The Fishers of Men Ministry serving the brotherhood since 1977! The Fishers of Men Ministry began with the mission of taking the gospel to "all creation" (Mark 16:16). This would be accomplished by training brethren (Ephesians 4:11-13) in local churches to share Jesus with their friends, neighbors and relatives. Our full-time instructors work under the oversight of the Cordova Church of Christ, Cordova, TN. They conduct the FOM Course, free of charge to inviting churches and students. This is possible because of the generosity of the Cordova church, plus the financial support of many sister congregations and individuals across the United States and Canada.
Over 20,000 baptized since 1977. More than 100 instructors have conducted about 1100 FOM courses in 40 states with over 26,000 students from 1500 congregations. These 26,000 plus students conducted over 90,000 Bible studies with about 28,000 souls; baptizing approximately 20,000 into Christ. During this time, students of the FOM course have been involved in establishing more than a dozen new congregations. The Fishers of Men course has also been conducted in Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Tanzania, ST. Vincent, Ukraine, West Indies, and more to come. The Search for Truth lessons are in English, Chinese, Indonesian, Russian, and Spanish.
Presently, the Fishers of Men Ministry is served by five full-time instructors: Darrell O'Rourke (1977), Florence, Alabama; Benny Stephens (1985), Indianapolis, Indiana; Timothy Wilkes, Sr. (1994 ), Hernando, Mississippi, Ron Maynard (1997), Mankato, Minnesota, and Barry Hatcher (2005) Wetumka, AL. Previous full-time instructors: Chuck Thyne (1977-1988), (After ten years, Chuck Thyne resigned in 1988. In January of 1992, Chuck was diagnosed with cancer. He had chemotherapy treatments, however, he went home with the Lord in July of 1992); Bob Burke (1986-1992), resigned due to health problems at the beginning of 1992. We are also blessed with about 40 active part-time instructors located in 30 states.
In 1977, the Fishers of Men Ministry began with two full-time instructors, Darrell O'Rourke and Chuck Thyne. In the beginning, this ministry was under the oversight of the Naperville Church of Christ, Naperville, IL, but is now under the elders of the Cordova church of Christ, Cordova, Tennessee. The mission of the FOM Ministry is to serve other churches, especially mission churches, in the Upper Midwest. It was, and still is the desire of the Cordova church and bishops to seek and save the lost by helping to train soul winners in their home congregations.
1978 through 1983, Chuck & Darrell conducted 116 FOM Courses with 114 churches in six states. During this time, we trained 1,244 students who in turn conducted over 6,300 studies with lost souls resulting in about 1,000 souls obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ. In 1984, part-time instructors began conducting the FOM Course to fulfill the many requests. The following year, in 1985, Benny Stephens of Indianapolis, IN, became our third full-time instructor. In 1986, we added Bob Burke of Inkster, MI, to our full-time staff.
From 1984 through 1988, Benny, Bob, Chuck, Darrell and 49 part-time instructors conducted 205 FOM Courses with 193 churches in 27 states. During these years, 2,043 students conducted about 10,300 studies and approximately 2,000 obeyed the gospel.
1989 through 1991, Benny, Bob, Darrell and 67 part-time instructors conducted 146 FOM Courses with 1992 students in 138 churches. These students conducted about 10,000 studies with about 2,000 responses to the Lord's invitation.
In 1989, Don Calhoun of Euless, Texas, began the "Ambassadors for Christ Ministry" under the oversight of Airport Freeway Church. This ministry is an outgrowth of the Fishers of Men Ministry. We praise the Lord for all His blessings and may He receive all the glory and honor.
1992-1993, Benny, Darrell and 39 part-time instructors have conducted 94 FOM Courses with 92 churches in 22 states. During this time, we have trained 1,277 students who in turn have conducted about 6,400 studies with about 2,500 lost souls. We would estimate that 1,000 have committed their lives to Jesus in baptism.
1994-1997: Benny, Darrell, Ron, Tim and 60 instructors conducted 151 FOM Courses with over 3100 students in 27 states. These 3400+ students in completing their homework conducted about 15,600 studies with approximately 5000 students. We would estimate that these studies resulted in about 2500 baptisms.