THE HISTORY OF IMI/SOS INTERNATIONAL
Interim Ministries Incorporated and Serving Other Servants Ministries, each with over a decade of service, merged in 2004 forming IMI/SOS International. This merger has enabled a more effective service to the diverse needs of the body of Christ and the local church by combining and continuing the ministries begun by these individual ministries.
The vision for Interim Ministries, Inc. (IMI) began in the mid 1980’s while Dr. Ron Workman was completing a seventeen-year pastorate. Sister churches in the area were going through pastoral changes and Pastor Workman was called upon to assist these church leaders with counsel and direction. The Lord laid the idea of Interim Ministry upon his heart and in the spring of 1992, following thirty-two years of being senior pastor, he sensed the leading of the Holy Spirit to launch IMI. A board was formed, incorporation began, and in October 1992 Interim Ministries, Inc. became official. IMI was a total step of faith and for the next twelve years Ron worked and served out of his home near White Cloud, MI.
As word spread about this vision, inquiries from retired and interested pastors began coming into the office with an interest to join the work. In 1994 the IMI board approved the additional status of IMI Associate to help with the many churches seeking assistance and guidance. In the seventeen-year history to date, some eight hundred plus churches have been served by IMI.
The primary service of IMI has been the provision of interim pastors for local churches in the transition time between when a pastor leaves and a new pastor is hired. Churches need to maintain consistency of ministry and leadership in areas where the pastor’s role is crucial. Often the time between pastors can be one of confusion, lack of communication and discouragement. On the other hand, under the experienced pastoral care and leadership of an interim pastor, this in-between time can be one of renewal, discernment and even growth. Pastors affiliated with Interim Ministries have generally been retired or semi-retired pastors who offer much to the church in the way of wise counsel and objectivity, in addition to providing consistent Bible teaching and pastoral ministry in a transitional time.
SOS, Serving Other Servants, was founded by Dr. Tom Koch following six years as Director of Christian Counseling Associates located in Lancaster, PA. It was during that time that Dr. Koch realized there were many pastors, missionaries, and Christian workers who had special needs that weren’t being met and these unique problems required confidentiality. In September 1989 SOS was launched, a board was formed of pastors and lay leaders, non-profit status was applied for, and Dr. Koch counseled out of his home the first five months. In 1990 office space was rented in Ephrata, PA. The counseling ministry grew and Bob Mignard, Don Martin, and Jay Diller were added to the staff. Over a dozen mission organizations and a multitude of pastors were being helped as SOS worked with candidate schools, home assignment ministries, and field problems in over thirty countries from 1989 to 1994. Through this entire period, SOS’s commitment to sound Biblical counseling was never compromised.
In 1994 Dr. Koch accepted the call to become President of BCM International. The SOS ministry fell on some hard times and finances and time took its toll over the next few years.
Dr. Rich McCarrell served as a member of the board of BCM International and also served as the chairman of the IMI board. In 2003, Dr. McCarrell envisioned the possibility of the two ministries joining hands and becoming IMI/SOS, International. Members from the two boards met in Pennsylvania and a strategy was developed to bring SOS incorporation to Michigan and under the legality of IMI. In 2004 this possibility became reality, along with Dr. McCarrell accepting the position of Director of IMI/SOS International.
Dr. Workman took the position of Assistant to the Director. In June of 2008 Dr. McCarrell sensed the Lord’s leading to return to the pastorate and accepted the call to the Byron Center Bible Church of Byron Center, MI.
In August of 2008 Rev. Dan Fredericks agreed to become the interim Director of IMI/SOS for one year, anticipating the possibility of returning to serve with the United Indian Mission in the western USA. In 2009 that call was extended and Rev. Fredericks accepted the call to return to the mission that his father founded.
In 2005 Hope for India under the direction of Rev. Mani Subramanian came under the oversight of IMI/SOS. This overseas ministry involved the mentoring and training of national pastors, assisting in church planting, helping orphaned children and proclaiming the Gospel in the needy country of India. In 2016 the Board of Bible Open Air Mission, located in New York, extended an invitation to Rev. Subramanian to become Director for their global outreach ministries, which he accepted. Thus, Hope for India and Pastor Subramanian now serve under the BOAM ministry.
“To God Be the Glory” well expresses the effective impact that these ministries have had and continue to have serving the body of Christ both on the home front and abroad.