Chairman of the Trustees, Jeremy Marshall

Pastor Training International was formed in 2003 through conversations between businessman David Ide and his pastor Rev Timothy Alford at Horsley Evangelical Church, Surrey. David and Timothy held a vision to resource pastors and Bible teachers of little means in the most deprived parts of the majority world, many of whom receive only elementary-level education and minimal or no prior theological training. Timothy had been a regular visitor to Africa, and especially Malawi in his role as General Secretary of the Africa Inland Mission (AIM), and had witnessed the depth of the need. A group of volunteers with various skills was called together including current Trustees Roy Proctor and Chris Embleton-Smith to establish a work where a three-year training programme in expository preaching was backed up by gifts of good, reformed books along the lines of AIM’s Pastors Book Sets, and a mentoring programme. Local pastors from the UK were called upon to engage in the training in pairs for one week in each of two locations. A Ministry Board involving such guiding lights as Timothy, David Kingdon, Bill Summers, Peter Seccombe and Gordon Oram drew up the curriculum and advised on suitable books. A home for books obtained from supportive reformed publishers was established first at Milford in the garages of David’s house, and later in a couple of garages on Dunsfold Aerodrome nearby.

PTI, through Gordon Oram, using a database of some 4000 pastors worldwide, also operated a mentoring scheme, run from the UK, whereby mentees were gifted certain essential volumes for their personal libraries, followed by further provision of key theological and pastoral texts as studies progressed. 

With Simon Percy joining as Director of Ministry the work of PTI extended and developed a 5 module training curriculum with local churches largely supporting the work of their own pastor who would give up two weeks for these overseas conferences. However, in order to grow the work, it was realised that there was a desperate need for local pastors to take forward the training of their own men and PTI moved more recently to a model of training trainers using the developed teaching materials, now expanded to 6 modules, which has served the beneficiaries so well. Over one hundred conferences in 19 countries have been supported to date training over 3000 pastors. 

Christian Books Worldwide (CBW) was established as a UK registered charity in January 2009, emerging from the growing work of PTI. 

With demand for its conferences increasing, PTI opted to focus more fully on delivery of its training programs and to outsource literature requirements to its new sister organization CBW. 

The pioneer project was to produce Ultimate Questions by John Blanchard in Punjabi and Urdu followed by Amharic. CBW’s founding Trustees – Jim Gough, David Ide, Friedhelm Anhuth, Robin Asgher and Mike Taylor – soon commissioned translations of 3 further titles: 

  • Mysterious Ways by David Kingdon 
  • Foundations of the Christian Faith by Roger Weil 
  • Walking with God, a simplified version of J. C. Ryle’s classic manual, Practical Religion 

With reception on the ground successful, increasing requests to translate other evangelical and reformed works soon followed so that some 200 titles have now been published in 41 languages. 

Redundant English and French books soon became available to CBW and one shipment of 27,000 books was shipped to South Africa for the African Pastors Conferences use in African Countries.   More books were donated and CBW added its second activity of sending suitable books to the pastors Gordon identified as having a need or who could pass to those without study books of any sort. 

At the prompting of his son, Julian, David Ide met up with Jeremy Marshall (pictured above) in 2013 who agreed to take on the role of Chairman of both ministries. 

Following a meeting with Dinu Moga in 2014 who was looking for support for his literature work in Romania, the concept of launching an e-book library for English books and translations was born, with the opportunity of using Dinu’s son’s experience in building phone apps. 

As the work grew, the centre of book distribution activity moved in 2018 to Swindon where Thys Storm lived. Books were first stored and distributed from a small garage, but in 2019 we moved to our current premises where two clean warehouses, formally used to assemble Spitfires, serve wonderfully the purposes of both CBW and PTI’s book stock distribution centre. 

Under the guidance of James Stileman distribution hubs for book distribution and management were established in strategic countries. The leaders of these hubs already had an interest in training, and it wasn’t long before they also took an interest in the work of PTI. With the two charities working increasingly closely together and the Covid lockdown necessitating new approaches to the work, a plan to merge started to form. After much prayer and review of the potential benefits, the merger took place in March 2023 to form Equipping Pastors Worldwide with a combined Board from both ministries.