FORTY YEAR ANNIVERSARY – A TIME OF TESTING AND PROVING IN GOD’S WORD
In 2016 Gospel Revival Ministries celebrated its thirty-sixth anniversary. In January 2017, John and Teresa Musser celebrated 40 years of serving the Lord together since Bible School. John Musser says, “I had not been saved long when I felt I was called to be an evangelist. Teresa worked in the Alumni office, and when a church needed a preacher she got me booked. We traveled to many churches before I graduated.”
AFTER BIBLE SCHOOL GRADUATION
John and Teresa were married a year before John graduated from Bible School. Then after graduation, they served at Teresa’s home church where John was licensed and ordained. It was from this church that they ventured out into full-time revival work. Even though John made some mistakes out of ignorance and zeal, he knew how to pray and fast, and God met them. They resigned from the church where they had received a good pay check and benefits, and decided to start revival meetings without any itinerary. John did not even know what the word “itinerary” meant back then. He prayed for nights on end. One day a pastor came to see him. He had received a copy of a newspaper that they both subscribed to. When he came down to deliver it, he asked John what he did. John told him that he was a full-time revivalist and had eight-day meetings open ended. The pastor asked John if he could come the next week and John said yes! The meetings went on for over two weeks and hit the local radio station. They never lacked meetings after that. They founded Gospel Revival Ministries (GRM) in June of 1980.
John and Teresa had four wonderful children within three and a half years. For years John traveled by himself with team members. Then Teresa informed him that the kids were getting in trouble at school, plus having other issues, so John turned away from large crusades to get an RV to be able to take his family on the road with him.
REVIVAL BREAKS OUT IN NORTHERN NEBRASKA
In 1985 John was ministering in northern Nebraska when revival broke out. It went on for years. Tapes and a book that was written about the revival went around the world sent out by ranchers in the sand hills of northern Nebraska. The revival brought a personal invitation from the Billy Graham headquarters out of which developed an affiliation for more than 20 years.
REVIVAL FIRES GO OVERSEAS
GRM started sending gospel publications to the Muslim world in 1987. Tapes from the revival were sent into an Islamic city. Pastors called and said when they heard the tapes, the fire of revival broke out among them. Charles Okemiri was sent to the U.S. to invite John to come to Kano, Nigeria, one of the most dangerous mission fields in the world, to minister. The revival that broke out in Nebraska eventually propelled GRM into a global ministry.
FREE BIBLES SENT INTO OVER 110 NATIONS OF THE WORLD
GRM’s literature ministry reached into over 110 nations of the world before it was finished. It also ministered to thousands of missionaries from their missions warehouse in Muskegon, Michigan. GRM networked actively with Gospel Films and International Aid for nearly 20 years in a wonderful partnership.
“EQUIPPING NATIVES PASTORS” BECOMES OUR MOTTO
After John was invited to northern Nigeria for crusades, God gave him a passion for equipping native leaders that has never left him. He then developed a program called Stepping Into Another World. This happened when supporting native leaders was not popular. Only a few mission groups promoted it in those days. The GRM equipping native pastors program has inspired many other ministries to do the same. Several small organizations followed our pattern. In 1997, GRM began to focus on finding hidden, unreached peoples through native leaders. Several hidden tribes were found and reached in 17 countries. GRM collaborated with native leaders in reaching two of the oldest tribes in India, the last of the Stone Age people of Kano State, Nigeria, and several others. The Lord gave GRM strategies on how to penetrate restricted people through water wells and medical camps by a technique John developed called disease mapping.
ALL NATIONS ADVANCED SCHOOL OF MISSIONS
In 2002, John and Teresa started a student ministry work, All Nations Advanced School of Missions (ANASOM) with college students following the command of II Timothy 2:2. This went on for nearly 14 years. This is where young missionaries were trained firsthand to work with native leaders and hidden tribes. Students were also taught a farming program promoting self-sustaining missions which remains in John’s heart even now. After a lifetime of working with hundreds of native workers, John learned that they must be helped to become self-sustaining somehow as soon as possible. Otherwise, native leaders tend to become dependent on U.S. aid.
GRM MOVES INTO PAKISTAN
In 2014 while in Dallas working with students, GRM started building churches in Pakistan. John made a study of the unreached people in Asia. There was barely any missionary work going on in Pakistan. John began putting a network together of native leaders. After building two churches, GRM began helping prisoners in Brick Makers Prison.
As of 2017, GRM has narrowed its focus from 17 countries to around five: Kano State, Nigeria; Bethlehem, Israel; India; Haiti; Pakistan. In some of these countries, the work is at a much deeper level. In others, the work has been done and they are ready to move on.
SELF-SUSTAINING MISSIONS AND THE TERESA SEWING CENTERS OF PAKISTAN
In Pakistan, the Lord has chosen to honor Teresa with the Teresa Sewing Centers. These centers enable young women and mothers to become professional seamstresses. This, in John and Teresa’s older years, is very precious to both of them. Among John and his network of native leaders, a strategy of releasing prisoners has become their passion. After the first ten families were set free, they had a special reunion on Skype. Just before the Skype meeting, the Lord put it in John’s heart to have 7 women come forward who wanted to learn sewing. The women came very fast, some actually crying. John and Teresa promised to help them. Then later in the week, the native leader told John and Teresa that many other women wanted to learn to sew as well. This led to the women starting their own facility. They began with 21 women, and it was their unanimous decision to call the facility the “Teresa Sewing Center” not knowing that Teresa had taught sewing for many years to Bible school students. The center became an overnight success, even reported about by leading newspapers in the country. Now GRM sets free one Christian family a month and graduates 41 ladies every 3 months.
After all these years in missions, John says, “This is like the icing on the cake of life”! All the years in ministry have led to this one true grassroots, sustainable mission movement in a country that needs to be saved.
John and Teresa Musser now reside in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. They have been married for 39 years and have four children and soon to be 11 grandchildren!