DELTA Ministries International (DMI) began inauspiciously during the Spring of 1979 as "M.O.P." (Missionary Outreach Project). At the time, it was a vehicle for CBA of Oregon, later CB Northwest, to give local believers a well-planned, systematic approach to experience missions and outreach.
The organization started small, commissioning just one team. That first group traveled to Mexico and was highly effective, both ministering and being ministered to. Their lives were changed. Stereotypes and cultural view were challenged. New directions were taken. They returned to their home churches and became effective and motivated leaders.
In 1980, the organization grew exponentially, sending out 5 teams. During the next 17 years, DELTA underwent many changes. Brian Heerwagen became the Director in 1985, and brought fresh insight and plans for expansion. In 1989, the staff realized a new name was needed -- one more relevant to the scope of the ministry. After careful deliberation, the organization officially became "DELTA Ministries International". DELTA is an acronym for Discipling, Evangelizing, Leading, Training and Assisting.
In 1990, the organization became sponsored solely by CBInternational (now WorldVenture), a national missions organization associated with Conservative Baptist Churches. Under the continuing leadership of Brian Heerwagen, and with the full backing of CBI, DELTA grew well beyond it's original projections, fielding 20 teams with 138 team members in 1996.
Over the years, so many who have traveled on DELTA mission teams have come home changed. Some have completed their education and are now career missionaries or they are in seminary or college and are pursuing a long term ministry. Many more have returned with a new passion for missions. They have a new understanding of the Great Commission, a sense of urgency in supporting and praying for missionaries. They have taken positions of leadership in the church and serve with a heartfelt commitment to ministry.
During the summer of 1996, CBInternational was hit with a severe financial shortage. The need for CBI to respond with urgency resulted in the CBInternational Board making the decision to remove financial sponsorship from DELTA. Effective October 1, 1996, DELTA was forced to become a fully independent and self-supporting organization.
As a result of this significant change, DELTA began the process of retrenchment and reorganization. DELTA began an aggressive development strategy in an effort to establish a financial support base. God has seen fit to bless DELTA, providing and using the staff and ministry of DELTA.
DELTA is standing on the edge of an exciting new chapter as we see God multiplying the ministry and impact DELTA has around the world for Christ. We continue to move forward with the vision of deploying thousands of short-termers from hundreds of churches as just a small part of God's redeeming work around the world.