We believe there is only one God, a triune person who has revealed Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three Persons and yet only one God.
We believe Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God; He is truly God and truly man; in His virgin birth, spotless humanity, substitutionary sacrifice (death), bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, present advocacy as interceding High Priest on behalf of the saints; and in His personal, imminent, bodily, visible, return for His Church, the establishment of His kingdom, and the judgment of the quick and the dead.
We believe the Scriptures declare the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit who indwells, gives life, sanctifies, empowers and comforts all believers.
We believe in the divine inspiration, divine revelation and divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, including both the Old and New Testaments by the Holy Spirit in the original languages
We believe the Church is an elect company of believers baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body; that the Holy Spirit regenerates with divine life and personally indwells the believer; the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the unsaved; in the responsibility of each believer, motivated by the love of Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to witness for Christ and to proclaim the Gospel in all the world; that the church will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air when He appears to set up His kingdom.
We believe all men in their natural state are lost, alienated from God, spiritually dead; Salvation is a free gift of God, separate and apart from works; that every person who receives salvation through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; Those receiving Christ by faith have their sins forgiven; that a soul once saved can never be lost; in the unending life of the saved with the Lord, and the unending punishment of the unsaved.
Shirley H. Fitz-Ritson, Ph.D.
Gloria and Jeremiah Knight
Lois and Lewis Eikner
Michele Rojas, M.D.
Tammy A. Phillips
Tyrone Barnette, Pastor
First Board Chair
Peace Baptist Church
Thirteen years ago, these eight men and women, after returning from a mission trip to South Africa, began to ponder the question, “What is God telling you to do about missions?” The answer took them from local ministries and Sunday school classes to hospitals, churches and couples’ conferences in Kwandengazi, South Africa, to Pastor and Lay Leaders conferences in The Republic of the Congo, to orphanages in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, to a girl’s detention center in Northern Jamaica, to a Home Health Care Ministry for AIDS patients in Hillcrest, South Africa and to churches in Zimbabwe.
The eight believed that The Great Commission was not given to just one group of people. So, their mission became encouraging men and women of African descent to rise up, gear up and get going onto the mission field for Jesus. End Paragraph
The Gospel has been shared with thousands through sermons, Bible Studies and one-on-one prayer sessions. Thousands of pounds of clothing, food, medical supplies and schools supplies have been donated. An abstinence curriculum was developed and used in South Africa. Scholarships have been given to children caught up in the Liberian civil war. Prisoners have been visited, songs have been sung, puppets have danced and children have cheered during Vacation Bible School classes. Many faithful church members have participated in a Bible Institute in Jamaica-fifty-seven students graduated in September.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mildred Archie. Ms. Archie is a retired federal employee. She served with the United States State Department for 30 year in the Foreign Service. Her work took her to various countries around the world. She used these assignments to connect with local churches becoming involved with their ministries. The countries she served in included; Iceland, Australia, Venezuela, and Columbia. Ms. Archie, upon her retirement from the State Department, served for 15 years as a full time American Baptist missionary. She was the Assistant to the Director of the All Africa Baptist Fellowship, the African arm of the American Baptist. Her role involved assisting with the development of policies and procedures for AFBF. In this capacity, she served in Zambia, the Republic of South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Ms. Archie sponsored two children, one from Nigeria and one from Columbia, until they reached majority, taking responsibility for their wellbeing and college education. Ms. Archie a tent maker missionary for over 30 years. She continues to serve as the advisor to the Foreign Missions Coordinator at her local church in Springfield,
Jeremiah Knight –Jeremiah is a conference speaker and certified pre-marriage counselor. He and his wife, Gloria, over the last 12 years have conducted numerous marriage seminars in the United States, South Africa, and Liberia. Jeremiah is recently retired from a large corporation, and he and Gloria operate the couple’s small business, Jus-Xamcia, LLC, a real estate investment and property management company. Jeremiah holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and is a graduate of the University of Florida. He, also, holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Jeremiah and his wife reside in Atlanta, GA. The Knights have been married for 45 years and have one married daughter and 3 delightful grandchildren.
Rev. Pennon Lockhart, Ph.D. Dr. Lockhart currently serves as a minister on the staff of Greenforest Community Baptist Church and is a professor of theology and Biblical languages at the American University of Biblical Studies since 1997. His ministry and research in the area of Biblical linguistics has allowed him to minister across the country and internationally in Africa, Asia, and other global locations. He has authored numerous articles and digital publications. His most recent mission work (2009-2012) was in Liberia, West Africa and North Jamaica. He is a member of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Research Center for Apologetics International. Dr. Lockhart also served as an Associate Minister with the New Life Presbyterian Church in College Park, Georgia for 12 years prior to his current assignment in International Missions in 2006. He completed undergraduate studies at Alabama A&M University and postgraduate work at the University of Kentucky in
Mechanical Engineering. His doctoral work in Biblical Languages and Theology was through the American University of Biblical Studies. Dr.
Lockhart and his wife, (Dr. Charlotte Lockhart), have two children and three grandchildren.
Rodney Smith, MS, Board Chair – Mr. Smith has been a Christian for 50 years. He has a passion for using his bible knowledge, skills, and abilities to impact the next Generation by teaching them life principles based on God’s word and examples of personal application. Mr. Smith has been active in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) for 10 years. The first six years was served in Atlanta, Georgia and the last 4 in Los Gatos, California.
In 2010, Mr. went on his first international mission trip with Simon’s Branch Inc. During this trip, his perspective and understanding of the missionary role was enhanced and he immediately committed his life to support international missions as a teaching leader. He currently serves as Simon’s Branch’s. Board Chair. He has led or participated in short-term mission trips to the Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Jamaica. Mr. Smith is married to Rosalie Smith and they have been activemembers of ALCF since moving from Atlanta in 2009 to Sunnyvale, California. They are blessed with 5 wonderful children and 6
Ronnie Stanley, M.Th. – Rev. Stanley has served in many capacities of Church leadership. He currently serves as the pastor of Mount Olive Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He also serves a Professor of Theology and Bible at the Washington Bible College. In addition, he is employed in the Banking Industry. Rev. Stanley holds a Bachelor of Science from Columbia International University (CIU) located in Columbia, South Carolina and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary located in Dallas, Texas. He is currently completing his Doctorate of Ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary. He resides in Temple Hills, MD. Rev. Stanley is a former Academic Dean at Carver Bible College.
Debra Townes, Board Vice Chair – Ms. Townes, after completing her undergraduate work in Mississippi, moved to Chicago to complete a master’s degree. She served as a foreign missionary for six years in Swaziland, South Africa under the auspices of the Providence Missionary Baptist Church and the National Baptist Convention, Inc. Currently, Ms. Townes services as Vice Chair of Simon’s Board. She has participated on SBI Teams in South Africa and Jamaica. In addition, she has represented SBI in Liberia. Ms. Townes is a Member of Higher Level Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia, pastored by Rev. Tyrone King. She is a member of the Peace on the Move Ministry dedicated to assisting men and women in rebuilding their lives after substance abuse and other life altering events. Ms. Townes has been in Federal service since 1988. She began her career with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, then the Ministry of Education and UNICEF. She is currently with the Center for Disease Control. She serves as Deputy Incident Manager for Polio Response in the EOC managing field activities for polio eradication.
Hallieque Lamb, M.Ed. – Ms. Lamb holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Morris College in Sumter, SC and is a graduate of University of South Carolina.
She currently serves as a research consultant and is a retired human services administrator. She worked in juvenile justice as a counselor and manager.
Also she worked in economic services and child welfare services both in licensing and foster care for more than 30 years. She is recognized for her vast experience in rebuilding exiting programs and initiating programs that enhanced the quality of services provided by the agencies for which she worked. Currently, she resides in Columbia, South Carolina. She is widowed and has two sons and one grandchild.
Mayor Johnnie Waller, Sr. He is currently serving as a sixth term Mayor of Calhoun Falls, South Carolina. Pastor Waller has been married to his wife, Bobbie Jean for 43 years. They have two children and five grandchildren. Pastor Waller attended DeVry Institute in Atlanta, Georgia and Columbia Bible College in Columbia, South Carolina. He served in the Air Force and is on the board of the Abbeville Memorial Hospital. He has a ministry at that hospital and at the Self regional Hospital in Greenwood, South Carolina. He has received numerous awards for his service in the community.
ADVISORS TO THE BOARD
Pastor Vika Gwala. Pastor Gwala is a graduate of the All Africa Bible College where he earned a Diploma in Theology (1995). He holds an Adult Education Training Certificate (2006)and a National Professional Diploma in Education (2010). He is a church planter, having planted six churches in South Africa. He is currently the pastor of the 1000 Hills Baptist Church which he planted in 2000. He is an educator working in the public schools. He and his wife, Monique, have three children. He serves as head of the local ministerial association and is very active in his local community.
Horace Rhodes, B.Th. – Pastor Rose was educated at Fairview Baptist Bible College in Jamaica and received a degree in Biblical Studies from Luther Rice Seminary and University in Atlanta, Georgia. Pastor Rose has been married to his wife, Paulette, for 28 years. They have one daughter and one granddaughter. Pastor Rose is the pastor of two churches in Saint Ann, Jamaica. He has pastored the Discovery Bay Tabernacle Church in Discovery Bay for 25 years. In addition, for the last 13 years, he has served as the pastor of Duncans Tabernacle Church in Duncans, Jamaica. Pastor Rose is the Vice Chairman for the Jamaica Evangelistic Mission and its Chairman for the Christian Education Department. He is also the Chairman for the JEM Bible Institute Bible Certificate, a new ministry in partnership with Simon’s Branch, Inc. .
S. Ignatius Satiah. Mr. Satiah is a graduate of Cuttington University Graduate School, the African Methodist Episcopal University, and the West Africa Computer Science Institute. He serves as chairman of the Deacon Board at Star Baptist Church in Jacobstown, Liberia. He is a survivor of the civil war in Liberia and is committed to advancing the Kingdom of God having experienced God’s protection and mercy. He is employed in the insurance industry. He and his wife, Aulma, have one daughter.
IN MEMORY OF PASTOR FRED GORDON, B.TH.
Pastor Fred Gordon’s involvement in missions began at the age of sixteen, when he volunteered to work as Summer Missionary working in the remote counties of Western North Carolina. His ongoing involvement included serving on the Simon’s Branch Board of Directors from its inception in 2002 until his death in June of 2014. He served as Vice Chair of the Board for a number of years. Fred worked in mission in Jamaica for over twenty years and initiated the work that SBI is currently doing there. His leadership resulted in the implementation of each of SBI’s projects in South Africa, Liberia, and Jamaica. His efforts resulted in the establishment of the Simon’s Branch Jamaica Evangelistic Mission partnership which led to the placement of a full time missionary in Jamaica and the establishment of the Jamaica Evangelical Mission Bible Certificate Program.
His outstanding accomplishments are reflected in the various places, organizations and communities he served. His accomplishments included:
Earning a Bachelor of Theology from Shaw Divinity School, Raleigh, NC.
More than 30 years of pastoral experience, serving Mills Chapel Baptist Church in Black Mountain, NC – 1974-1983, Central Baptist Church in Kingsport, TN – 1983-1992, and Bethel “A” Baptist Church in Brevard, NC – 1992-2014;
Serving as a guest lecturer on the Old Testament at Brevard College, Brevard, NC;
Serving as the Moderator of Bethel District Baptist Association of Upper East
Tennessee and the Mud Creek Missionary Baptist Association; and Serving as a community outreach activist with the following organizations and entities:
Health and Human Service Committee of the General Baptist State Convention of
North Carolina, Inc.
Executive Board of the Mud Creek Missionary Baptist Association
Board of Commissioners of Brevard Housing Authority
Statewide Board of Visitors of African-American Community Outreach Program of the Bryan Alzheimer ’s Disease Research Center of Duke University Medical Center
Transylvania County Service Unit Committee of the Salvation Army (Chairman Board of Directors of Neighbors In
Ministry, Inc. (Founder) and
The Family Caregiver Support Program
Pastor Gordon was married to his wife, Frankie Lewis Gordon. He was the father of five children and six grandchildren.
His gentle wisdom, powerful preaching, singing, and passion for local, national and international missions will continue to influence Simon’s Branch staff and Board Members. In addition, his spirit filled influence will continue to be felt in the lives of people in the United States, South Africa, Jamaica, Liberia and Zimbabwe. Simon’s Branch extends its gratitude to God, his wife Frankie, and their children for the gift Pastor Gordon was to the organization.