It was during the month of July, 1974 that Dr. Bob Holifield, a Laurel, Mississippi dentist, began a ministry in the country of Honduras, Central America.
Having served several years ministering to people through his dental practice in Laurel, Dr. Holifield found an opportunity to use his talents for a higher purpose, when Rev. and Mrs. Charlie Herrington, Baptist missionaries to Honduras, came to him for dental work for their daughter while on furlough from the mission field. As they expressed a desperate need for dental care in the country of Honduras, Dr. Bob and his wife, Jeanne responded. “Dr. Bob’s” home church, Laurel, FBC helped him put a team together and the two week mission was under way.
Dr. Bob, his wife Jeanne; Dr. Rayford Harris, another Laurel dentist; Earle P. Elkins, electrical and mechanical technician; John Lewis, pharmacist; and Rev. Bert Jones, associate pastor of Laurel FBC made up the first team to go to Tegucigalpa. The efforts were tiring, and trying, but ended with 50 new Christians, a Baptist church and over 1,000 aching teeth removed. God was at work! They were compelled by the Spirit to return.
In 1975, by the time the second trip had come, a non-profit corporation called Honduras Baptist Dental Mission, Inc. was formed and the Corporate Board was established with Dr. Bob Holifield, Earle P. Elkins, Rev. Bert Jones, Woodrow Barham (an attorney), and William Wells (a pharmacist who served on the second mission trip).
Out of these humble beginnings, countless professions of faith have changed lives and enabled these precious people in Honduras to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Churches have been built, water wells dug, veterinarians have helped the people with their livestock, special needs patients have been flown to the United States for help unavailable locally, an orphanage has been built, dental work goes on, medical work goes on, Bibles are given out, and the love of Christ reaches on, year after year. Those who give much, receive much. Team members are often in awe after returning from the mission field, trying to comprehend how they could receive a blessing while giving one.
It is impossible to list all those who have obeyed God's calling on their lives, given of their time, money and efforts over the Mission's 35 years; however, we would like to recognize those who have served as Fieldside Missionaries, living for Jesus each day as the Mission's permanent Missionaries in Honduras: Earle P. and Sue Elkins; Ed and Glenda Elkins; Russell and Elaine Patterson; Jim and Jane Baldwin; Eddie and Nora Wehmeier; Archie and Virginia Crawford; Wil and Ann Pounds; Rod and Vivian Smith; Michael and Alba Anderson; Buddy and Meredith Morehead.
As the Board of Directors meets and prays, they seek God’s direction for this mission, and acknowledge that all know the Mission belongs to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.