Iglesia Bautista Evangélica de Macorís (IBEM), is at the core of the DR Vision. Started in August 2003, the church strives to grow into a strong, significant church that can then plant churches throughout the Dominican Republic and send out missionaries to foreign countries.
IBEM is located in the city of San Pedro de Macorís, a city with a diverse ethnic population of more than 217,000 people. The city is considered the “gateway” to the eastern side of the island. An established medical school and university and a growing international business community position the church to be an international church reaching people from different nationalities.
While the church is autonomous and seeks to raise up Dominican leadership, it also seeks to maintain an Acts 13:1 ministry perspective, where the “harsh lines” of nationalities fade into an integrated body of believers focused on global evangelization and discipleship. Inherent in the church’s “DNA” is the conviction that God wants to use IBEM on a world-scale. This, of course, does not happen overnight, though small steps are constantly being taken in the direction of God’s long-term leading for the church. Currently, IBEM supports five missions projects, including the DR Vision, and is also significantly supporting its first church plant in Ramon Santana, a town about 30 minutes away from San Pedro. In 2008, the church sent nine members to Peru for the church’s first international missions trip.
The beauty of the DR Vision is that all core ministries are networked back into the local church in some manner without placing an undue burden on the church, nor infringing upon its autonomy to grow as God guides. IBEM is focused on being the New Testament church that God desires, while the DR Vision is a cooperative effort to significantly impact San Pedro, the Dominican Republic, and Latin America.