Baptist Medical & Dental Mission International was founded in 1974 by Charlie and Carolyn Herrington in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Prior to BMDMI's establishment, the Herringtons served in Honduras for six years working in evangelism and church development. The Lord richly blessed their early ministry efforts evidenced by the three churches planted during that time.
However, the Herringtons were constantly heart-broken as they saw people suffering from the lack of basic medical and dental care. On one occasion they discovered a woman passing through the last stages of cancer without even an aspirin to ease the pain. Countless other times, they met people with teeth rotted to the gum line. Instances such as these led them to ask the Lord what more they could do to help ease the pain and suffering that surrounded them.
The Lord gave them a vision of what today we know as "short-term mission teams" – Christian volunteers traveling to the mission field, paying their own expenses to serve the poor and sick. These teams draw thousands of people to hear the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and offer medical and dental services free of charge. The first team in 1974 consisted of seven volunteers; and every year since then, the number of teams and volunteers has grown.
In 1986 Charlie Herrington went home to be with the Lord. The Hondurans mourned the loss of a spiritual father and BMDMI mourned the loss of a dedicated, dynamic leader. However, BMDMI belongs to no person, but rather to the Lord, so the work continues.
In 1989, BMDMI expanded its ministry beyond the borders of Honduras to the neighboring country of Nicaragua offering medical-dental care, planting local churches, and preparing Christian leaders. Responding to growing needs in these two countries, BMDMI founded and operates Christian schools, permanent medical-dental clinics, vocational training centers, and children's homes. To oversee the work of these ministries, BMDMI took on the role of a missionary sending agency, accepting its first fulltime missionaries in 1992.
In 2010, World Baptist Missions (WBM) merged with BMDMI. Now under the auspices of BMDMI, the Baptist Hospital in Guaimaca, Honduras is growing in its ability to meet great needs through daily clinics and surgical programs made possible by volunteer North American surgeons. This merger has opened exciting new doors of ministry previously unavailable to BMDMI.
Since the Mission's foundation, the leaders of BMDMI promised the Lord that the physical care the Mission offered would never overshadow the spiritual care it seeks to provide; and the Lord has blessed the ministry in a great way for abiding by this promise.