The Raymond Bush Evangelism Center in honor of Brother Raymond Bush
Bible correspondence courses have been a vital part of the growth of the church in Northern Nigeria. Steve Worley has worked to coordinate these evangelism efforts for many years. The World Bible School courses were instrumental in the conversion of thousands of people throughout Nigeria. These courses were distributed by one of our native evangelists, mailed from Nigeria to the US, graded by American church members, returned to the student, and followed up on by the native evangelists. This process worked well until the postal system in Nigeria encountered some major problems and the delay and cost became too much. In 2012 we instituted our own correspondence course that works in a very similar way. The major change between the two is that the courses are graded onsite at SBS. These courses never leave the country of Nigeria. The postage cost and time of turnaround are greatly reduced. The effectiveness of the course depends on communication and teamwork between all involved. We are still growing the course and have continued to roll it out slowly. If the Lord wills, then we will see the same type of effectiveness with this course that could be seen with WBS in years past!
We started preparing the office, located on the campus of the School of Biblical Studies, Jos, in June of 2012. Many visitors to our campus requested courses to study immediately. Our first student to complete the course was baptized in the same month and continues to be a faithful member of one of our congregations here in Jos! On May 20, 2013 we conducted our opening ceremony and unveiling of the plaque naming our center as the Raymond Bush Evangelism Center. Since that date we have mailed out over 1,800 courses and have received over 683 responses. The total number of baptisms is over 40 students and growing. Many people who have taken our courses are members of the church desiring more Biblical knowledge.
We provide a six –lesson course designed and written by sister Carman D. Hilliard, a World Bible School teacher for many years, with thousands of African students. Through her many years of study with WBS students, Sister Hilliard developed special study courses on subjects particular to the African culture. Her courses are thought provoking which requires each student to obtain a thorough knowledge of the Bible as they complete each course. Sister Hilliard has granted us permission to print her courses as we need them.
The Decatur Highway Church of Christ, Gardendale, AL has allowed us to use their evangelist, Bro. Dauda Bago, to work full-time in our office in Jos, Nigeria. Bro. Bago mails, grades, and maintains the courses. He then communicates with other evangelists throughout Northern Nigeria to make contact with the students.
SPREADING THE WORD
Northern Nigeria boasts a population of over 80 million persons. These people are distributed throughout the Northern states. Our goal is to place at least one course office in each state. The total startup cost for the office in Jos was $3,699.16. That price included preparation of an office, computers, emergency generator, course printing, and other necessary items. Our yearly operating costs are approximately $2,000. We are seeking congregations and individuals with a heart for spreading the gospel message to help with the implementation and maintenance of these course offices throughout the North. These courses work and are the perfect complement to our other mass media outlets.
In 2014 we began working on developing a television ministry that will be made available to over 4 million viewers each week. The TV ministry will focus on teaching the Bible through topical studies. There will always be a need to teach the gospel message from faith to baptism and beyond. Our TV program and correspondence courses will complement one another. Advertising for the courses will be done on the TV program. Once this happens our volume of courses should increase dramatically. That will magnify the need to increase our number of course offices and increase our network of evangelists and churches.
The course offices will be hosted inside existing church buildings and will give members of these congregations the opportunity to participate in growing their congregations. Please consider helping us spread the gospel of Christ!