History

Pioneers Rev. Robert R. (Bob) & Alice Thompson and Rev. Horace Murfin were co-founders of the Brazil Inland Mission established in 1954. The mission was born out of the great need to evangelize the lost in the southern fields of Brazil. This organization is incorporated in the State of Illinois since 1955 with its headquarters in Wheaton, IL. It is also incorporated since 1958 in the Republic of Brazil as, "A Missão Interior do Brasil." Its personnel are comprised of a volunteer Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and a part-time bookkeeper. 

Bob and Alice, as a devoted couple and team, helped pioneer the work of the mission in the then jungle area of the northwestern part of the state of Paraná in southern Brazil. Southern Brazil was also known for its new coffee fields and plantations. The Thompsons finally came to live in a town by the name of Umuarama that was carved out of the Brazilian jungle. Umuarama means, "Place Where Friends Meet." There were only ten establishments in the town with the Thompson's house being the first residential home. The Thompsons worked hard at beginning a church plant during those early years, and by the end of the of their first 5-year term, there were sixty people in attendance at the church, souls were getting saved, and several preaching points were held at surrounding cities. The Umuarama church continues today under complete Brazilian leadership and sustenance and also pays a Brazilian missionary who ministers in the nearby town of Herculândia. The Thompsons observed the small town of Umuarama grow to a modern city of over 110,000 during the course of their ministry! 

The Thompsons did church-planting for thirteen years and also founded the Evangelical Grade School in 1964 which still functions to this day. In 1968, they founded the Southern Theological Bible Seminary, in which Bob Thompson was the Director and President. Both Bob and Alice taught for twenty-seven years and trained countless Brazilians for ministry and church lay-men and women. The now Thompson Theological Bible Seminary continues in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia, where it was moved in 2000. Their son, David Thompson, oversees the ministries in this area of east-central Brazil, both in church planting and teaching at the Seminary. The Seminary is under Brazilian leadership with Pastor José Pereira as its Director.

Bob Thompson was promoted to Glory in 2009. Alice Thompson now lives in the city of Waukon, IA where she continues as a retired missionary as Editor and Distributor of Prayer Calendars, a bi-monthly publication of the BIM, Inc.

David & Debbie Thompson have served with the Brazil Inland Mission, Inc. at Vitória da Conquista since 1984. They have three children, Andrew, JoAnna and Jonathan. Jonathan is the only one living at home now; both Andrew & JoAnna are grown and out of the home. The Thompsons do Church Planting and Seminary Teaching, as well as Pastoral work. David does much in the area of visitation and counseling.

Their daughter, JoAnna Thompson, is a third-generation missionary and went to the field in 2013. She also works in Vitoria da Conquista, in conjunction with a local pastor at Vila América Church. Her main ministries are Music, Children, and Discipleship. She is also mentoring a young lady, and considering teaching piano lessons. Due to being raised in Brazil, she has a clear advantage knowing the language (Portuguese) and customs of Brazil in order to effectively minister.

John & Ana Harmon and George & Eunice Harmon are missionaries in the city of Araçatuba, São Paulo. They followed the example of Charles and Ruth Harmon, their parents, who ministered in tribal work in early years and then moved to Araçatuba, São Paulo. Through the efforts of the Harmon family and Brazilian pastors they have trained, there exist today thriving churches, Harmony Camp, and The Bible Seminary of Evangelization in the city Araçatuba, and churches with national pastors in other cities of the state of São Paulo and in Goiás. George is the pastor of the Aracatuba Bible Church, and John is heavily involved at the Seminary & Boa Vista Church. Both men teach Seminary classes as well, and are instrumental in starting new church works/evangelistic outreaches and training Brazilians to reach Brazilians for Christ.

In 2002, John and Ana Harmon, George and Eunice Harmon and Ruth Harmon joined the Brazil Inland Mission, Inc. Ruth Harmon was promoted to heaven in March 2009. John & Ana Harmon and George & Eunice Harmon continue their ministries in the Araçatuba area to the glory of God. 


The goal of the BIM, Inc. is "to train Brazilians to train Brazilians." Its uniqueness pertains to the heavy focus on developing national leadership. Functioning with a volunteer Board of Directors and five North-American missionaries and families, the national aspect of the mission has presently 20 national pastors, 35 full-time students at The Thompson Theological Bible Seminary, seven satellite schools, that have enrolled up to 130 students, and 30 full-time students at The Bible Seminary of Evangelization

Out of this necessity was born the National Student / Pastor Fund. This fund was set up by the BIM, Inc. to help financially support students of The Thompson Theological Bible Seminary and national pastors that are affiliated with the above mentioned Seminary. Also, the Rev. Robert & Alice Thompson Endowment Fund was established in March 2005 to provide financial support for students and pastors from The Thompson Theological Bible Seminary in Vitória da Conquista. 

The Rev. Charles & Ruth Harmon Scholarship Fund was established in June 2006 to provide financial support for national students studying at The Bible Seminary of Evangelization in Araçatuba, from the investment income earned on these endowment funds.

Throughout the longevity of the mission and change in BIM officers, the focus has always been on the Brazilians themselves; its purpose remains the same. The contributions of founder Rev. Robert Thompson remain to this day and will continue in the future.