President and Founder

Ben Bounds

President and Founder of FIP


I was born in Hattiesburg, MS and grew up about 30 miles south in Carnes Community near Lumberton.  I accepted Christ as my Savior at age 11 at a Baptist youth camp.  My parents were godly Christians and set a tremendous example for their three children by teaching Sunday School classes and taking us to church for every service.  They served the Lord faithfully until their passing at ages 90 and 96.


I attended Gospel Singers School of Gospel Music In Pass Christian, MS for four summers before each of my high school years. At a campfire prayer service God called me into full-time ministry.  I was already serving as my church’s music director. My pastor, the late Charlie Herrington, encouraged me to enroll in the Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO and major in church music with a minor in Bible.  This I did with God’s clear stamp of approval and blessing.


I married my college sweetheart, Linda Harwell three months after graduation on August 30, 1968.  Linda was born in Mobile, AL and was saved and baptized at the Wilson Avenue Baptist Church in Prichard when she was seven years of age.  Shortly thereafter her family moved to Saraland where she faithfully attended Shelton Beach Road Baptist Church.  She taught Sunday school and sang in the choir from age 15 until she left for the Baptist Bible College where God had called her to prepare for a life of full-time service.  She has truly been my helpmeet in all areas of our family life and ministry for over half a century. God has blessed us with two fine sons and two wonderful daughters-in-law, and as a special blessing five beautiful grandchildren.


During my first 33 ½ years of ministry in five churches in three states I wore several hats simultaneously such as music director, youth director, Christian school music and Bible teacher, athletic director, soccer coach, track and field coach, young married couples class founder and teacher, and evangelism outreach director.  I made several mission trips with various groups and Linda and I supported foreign missions weekly through the Faith Promise mission plan.  We also supported three national pastors in Africa though the ministry of Gospelink.  When I felt God calling me to missions I contacted the founder of Gospelink and volunteered to serve with them.  After 5 ½ years God led us to organize Faith International Partners to take the same kind of ministry to indigenous church-planters within the countries of the 10/40 Window, specifically Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), Cambodia, Viet Nam and India.  


In 1997 my youngest son Brian was about to be graduated from seminary and I wanted him to have another close look at foreign missions, so I took him and two other men from my church on a short-term mission trip to Belize, C.A. to help my boyhood friend Wayne Anderson teach a one-week pastors’ school to a group of Maya Indians in Pueblo Vallejo up in the Maya Mountains. It was there that God called me…not my son…into foreign missions work. Thinking at first it was to go to Belize, I took my wife there three months later to do a further survey of the field and let her see Wayne’s pastors’ school in progress. Though she had compassion for the people, she did not have the same compelling to go as a missionary as did I. I knew God had to call us both, or it just wouldn’t work. Hence followed six months of prayer and fasting (intermittently) as we were earnestly seeking God’s will for our lives for the future. We had already been supporting three national church-planting preachers in Africa through Gospelink, Inc. at that point in time. Getting up off our knees one morning, Linda said to me, “Ben, have you ever considered working with Gospelink?” I answered, “Yes, but I have never voiced it. Your bringing it up confirms that I should check into the possibility.” The rest is history, as we served with Gospelink for five and half years. I made seven extensive trips to Africa, Russia, and the Ukraine for accountability and exhortation purposes with the pastors for whom we have raised support, plus participated in a wide variety of exciting and blessed evangelism outreach venues all the while gathering the invaluable training and experience needed for the next stage of the ministry for which God was preparing us. God has now led us to organize Faith International Partners to continue this ministry to indigenous church-planters within the countries of the 10/40 Window.


Upon request I could supply you with the names and addresses of the 5 churches in 3 states I served with for the first 33 ½ years, or any number of the 400+ churches in 17 states from Florida to Alaska, and from Maryland to Southern California in which I have presented the ministry of supporting indigenous church-planters in third-world countries for the last nine years.


Faith International Partners’ mission is to mobilize indigenous, church-planting pastors in the 10/40 Window to preach the Gospel, to plant churches for, and to disciple their own people. There are 5.3 billion in this area of the world, and virtually all of these 69 countries. are either Buddhist, Communist, Hindu, or Islamic. These countries are only 5% to 35% evangelized due to the vast majority of them forbidding Christian missionaries to do long term work there, yet we will still be held at the Judgment Seat of Christ for His mandate to “...preach the gospel to every creature” Mark 16:15. Since the door is closed to our western missionaries, we are going through “the window” of raising support for these indigenous men of God. As Paul of Tarsus, Celicia partnered with the church of Antioch, Syria, we are creating partnerships between the church-planters of third-world countries in the 10/40 Window and the churches and Christians of America.