TMI HISTORY —
God laid upon the heart of Mr. Ed Whitford to begin a ministry of evangelism along the Mexican/ American border at Tecate. Tecate Mission was known as The Bible on the Border. It was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1962. Church services were held for residents who lived in the U. S. near the present headquarters.
Two major building projects were started in 1964 in Tecate, Mexico. The first was Tecate Bible Institute and then a church. (The original Bible Institute became independent in around 1982 and is no longer a part of the TMI ministry.)
Work began on the headquarters in July 1964. It was situated 1500 feet from the international border on the U. S. side. The foundation was poured, encompassing 4500 sq. ft. This provided for a sanctuary, Sunday school classrooms, offices, living quarters for the director and his family. Classrooms were added for the Christian school.
To assist with some of the physical needs of the people in the surrounding area, a medical clinic was operated for a time. The Distribution Center was formed, and to this date is active in sharing food, clothing, household goods, and much more to the churches of the area.
The Bible Correspondence Department was added in 1976 to better prepare the people in the Word of God throughout the Spanish speaking world in Latin America. This ministry also continues to this day in both Spanish and English.
There were periods of time when radio broadcasting through Tecate Mission proved another outlet for sharing the Gospel.
Theological Education by Extension was introduced to Tecate Mission. This ministry grew, providing people with the opportunity to prepare for life and service without leaving their homes and work.
Tecate Christian School was established in 1965. Beginning as a ministry for missionary children, the school has continued to teach the primary through secondary educational levels.
Mr. Whitford was the director of Tecate Mission until 1980 when Mr. Jack Martin was appointed for this position. Jack and his wife, Joan, had been missionaries in southern Mexico for a number of years.
In 1986 Vern Edmonds was appointed as the Executive Director of the mission. He and his wife, Willa, had spent many years in Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico in teaching, evangelism and church planting. Therefore, his heart was to reach the lost by planting new churches. He requested that a mission along the border change to a wider span reaching throughout Mexico and even globally. Under Vern’s direction, 13 churches were established and a new Bible Institute was brought into existence. All efforts were made to fulfill the laws of the Mexican government. This aspect of leadership is true to this day.
In 1986, the leadership established a key aspect of the ministry. Tecate Mission became a faith mission in which no one would be paid but would receive 100% of all designated funds.
In 1993 the Jericho Bible Institute (now called Bible Institute of Tecate Mission International) had a humble beginning with six resident students. Year by year, buildings were added and now this beautiful campus houses around 50 resident students, families and staff.
In 2006 the name of Tecate Mission was officially changed to Tecate Mission International to reflect the focus as a church planting and sending agency.
Active ministries are carried out by our missionaries in various prisons in Wisconsin, USA and in Mexico. We seek to bring the message of hope to those who are incarcerated.
Much training is given to workers who desire to reach children for Jesus Christ through Child Evangelism Fellowship. Dedication is also given to ministering in an effective way to the seniors of our society.
TMI sponsors radio broadcasts in Chiapas, Mexico. The station has a potential listening audience of thousands. The radio staff is willing to advertise our Bible Correspondence courses and the Bible Institute of TMI. The 19 room Regional Training Center in Autlán, Jalisco was also added during this time period.
Vern Edmonds was the director until his death in January 2005. Ron Hoffman and Philip Dennis co-directed the mission until Ron’s appointment to this position in December, 2005.
Over the years ministries have been added or changed but the goal to help meet the spiritual, academic and physical needs of people has not changed. TMI remains a non-denominational faith mission. Meaning that every aspect of this organization (including each of the 78 members) is dependent on the Lord for finances and backing. Our policy is to only spend what God provides (no debt). He has used many of you to be a vital part of the partnership team. We believe that He continues to call others to join us in fulfilling the Great Commission. The time is short, and we want to be actively reaching out to the needs of others.
Each missionary must be in agreement with our doctrinal statement which is available to you at any time. We do not want to stray in any way from the fundamental doctrines of the Word of God. Please pray with us as we move into the next chapters of TMI and that God would continue to open more doors of opportunity.