The Potter Family in Hungry
I was born into a pastor's home where I heard the word of God taught and saw it put into practice from the earliest days of my life. I came to know Christ as Savior at my mother's knee and at an early age surrendered my life to Christ to do whatever He wanted me to do. I spent most of my life through high school in the state of Illinois. After high school graduation, I went for one year to Pillsbury Baptist Bible College where I met my wife Jean for the first time. Jean grew up on a farm in central Michigan, where her grandfather took her to church. She was saved through the witness of a faithful junior church worker. She surrendered her life for Christian service at a church snow camp. Both Jean and I transferred to Maranatha Baptist Bible College in 1968, the year the school began. I received my seminary training at San Francisco Baptist Seminary and Maranatha, then went on to receive a doctor's degree in New Testament at Bob Jones University in 1978.
After graduation, I taught for twelve years at San Francisco Baptist Seminary, also serving as assistant pastor at Manor Baptist Church of San Leandro and then at Calvary Baptist Church of Alameda. When the school closed its doors in 1991, no new teaching opportunities opened up, so I continued ministering at Alameda and took a job in the business world to put food on the table.
I had always believed that God would put us on the mission field someday. I told Jean that I wanted to wait until at least six of our seven children were through college and I wanted to go to a field where I did not have to learn the language, so I could begin work right away. God was not impressed with my ideas. Our oldest daughter, Abi, went to Hungary as a short term missionary to help Jim and Valerie Knies. When we came for a visit in 1997, Jim asked me to teach a Bible Conference for the church, and to consider returning permanently. After much prayer, we applied to Baptist World Mission and were accepted in April, 1997. Within two years, we had completed deputation and arrived on the field.
Our work is to train national leadership to plant new churches. The Knies family established Bible Baptist Church of Pécs, Hungary, in 1995. We help in every phase of the church program, including children's work, Sunday School, Junior Church, youth work, music and preaching. Five Hungarian men have answered the call to preach and are both serving and in training now. As we send them out to plant new independent Baptist churches, we will be available to help and encourage them in the same way as we do now.
When we arrived in Hungary in 1999, we made the tenth independent Baptist family involved in church planting. Since then, the number has shrunk to six. We are praying that God will use us to help launch a great church planting movement of Hungarian nationals resulting in the salvation of many souls.