The School of Equipping International humbly began as the Bible and Ministry Institute of North Carolina in 2015 with 12 students. The leaders of Bethany Fellowship Church successfully launched the Bible and Ministry Institute of NC (BMINC) which initially was established to serve as a New Testament, Five-fold ministry training center that existed to equip leaders for the urban church, especially among the poor, in order to advance the Kingdom of God.
Cameron Stephens (current SOEI Dean) was tasked to oversee the Institute. Due to unforeseen circumstances and after only the first year of classes, the BMINC was suspended with the intention of resuming as soon as the Lord would allow. The Father continued to give several prophetic words establishing the requisite revelation for not only the launch of BMINC but now for the transition to the School of Equipping International, which is more reflective of God’s desire and prophetic direction to prepare His people for the push to the finish.
The word of the Lord came to us as following: “The days are going to come when people are going to come here to rest, to roost in the branches of this church; a school of ministry for foreigners that have never had an image of what proper godly ministry is. They have only seen manipulation and anger. God’s going to bring them here. You are going to set people free. They’re going to walk in and be instantly set free. It’s going to be a school of liberty. They are going to come from South America and Eastern Europe, coming out of nests of legalism. They’re going to come here and be set free.” During a 2019 Regional Prayer Gathering of Triad Ekklesia, a decision was made to move forward with more of a regional, multi-congregational effort for training leaders and disciples. Several planning meetings were held and the new name, School of Equipping International chosen to communicate the ongoing and expanded direction of this kingdom initiative. The School of Equipping International resumed operations in October 2020.
what we believe
We believe the Holy Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Bible, consisting of the Old Testament and the New Testament, are the inspired, inerrant, only infallible and authoritative written Word of God and constitute the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice for individual believers and the Church of Jesus Christ. (Mt. 5:18; Jn. 5:39; II Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12; I Pet 1:23; 2 Pet. 1:20-21)
We believe that there is one sovereign GOD, eternally existent in three persons; GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON, AND GOD THE HOLY GHOST. —and that these, being one God, are equal in deity, power, and glory. We believe that God not only created the world but also now upholds, sustains, governs, and providentially directs all that exists and that He will bring all things to their proper consummation in Christ Jesus to the glory of His name. (Ps. 104; 139; Mt. 10:29–31; 28:19; Acts 17:24–28; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 1:9–12; 4:4–6; Col. 1:16–17; Heb. 1:1–3; Rev. 1:4–6)
We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ (JOHN 1:1), HIS VIRGIN BIRTH (Mt. 1:18), HIS sinless life (II Co. 5:21), HIS miracles (Acts 10:38), HIS vicarious death as the only sacrifice for the sins of the world (I John 2:2), HIS bodily resurrection from the dead (Lk 24:39), HIS ascension to the right hand of GOD as our intercessor (Heb. 4:14), and HIS future return in glory, (I THESS. 4:16-18) and to rule and reign a thousand years upon the earth (Rev. 20:6).
We believe that it is not God’s will that any should perish, but that all men, women and children must be saved by grace through faith, not of works, but as the free gift of God given to all who will receive it. The only means of being cleansed from sin is through repentance, faith in the precious blood of JESUS CHRIST and accepting the GOSPEL according to Romans 10:9-10. (Ps. 103:3; Jn 3:16-17; Ro. 3:23-24, 6:23; 10:8-10; Eph. 2:8;1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9)
We believe that regeneration by the Holy Ghost is absolutely essential for personal salvation. (Titus 3:5-7; John 3:3)
We believe in the ordinances of the church established by Jesus Christ our Lord: the Lord’s Supper (MATTHEW 26:26-30; I CORINTHIANS 11:23-26), and Baptism by immersion as a symbol is a necessary proclamation of a believer’s identification and association with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and witness of the New Birth. (Mt. 3:13-15; 28:19; Acts 10:47-48; I PETER 3:20-22).
We believe that the redemptive work of Christ on the Cross provides healing for the human body in answer to believing prayer (James 5:14-17).
We believe that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, according to Acts 2:4, is given to believers who ask for it and that it is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth. (Mt. 3:11; Lk. 11:11-13; Jn. 14:16-17; Acts 1:8, 2:4, 38-39; 8:12-17, 10:44-46, 11:14-16, 15:7-9, 19:1-7)
We believe that believers in Jesus Christ are called to be holy, even as God is holy, and that the indwelling, sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit empowers believers to live a holy, wholesome life evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit. (Lev. 19:2; Jn. 14:26, 16:13-15; 1 Cor. 15:10; Col. 2:6; Eph. 5:9; Gal. 5:22; Heb. 12:14; II Tim. 2:21; 1 Pt. 1:16)
We believe spiritual gifts and administrations of the Holy Spirit continue to be expressed in the church today, subject to the order prescribed by the New Testament. (I Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Ro. 12:6-8; Eph. 4:11-13)
SECOND COMING AND THE RESURRECTION
The return of the Lord (second coming) in and with the clouds, comprising those saints who are with Him in Heaven, is a visible, physical, literal and public second coming at the consummation of the age (Acts 1:11).
The scriptures teach that there are two distinct physical and literal comings of the Lord16:
16 His physical literal return to the earth will be preceded by Him coming to be glorified in His saints, His consecrated ones. He will appear in the saints, before He appears to them (2 Thessalonians 1:10).
(i) The first coming as the man Jesus Christ was in the incarnation (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:16,21, 27:17; Luke 1:35, 2:11,25-26)
(ii) The second coming will be in and with the cloud of witnesses in His glory (Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
We believe in the elementary principle of the ‘Resurrection of the Dead’ (1 Corinthians 15:12-21,42; 2 Timothy 2:18; Hebrews 6:1-3).
We believe that there are two incidents of resurrection:
(i) The first fruit resurrection took place on the third day after His crucifixion when His Spirit was reconciled to His physical body that was glorified and that His resurrection was accompanied by the resurrection of many righteous saints (Matthew 27:52; Ephesians 4:8; 1 Peter 3:18-20).
- In the first resurrection and ascension, He made an open spectacle of the devil and his kingdom; He took away the power and sting of death and the grave, the keys of death and Sheol; and He led captivity captive (Acts 2:31; Romans 6:5; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; Ephesians 4:8-10; Colossians 2:15; Revelations 1:18).
(ii) We eagerly await the final resurrection together with the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, signifying the triumphant victory over the last enemy, called death (1 Corinthians 15:26).
The advent of the second coming and the final resurrection can be subdivided into two categories:
(i) Resurrection of the just, the righteous who are physically dead (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15). The just will be forever with the Lord, never to be separated from Him (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
(ii) Resurrection of the unjust, the unrighteous who will be forever separated from the Lord (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:13-14).
At the second coming of the Lord, those who are asleep in Christ will first be raised up, and those who remain and are living will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). At the coming of the Lord, those that are alive will experience the change of their bodies from mortality to immortality, from corruption to incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:54). Together we will rule with Christ over all things both in Heaven and on earth (Ephesians 1:9-11; Hebrews 2:7-8).
We believe that mankind is at enmity with a supernatural adversary, Satan, who seeks to deceive, tempt, steal, kill and destroy, but that through the shed blood and death of Jesus Christ on the cross, His burial and resurrection, and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, believers are empowered supernaturally by God to live a righteous life, to wage spiritual warfare and overcome the wiles and attacks of Satan, and to do greater works than Christ through faith. (Matt. 4:1-11; Mark 6:7-13; Jn. 14:12, 16:33; 1 Corin. 15:57; Eph. 6:11; James 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8; 1 Jn. 2:13-14, 4:4; Rev. 2:10, 17:14; 20:10)
We believe in the total prosperity of the believer: A) SPIRTUALLY- John 3:3, 11; II Cor. 5:17-21; Rom. 9:9-10. B) MENTALLY- II Tim. 1:7; Rom. 12:2; Isaiah 25:3. C) PHYSICALLY – Isaiah 53:4, 5; Matt. 8:17; I Peter 2:24. D) FINANCIALLY – III John 1:2; Malachi 3:10-11; Luke 6:38; II Cor. 9:6-10; Deut. 28:1-14. E) SOCIALLY – Proverbs 3:4
We believe in monogamous, holy matrimony between a man and a woman as a divinely ordained institution of God and in the nuclear family, consisting of a father, a mother and/or children, as the basic unit of Christian society through its ministry and testimony. (Gen. 1:26-28, 2:24; Deut. 6:7, 11:9; Lk. 20:34; 1 Corin. 7:2-4, 10, 11:3, 9; Eph. 5:23, 31, 6:1; Col. 3:20; Heb. 13:4; 1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:6)
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Ps 139.)
We believe that the Church universal and the local church as an expression thereof is the bride of Christ and that all authority and government in the church is subject to Jesus Christ, as the Head of the Church. (Eph. 5:23-32; Col 1:24)
We believe in the office ministries of the Church wherein God gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, to equip believers, to prepare them for works of service, and to build up the body of Christ. (Eph. 4:11-13)
We believe that the local church should be governed by a Senior Pastor (Lead Elder) and elders in the unity of the Holy Spirit and in the bond of peace and subject to apostolic oversight, all in accordance with the New Testament order set forth in the book of Acts and the other New Testament epistles. (Acts of the Apostles; Epistles; Eph. 4:3-6)
We believe that authority and government in the local church is spiritual and moral and derived solely from the Holy Scriptures and the mandate of God. It is separate and distinct from the authority of the civil government which has the power to promulgate laws and to inflict civil penalties. Properly established under God’s order, the civil government is established as an agent of His justice to restrain evil and to protect the good in society and is therefore to be honored and obeyed. The Holy Scriptures nevertheless reserve exclusively unto the local church its government and the free exercise of religion, and also reserve unto the local church and the individual believer certain matters of faith and spiritual practice, discipline and order. To the extent that laws or agencies of the civil government interfere with matters reserved by the Holy Scriptures to the local church and/or violate the conscience of the individual believer, we believe such laws or agencies may be properly disobeyed or challenged within limits imposed by the Holy Scriptures. (Mt. 18:15-17; Mt. 22:21; Acts 5:28-29; Ro. 12:1-4; 1Cor. 6:1-8; 1 Pt. 2:13-17)
We believe in the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ: to go and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that the Lord Jesus Christ commanded. (Mt. 28:19-20)