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In 2022, the Mobile Baptist Association (MBA) is celebrating 50 years of ministry to Seafarers visiting the Port of Mobile. In 1972, the MBA adopted the International Seamen’s Ministry in cooperation with the Alabama State Board of Missions and the then Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
For the complete history, including early beginnings, continue reading below.
Thank you for your continued support through praying, giving, and volunteering. This dynamic ministry does not exist without YOU!
Ministering to Seafarers in the Port of Mobile
Some of the services offered by International Ministries are:
- Free transportation to shopping malls, sight-seeing tours, churches, recreational parks, etc.
- Free Bibles and other literature (in YOUR language)
- Worship services and Bible study aboard ships
Volunteer Port Chaplains Needed
International Ministries need several Volunteer Port Chaplains who can drive to and from the ships. The chaplains need to lead Bible Studies on the ships at various times. Volunteers must pass a background check for TWIC access to the ships. Please contact Gerald Burch for more information, via email or 251-661-7111.
Donate to International Ministries’ Seafarers’ Ministry:
- Notate International Ministries on your offering check given to your church.
- Donate through your online banking; thus, have your bank send a check.
- Mail checks payable to:
616 Azalea Road
Mobile, AL 36609
- Donate electronically via PayPal or credit card:
History of the Seafarer Ministry
The International Seamen’s Ministy began in 1970 when a Peruvian ship was stranded in Chickasaw without food, communications, or adequate clothing. A group of dedicated ladies from Sage Avenue Baptist Church, led by a commitment to missions, visited the seamen. They invited the seamen to their homes and church and strived to meet their physical, social, and spiritual needs.
In April, 1970 Rev. Ivan DeSouza, a native of Brazil, led the first service of the mission at Sage Avenue Baptist Church. He directed this mission until 1979 when the Lord called him back to Brazil to pastor a church.
In 1972, Mobile Baptist Association adopted the International Seamen’s Ministry in cooperation with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions and the then Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. In 1976 the Association built the Texas Street facility and dedicated it in 1978. This facility housed the ministry under the name “International Ministries Center” until December 2018.
On October, 1, 1979, Rev. Aias DeSouza and his wife, Gecina, both natives of Brazil, began to direct this International work. Rev. DeSouza retired on February 09, 2007.
Rev. Doug Beck was called as the Director in August 2007. Rev. Beck resigned, taking a pastorate position in early 2010. In October 2010, Rev. Buddy Brents was called as Director. Rev. Buddy resigned in 2015 and moved to Houston, Texas to plant churches among internationsls. Rev. Bobby Morton served as the Director until October 6, 2019. Rev. Gerald Burch became the current Director on October 7, 2019.