Supported Missionaries

Dear Church Family,

It happened again the other day. Someone asked me to explain why we chose the term “Loving the World” as our website name. “Didn’t we know that 1 John 2:15 says we should not love the world?” 

My answer was simple, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him might be saved.” 

No, we don’t love the things of the world: 

the sin, the hatred, the war, the prejudice, the genocide, the ethnic cleansing, the hunger, the untreated sickness, the lack of clean water, the infant mortality, the child abuse, the broken homes, the modern-day slavery, the child soldiers, the social and economic injustice.

But we do love the world that God sent His Son to die for. 

We love people that God loves.  We love boys and girls, men and women as God loves them. We want to do anything in our power to share the saving message of Jesus Christ and demonstrate His love by ministering to the hurting people of the world.  “Loving the World” is exactly the right website name for our church. 

Your gifts to the Global Mission Offering will be used to support FBCA missionaries as they join with us to carry out the Great Commission. Your prayerful donations will send the story of God’s love in word and deed to the ends of the earth. 

Below you will find a list of our team of international missionaries and a description of their place of service. 

Your fellow servant,

Steve Akin

Minister of Missions


 First Baptist Church, Athens - Global Mission Offering Recipients 

Latvia – Katie Leatherwood

3 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”    Luke 14:13-14

People affected by physical disability are often isolated from society due to lack of understanding, resources, or environment adaptations.  They often question their purpose in life and what God’s plan is for them.  Katie Leatherwood is a Certified Prosthetist and Orthotist with a passion to share the love of Jesus Christ with people affected by physical disability. Using her knowledge in prosthesis, orthotics, and disability awareness, Katie seeks to engage this community through physical intervention, emotional encouragement, and spiritual discipleship.


The Orient – Jeff Boozer

 Just a few years ago Jeff was a student in our youth ministry. Step by step he has followed the Lord and is now leading groups to bring the written word of God to the people of China. In May of 2010, a group of our TVCC college students joined Jeff in his exciting ministry and in 2011 our Optical Team traveled through southern China ministering through local churches. Your gifts help provide for Jeff’s housing and living expenses.


Latvia – Mark & Laura Wimberley

 In 2002 FBCA sponsored its first Summit Sports Days in Cesis, Latvia. That was where it started. Mark Wimberley was part of the team that led the Basketball Camp. Year after year affection grew between the Wimberley’s and the people of Cesis. They are now beginning their fifth year of service as full time missionaries in that city. Mark & Laura minister to young people, men & women’s groups, the boys prison, and the local soup kitchen, as well as lead Christian basketball camps throughout the country and assist Pastor Olegs.


 Nicaragua – Lloyd & Alma Miguel

Lloyd and Alma Miguel live in Rosita, Nicaragua and manage the daily operation of the Miskito Mission Network. They relate to the Miskito churches and pastors. Lloyd and Alma coordinate all partnership projects and provide leadership for Miskito pastoral training. Lloyd’s language skills and relationships with the pastors keep the Network focused on priority kingdom tasks. Alma’s nursing skills allow her to contribute to directing medical ministries and providing emergency medical consultation for the pastors and their families.


Mexico – Ernesto & Olga Santiago

 Ernesto and Olga serve as project coordinators for TIO. Tarahumara Indian Outreach is an organization of Texas churches that work with the Tarahumara throughout the Copper Canyon of Chihuahua, Mexico. Though most churches have had to stop traveling to the Copper Canyon because of the ever increasing threat of drug violence, Ernesto and Olga help us continue our work there.  With our support they continue to minister to the indigenous people who live at the edge of the modern world.


  England – Lawrence & Sarah Ofiri-Ansah

 As a respected pastor in Accra, Ghana, Lawrence was called by God to be a missionary to the country that brought Christianity to his African nation. Lawrence has begun the new church “Abundant Light Chapel” in Brighton, England. He, his wife and three children have answered the call to follow after Christ.


Guatemala – John & Sharon Gowan

 In 2006 John and Sharon left their home of 21 years in Quito, Ecuador to take on a new challenge in Guatemala City. Sharon is the faculty advisor and student counselor of a Christ-centered school in a district characterized with violence and crime. John’s primary assignment now is with Vina, a ministry begun by SIL and Wycliffe Bible Translators to produce quality video evangelistic Christian programming. The Gowan’s are responsible for raising their own financial support and it is through partners like FBC Athens that their ministry continues.


 Russia – Nikolai & Tia Devyatkin

 On the northern seacoast of Russia is the city of Archangel. There, Nikolai Devyatkin pastors our sister church, the Archangel Baptist Church and travels over an area almost as large as Texas to assist young pastors in small villages.  His work is demanding but his energy is infectious.  His heart is for the lost people of Russia. Your gifts allow him to multiply his ministry in dozens of towns throughout that frozen region.

  North Africa – Name not given for security purposes