Teen Missions founder & director, Robert M. Bland (Bob), brings a rich history of valuable Bible training and missionary experience to the faculty of Florida Free. Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, Bob left his trade as a union plumber to follow God’s calling to full-time service in 1957.
In 1960 Bob graduated from Arizona Bible Institute and from Youth For Christ directors’ school at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He served for six years at Sciotoland Youth For Christ in Chillicothe, Ohio. Ordained as a minister by The Christian Union, Bob pastored in Mt. Joy for three years before moving to Hennessey, Oklahoma to serve as senior pastor at Union Chapel (where he first made the acquaintance of Gayle “Widder” Will and her late husband Ted). In 1969, Bob began one year of service as recruitment director of the Christian Service Corp. At this time, God placed a burden on his heart for involving youth in missions and the vision for Teen Missions International (TMI) was formed.
Since the founding of Teen Missions, 43,000 North American teens have served on teams to more than one hundred countries, building churches, schools, orphanages and even airstrips and a hospital. Evangelistic teams have seen thousands of decisions for Christ. In 1982, Boot Camps for national youth began overseas, and today Teen Missions is running more than thirty-nine overseas Boot Camps on six continents. Through these Boot Camps, the need was realized for further Bible and missionary training for youth who felt called to full-time service. Bob, together with Rev. Howard Vanderpool began Florida Free Bible, Missionary & Work Training Center in 1988.
An Honorary Doctorate of Divinity was bestowed on Mr. Bland by Inalta Bible School & Seminary in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2005. Bob has traveled to approximately 100 countries during his 50+ years of Christian ministry. Bob gives lectures to BMW students during weekly staff devotions and served as an instructor for the Geography class. The Blands celebrated his 65th wedding anniversary with his wife Bernie in June 2014.
Vikki currently serves as the Coordinator of Florida Free Bible, Missionary & Work Training Center (BMW). As an Ohio native from Chillicothe, Vikki and holds a BA in finance from Ohio University. She has also served on the State Youth board and directed camps for the Ohio Christian Union in addition to 15 years of experience in Sunday School ministry and 6 years in youth ministry. Vikki has taught Missions II and Pedagogy classes at BMW.
The Ayers family came together while serving at Teen Missions. Bryan from California and Dawn from Minnesota came to serve full-time in 1986. After their wedding at the Lord’s Boot Campdining room in November of 1987, they worked at our base in Merritt Island, FL until 1992. Following those years, Bryan and Dawn attended Nazarene Bible College in Colorado Springs, CO in preparation for 17 years as a pastor in Florida, Canada, Tennessee and Missouri.
They returned to staff positions in November of 2014. Bryan works in our Personnel Department working on staff and volunteer details. Dawn works part-time in the U.S. Teams Department. She also home schools their kids the rest of the time. Recently, Bryan has taught Doctrine and Pauline Epistles.
Steve was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He graduated with an Associate of Practical Theology degree from Christ For The Nations Institute— Dallas, Texas in 1984. He has served full-time with Teen Missions International since the fall of 1984. Steve helped found Teen Missions Video Department, and served as a director and post-production editor on numerous evangelistic film projects in association with Ken Anderson Films. Steve has also served at Overseas Boot Camps for national teens in Brazil, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Jordan, Lebanon, Indonesia and the Philippines. He has served as a leader on 24 summer teams. Currently, Steve works in the Teen Missions Computer department and continues to travel on summer teams with his wife, Gay, and children Timothy and Faith. Along with all of this, Steve has also recently taught the Gospels, Doctrine, Minor Prophets, Major Prophets and Daniel/Revelation.
Tom Stobie was born in St. Louis, MO. He graduated from Taylor University, and then worked for Youth For Christ for 14 years, including Denver, Long Island and Auckland NZ. He has previously served in churches near Boston and St. Louis. Tom is now the pastor of Islander Alliance Church, here in Merritt Island. Recently Tom has taught Synthesis I, Personal Evangelism, Speech, Church History III, and Ethics.
Pat grew up on a farm in rural northwest Missouri. After graduating high school, she attended Northwest Missouri State University to learn secretarial procedures and received an associates degree. Because of the example of exceptionally godly parents, Pat has always had a desire to serve the Lord and has served in many positions over the years. She began with teaching VBS when she was 14.
After hearing about Teen Missions and learning about the TMI vision and integrity, she felt God calling her to be more directly involved in missions. Since joining staff in the fall of 2013, she has served in the Motorcycle Sunday School department and taught both Analysis of Romans and Biblical Psychology. Pat has three children: Christina, Jason, Emily, as well as 12 grandchildren.
Howard pioneered the first Florida Free Bible, Missionary & Work Training Center. Mr. Vanderpool has established a long history of faithful service in missions and church ministry.
Originally from Artesia, California, he attended Arizona Bible Institute and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Bible. The Vanderpools then served for 18 years with Village Missions, pastoring churches in Oregon and California. In 1988 He came to Florida with his wife Mary to build and establish Teen Missions first BMW Training Center.
Today, Teen Missions operates more than 23 BMW training centers on five continents— each patterned after the original school in Merritt Island, Florida. As an instructor, Mr. Vanderpool has covered many different subjects, most recently teaching the Daniel/Revelation course. He is also an expert on the Old Testament Tabernacle design, having built a Life-Sized Replica (with the help of his wife Mary and a host of volunteers).