(Pastor Robin & Myrna Weatherford)

The International Gospel Mission on Abaco was started in 1982 by Pastor Robin Weatherford. He was born and raised on Man-O-War Cay, a small island off the mainland of Abaco. He grew up in a Christian home and was saved as a young boy. His godly parents, Robbie and Alice Weatherford, not only led him to the Lord, but also taught him to serve the Lord. Before going into the ministry, he worked and did many jobs, from construction to working with Albury's Ferry Service. In 1974 he met and married Myrna Collins. Three years later their first child, a daughter they named Tabitha, was born. Having a desire to serve the Lord, they traveled the Bahamian islands holding children’s meetings and evangelical services, until Tabitha was three years old. He felt called to be a missionary and God showed him the need for a missionary right at his home.

The abundance of Haitians on Abaco and their need to hear the gospel, compelled him with the Lord's direction to begin a work with them. An incident years earlier when he had told a Haitian fellow working on a job with him where the man had told him that he had been in Abaco for many years and no one had ever told him about Jesus, prompted him to realize that there was a great harvest for the Lord right here in his home. He learned the language, Creole, which is a mixture of French, Spanish, English, and African languages, just by interacting with the people.

In 1982, he began holding church services in a small broken down and abandoned building near one of the small Haitian villages. The church was originally known as the Creole Gospel Chapel since Pastor Robin Weatherford is affiliated with the Assemblies of Brethren in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. In 1984, the Weatherfords were blessed with the birth of their second daughter and last child, Priscilla. With the constant inflow of Haitian refugees from Haiti, the church began to grow rapidly. That same year a piece of property was secured on Crockett Drive in Marsh Harbour and a new building consisting of a church apartment, Sunday School rooms, and a meeting area which could hold a congregation of 100 was began with the help of many people from around the world.

In the beginning, several Christian brothers and sisters from Haiti, Bahamian churches and individuals, the Carlsons from Florida, the Burnhams from Georgia, and the Puzeys from Illinois, helped to lay the foundation for this ministry.  Missionaries from Haiti, the Hammes, were involved in helping the Creole Gospel Chapel as well. Also, Pastor Robin Weatherford’s two sisters, Edith and Sarah Ann Weatherford have come faithfully every Sunday from the small island of Man-O-War Cay every Sunday to teach the two Sunday School classes. Churches from Florida, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana and California in the USA have always helped tremendously by bringing work groups to do voluntary manual labor, and also by bringing youth groups during the summer months to hold Vacation Bible School for the children at the mission and also at other settlements.

God has led many churches and individuals to help financially or with labor over the years. As the church continued to grow, ground breaking for an addition was started in 1992. On March 21st, 1993, the dedication service for the Creole Gospel Chapel was held in a brand new building which can hold up to 250 people. Many guests from all over attended and the church was honored to have Steven Saint, the son of martyr Nate Saint, to give the dedication prayer.

Many Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ, some who came to the Lord through the church, have assisted Pastor Weatherford over the years. But because of their frequent migration to other islands and the USA, and also because of the many Bahamian - Haitians that created a need for English services, it became impossible to function as a normal church solely for those who spoke Creole. This, as well as other things, caused Pastor Weatherford to realize that what was needed was a mission instead of a church, for all Bahamians of Haitian descent and Haitians alike. In 2000, the Creole Gospel Chapel became the International Gospel Mission. It is still only a place where people can come to hear the gospel as that has always been our only goal.

It soon became apparent that the accommodations for the youth groups that came every summer to hold VBS were not enough, and plans for yet another building were created. With the help of a team from Calvary Church in Orland Park, Illinois, the new facility was finished in less than two months. This building houses three multi-purpose rooms mainly for Sunday School and also showering facilities, which were all greatly needed.

Despite the problem of illegal immigration, there is ALWAYS a need for a place for the lost and dying to come to hear the gospel of salvation, and for those who have found Christ to worship the Lord. (Matthew 25:34-40.)

Currently, two Sunday services are held, one in the morning and one in the evening, a Creole prayer meeting on Monday night, and an English youth group on Wednesday night. There is a service held by one of the brothers on Thursdays. 

The greatest need at the moment is help with the youth ministry. We really need personnel in this area. (This ministry is only staffed by Pastor Robin and his wife, his two sisters who teach Sunday School, his daughter Priscilla, and a few Haitian brothers and sisters.) There are many young people who come to the mission and show a great interest in learning about Jesus Christ and living for Him. They all need guidance and help to deal with the temptations of this world that we live in today. There are also so many from dysfunctional homes and need people to show them Christ's love and light.

The International Gospel Mission is not fully supported by any one church or organization, but by many individuals and churches whom God leads to give to the ministry. The help, love and encouragement is always appreciated and is a vital part in being able to continue with this work at the mission. We can never thank God enough for the blessings he has bestowed upon us through other people that He has laid upon their heart the desire to help the mission and His servants here in some way. Psalm 115:1 says, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to your name give glory, because of your mercies, because of your truth.” May the Lord Jesus Christ always receive all the praise, honor, and glory at the International Gospel Mission.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Matthew 25:35-40



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IN LOVING MEMORY OF ROBBIE & ALICE WEATHERFORD