book shelves.
g) Pick-up Truck for Village Evangelism
The engine of pick-up truck used for village evangelism is damaged and needs to be replaced. The cost of sending one from here is about $1000.00 plus shipping. The cost of buying one there is about $1400.00. Village evangelism has now been suspended.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE

1) That the IGO USA Board assist in the construction and repair of village church buildings by allotting $500.00 for each building to provide roofing. This amount would be disbursed as and when required.
2) That the village church buildings be allowed to serve as school buildings during the week.
3) That some literate person, preferably the pastor, be given a stipend of say $50.00 per month to teach the students to read and write.
4) That we resume our evangelistic outreach ministry in the villages.
5) That we ensure that individuals on the waiting list will all receive animals.
6) That we continue to hold the Annual Pastors’ Conferences so that in addition to training pastors and church workers, we can keep abreast of what is happening in the field.

 

Work in Liberia

In the Spring of 2012 Evangelist Benson fulfiledl a 15 year plan and relocated to Buchanan City, Liberia, and conducted a nation-wide Bible teaching radio ministry, as well as preached the Gospel and strengthened churches in villages throughout the country. Additionally, he worked along with the International Gospel Outreach (IGO) and his friend and fellow Dallas Seminary alumn, Pastor Clifton Eaton, its new Head. His task was to train pastors enrolled in IGO'S Bible College and to strengthen their churches. One of Pastor Eaton's annual reports below provides a detailed portrait of the nature and scope of the work.