My name is Brandon Bell and I was born and raised in Burlington, North Carolina. Growing up, my family went to church from time to time, but I did not understand what it meant to truly be a Christian. Though I had stopped going to church completely in high school, I began attending a friend’s church regularly during my senior year. I started to meet with the pastor of the church who questioned me in regards to my salvation. The pastor explained from the Bible about the free gift of salvation that God offers to sinful man through Christ’s death on the cross. Though I had previously been very convinced that I was a Christian, I finally understood that I had never accepted this gift. That day in April of 2003, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior and was baptized several months later.
In the spring of 2005, I began classes at Piedmont Baptist College in Winston-Salem, NC. While there, I became burdened for church planting and, after going on a short-term mission trip to Brazil in the summer of 2006, working with Brazilians. I graduated from Bible College in 2008 with a degree in Bible and missions. During my senior year of college, I began to date Regina Yoder, the daughter of Al and Kim Yoder, missionaries in the Amazon, Brazil. With similar interests and calling, Regina and I were convinced that Lord was bringing our lives together and on August 29th, 2008 we were married.
Regina spent most of her childhood and youth years on the Amazon River. At age five Regina understood her sinful nature and her need for repentance of her sins and acceptance of the free gift of salvation offered in Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. God worked through VBS to help Regina understand not only Christ’s death on the cross for her, but also what God requires of His children: death to self and life dedicated to spiritual commitment and growth.
While in Bible College, Regina and I had the opportunity to become involved with Heritage Hills Baptist Church, a church plant begun in the fall of 2006. We are very thankful to be a part of this church as it has given us many opportunities for ministry and the chance to see the process of planting a church first hand. I have been involved with the church’s music and children’s ministries, preaching from time to time, as well as directing the children’s choir. I was ordained by the church in June 2009. Regina has been involved in the church’s children’s ministry, children’s choir, and discipling younger girls from the youth group. In 2009, we began raising support to go to the mission field. We initially felt that the Lord was directing us to the country of Brazil along with a team of several other couples from our sending church. During the summer of 2013, we found out about a national pastor in the Dominican Republic who was looking for help to plant Baptist churches in the southern part of that country and also start a Bible College. Our team perceived this to be a door that the Lord had opened and we begin changing directions from Brazil to the Dominican. In May of 2013, I completed an MA in Biblical Studies from Maranatha Baptist Seminary in Watertown, WI. The Lord has blessed us with three children: Anthony (born 12/22/11), Patrick (8/9/13), and Zoe (4/20/17).
We arrived on the field in the Dominican Republic in June 2014. In May of 2015, after a year of language study, we moved to the city of Puerto Plata where we and our teammates began evangelistic Bible Studies and children’s Bible classes. In 2017, our team had the opportunity to take over a church plant from another missionary who was going to be leaving Puerto Plata due to health issues. The church plant continues to grow and we are excited about the progress being made as individuals are being saved and discipled through this local church.