By June 1990, during the brutal Liberian civil war, Pastor P. Claudius Deah, Sr. and his wife, Pastor Ruth, fled from Monrovia, the capitol city of Liberia, to Gbarnga, a provincial city located in the center of the country. While helping a local church reestablish herself, as the pastor had also fled with his family, the Lord spoke to Pastor Deah to establish a fresh, new ministry other than his home church. Pastor Deah didn’t answer the call right away because he didn’t want to leave his home church, so he and his wife continued to establish churches for their home ministry.
By September 1994, during the brutal Liberian civil war, Pastor P. Claudius Deah, Sr. and his wife, Pastor Ruth, fled from one healthy church they had established in the eastern Liberian City of Ganta, Nimba County and 9 other Churches in surrounding cities and villages in that county for their home ministry. But as the civil war intensified in the country, and Muslim rebels over-ran Gbarnga city 50 miles from Ganta, many Christians had been killed. Many surviving fled to Pastor Deah and his wife Ruth, causing their 4 bedroom house to host 375 people, most of whom were wounded, sick and tired. (Women and children slept indoors and men out doors.)
After three days with no food and medication, Pastor Deah decided to take the group to neighboring Guinea, but there was severe opposition from the rebel fighters in Ganta for fear that it would be a disgrace, as Liberian Muslims in Guinea would know that their Muslim rebels in Liberia were getting the upper hand in the war, and the Guinea border guards were also preventing mass exodus without permission into their country. There were serious threats from the Liberian rebels to shoot on sight anyone seen going towards the Guinea border. Pastor Deah saw going to Guinea as the only alternative route, though the fighters suggested a 90 mile walk to the Ivory Coast with dangerous deadly check points. These wounded, sick, tired and elderly would have collapsed, died or been harassed and molested. So he took the risk with the 375 wounded, sick, tired and elderly Christians to proceed towards the Guinea border, trusting God. Though it took them 8 hours to cross to Guinea (normally 10-15 minutes’ walk), no one was killed, but a few were wounded. About 15,000 followed and crossed with Pastor Deah that day, according to UN HCR head count. The full story is in the testimony section of the web site.
During this time the word to establish a fresh, new church planting ministry was getting stronger and stronger. So Pastor Deah and his wife Ruth appealed to their home ministry’s General Overseer to release them so that they could go to obey God. The General Overseer, after a period of prayer, consented and released the Deahs into their own vision. At this point, Mission Bethel Ministries International went into operation with the blessings of their General Overseer.