John and Anna Paul

Hazel Forrester of Lodi, California, was the first Bible Standard missionary who was duly commissioned and guaranteed support. She arrived in India in 1928. Pearl Booton was appointed as the first missionary from the Open Bible Evangelistic Association. She arrived in Orai, India, in September 1933, where she ministered for the next ten years.

Willis and Grace Clay had been independent missionaries in India for several years when they met Pearl Booton in South India. They joined Open Bible Churches in 1938. The Clays established several Bible schools to train converts to be soul winners and mature Christian leaders. When the war in the Pacific made it advisable for the Clays to return to the U.S., the work continued under the leadership of the nationals whom they had trained. After the war years, the Clays returned to India in May 1945. They continued in a productive ministry in South India for over a year before political conditions placed them in a dangerous situation and they sailed for home. Because of unstable war conditions in India, the missionary program was not continued. After Willis and Grace Clay returned home, contact with Open Bible was lost.

In 1996 communication was re-established with Open Bible in the U.S. and affiliation was granted in May 1996. The group in southern India (Tamil Nadu) is called the Open Bible Church of God and is directed by John Paul, son of the first convert of the Clays’ ministry. John Paul also directs the Elida Children’s Homes in Coimbatore.

Also in 1996, a group of churches in Andhra Pradesh led by Michael George requested affiliation with Open Bible. They are incorporated under the name of Open Bible Churches of India.

In 1998, Ron and Linda Wilson were appointed as non-resident Harvestime missionaries to direct the growing church planting initiatives in India. A partnership has been formed with International Cooperating Ministries to build churches in India and other countries where International Ministries is presently working.

As of January of 2021, there are 544 Open Bible churches with 55,222 members, 625 ministers, and Bible schools with 32 students. INSTE was initiated in English in 2006 when Gary Johnson was trained by the international INSTE directors. Gary also directed the beginning of the translation of INSTE into the Tamil language, which is being continued by Anna Paul and a team of translators. Gary left India in 2007 and Marlo Philip became the INSTE director in the English language. In 2010 the first classes graduated from Level One INSTE, a total of 24 graduates.

John Paul and Michael George serve as field directors.