Board Celebrates Mieth and International Commission Anniversary

SAN ANTONIO – The Wayland Baptist University Board of Trustees took time out of their schedule during the annual work retreat in July to recognize one of their own. Ben Mieth was surprised with a special cake decorated with the International Commission logo, an organization he founded 50 years ago.

Wayland Baptist University President Dr. Bobby Hall marked the occasion, talking about Mieth’s commitment to missions and developing an organization that has had worldwide impact.

“I thought it was important that we celebrate that,” Hall said, presenting Mieth and his wife, Bertha, with the birthday cake.

International Commission is a non-profit organization that focuses on church-based evangelism projects around the world. The Commission’s goal is to equip churches to send out short-term teams to work in evangelism and discipleship with host churches around the world.

Mieth developed the idea based on a mission trip he led with First Baptist Church in Seminole in 1971. Mieth and 45 members of the church participated with churches in Mexico in a week of evangelistic visits, Bible schools and services. The mission was so successful that other churches in Mexico invited Mieth to send more teams to work with them in the same way. Mieth recruited 10 church teams to work with 10 churches in Mexico, again with great success. In 1973, another 20 invitations led Mieth to establish the International Commission to meet their needs.

Dr. Hall pointed out that Mieth was part of the original leadership team in 1971, along with longtime Wayland trustee Gene Hawkins, who passed away earlier this year. Both Mieth and Hawkins have been vital to Wayland throughout the years as their commitment to mission work is manifest in the life of the university.

The International Commission focuses on developing relationships with churches in other countries. Those churches will spend six to nine months praying specifically for the salvation of known individuals in their community. Then, an IC team will visit the church and spend a week conducting evangelistic visits with those individuals for whom the church has been praying. The church-to-church model also ensures that each new believer is connected to a church for discipleship.

The majority of these mission projects don’t involve teams from the United States traveling to other countries. The IC equips churches to conduct the national-to-national (N2N) projects in their own countries using resources developed by the Commission. Based on annual averages, every dollar invested in these projects represents two professions of faith, according to the IC website.

Through the work of the International Commission, hundreds of thousands of people are introduced to the Gospel each year. From August through December of this year, the IC has seven North American projects scheduled, and this does not include the number of N2N projects. For more information about the International Commission, go to www.internationalcommission.org.

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