LEWISTOWN - From his earliest memories, Donald Fultz said missions have played a major part in his life.
His churches, Calvary and Fairview Bible churches in Lewistown, emphasized the importance of evangelism and strongly supported missionaries around the world.
"The concept was held out to me from a young age," Fultz said.
Photos submitted by DONALD FULTZ
The San Fernando Baptist Church congregation worships during a service in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Absorbing the message, he began to read missionary biographies and study the challenges of ministry. After high school he entered the workforce, but missions never left his mind.
Now he and his wife, Dana, with their three children, serve in Buenos Aires, where they have been missionaries since 1997.
In 2001, they helped to establish the San Fernando Baptist Church, which has a membership of about 130. Don Fultz serves as co-pastor with an Argentinian minister.
Their missions work with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism emphasizes church planting through relationship-oriented ministry, Fultz said.
"We are developing contacts and explaining the Gospel by faith," he said.
As the missionaries help individuals develop relationships with Christ Jesus, they also work to gather the believers and form churches, and to teach the people how to share their faith, according to information from abwe.org.
Argentina is about one third of the size of the continental U.S. with a population of about 41 million, Fultz said. About 90 percent of residents profess to be Roman Catholic, but few Argentines practice any religion, he said.
"A vast majority have never heard the Gospel, or they've heard it but (it was) not really explained," Fultz said.
Recently, the church started outreach ministries to create daughter churches in outlying communities, Fultz said.
"The project depends on God, not men" to be fulfilled, Fultz said.
It probably will be three to five years until they become functioning churches, he said. Fultz said he helps teach Argentinians to become Christian leaders through a Bible institute at the church.
His other ministries include teaching and preaching, counseling, visitation and discipleship. He also serves in an advisory role to other area pastors.
Dana, who studied music in college, leads and advises the church choirs, plays for congregational singing and organizes the ladies discipleship.
The Fultzes have three children: Rachel, 19, Stephen, 17, and Benjamin, 13, who are actively involved in the church, too.
"It's their desire, not mom and dad pushing them into things," Fultz said.
Rachel, now in college in Kansas, taught Sunday school, sang in the choir and played the flute for church. Stephen sings in the choir and operates the church sound system; and Benjamin teaches Sunday school and plays guitar accompaniment.
The Fultzes and their two sons will visit and speak at 8:30 and 11 a.m. this Sunday at Calvary Bible Church, 100 Calvary Lane, Lewistown.