Advance Magazine

President's View

Have you ever wondered why our mission is called Baptist Mid-Missions? What is the meaning and significance of the “Mid”?

Our original name was “The General Council of Cooperating Baptist Missions of North America, Inc.” Attached to that lengthy title was the subtitle, “Mid-Missions.” It is pretty easy to figure out which one stuck and probably why. Yet the significance of the subtitle “Mid-Missions” is not as well known as it ought to be. As the modern missions movement gained steam in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, focus was placed on reaching people along the coasts of continents. Doing so was easier for numerous reasons. But taking the gospel where it had already been preached was not the burden of our founder, William Haas. Instead, Haas and the pastors and laymen who launched BMM sensed the call of God to take the gospel to the frontiers—the middle of continents—where the gospel was not being preached. That is why we were known as “Mid-Missions,” which eventually became Baptist Mid-Missions.

As we embark on our second century as a mission, our frontiers are quite different than those our forefathers reached.

However, they are no less important. The cities of our planet are in desperate need of the gospel. The average size of the world’s five largest metropolitan areas is 27 million people and growing daily. These cities need the gospel like the middle of continents did a century ago. The other great frontiers of our second century are the Creative Access Nations of the world. These nations are not easy for missionaries to enter, let alone remain in, yet billions in these nations need Christ!

As you read Advance, I pray that God will burden your heart for these types of fields and those who serve there. Frankly, ministry in both of these contexts is very difficult. But that has always been the case. Whether it was the first century of the early church or the first century of BMM’s existence, places where ministry is very challenging are usually where the gospel is needed the most. Join me as we pray for those whom God has called to go to such places, and pray for many more to join them.

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Dr. Patrick Odle

In July 2020, Dr. Patrick Odle became Baptist Mid-Missions’ ninth president. He came to his position with 26 years of pastoral experience and eight years as a BMM Council member, along with service as a vice president of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary.

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