Fellowship International History

After the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada was formed in 1953 and as discussions with the Regular Baptist Churches of British Columbia of joining this new Fellowship continued, the conversation slowly turned to the idea of this new association of churches also forming an agency to facilitate the sending of missionaries from its midst.

In 1961 three young men, who were studying for ministry at Central Baptist Seminary in Toronto, challenged Fellowship leadership to consider launching its own missionary program. They felt called by God to the mission field and longed to serve under the Fellowship which they were a part of. These three men, Paul Kerr, Colin Butcher and Terry Madison, wrote a joint letter to Fellowship leadership noting that there initial desire was to go to India to share the Gospel.

On October 24, 1962 at the Fellowship’s annual convention the proposal to create a Fellowship foreign missions program received nearly unanimously support from our churches’ delegates. And so began what was initially to be known as the Foreign Missions Board of the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada. Dr. Hal MacBain was the first chairman (or director) of the Board. Paul and Mary Kerr were appointed as the first Fellowship missionaries in 1963 and they were deployed to India in 1964. They were closely followed to India by Colin and Merle Butcher, Vern and Helen Middleton, and Howard and Marilyn Searle in 1965. Paul would later become the mission's director. In addition to Paul, Bob Holmes, Richard Flemming, Dan Baetz, David Marttunen, and Ben Porter have served as Fellowship International Directors.

When the Regular Baptist Churches of BC joined the Fellowship in 1965 their mission board merged with the Fellowship’s Foreign Missions Board and adopted their mission field of Japan. This increased the initial mission’s force of the Fellowship from four to seven couples.

In 1968 the fields of Colombia and Hong Kong were opened up as missionaries from Fellowship churches were either serving on these fields with other missions or looking to serve on these fields and desired to serve under the Fellowship’s Foreign Missions Board. In 1967 with doors closing to missionaries in India, God opened the door for the first Fellowship missionary to be sent to Pakistan. Japan, Colombia and Pakistan continue to be key countries for the Fellowship. Before too long, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Venezuela, Kenya, and Turkey became new fields for the mission. More recently Chile, Lebanon, Indonesia, Cambodia, Honduras, Poland, Bulgaria, Québec, D.R. Congo, Philippines, Madagascar and the Dominican Republic have been countries that have received long-term Fellowship missionaries.

In the late 1980s the name of the mission was officially changed to FEBInternational. In 2009 the mission was integrated into the National Fellowship structure and became Fellowship International. It is now the missions department for our Fellowship Baptist Churches in Canada.

In recent years Fellowship International has developed in-house training for Fellowship missionaries (CICA modules and Immerse) and indigenous leadership training for leaders on the field (LeadersFormation). In 2017, the department adopted a paradigm shift seeking to train all missionaries in ten Essential Elements (DMM principles) and shifting the mission focus to disciples who make disciples with nationals establishing local churches.


To learn more, read the Fellowship International Direction Document: Vision, Mission, Values and Strategy.