Dr. Ted Camp and wife Carlene began Silent Word Ministries in 1966. However, after several years of ministry as SWM, God led them to join the Bill Rice Ranch in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. They spent more than 20 years working faithfully among the Deaf with the “Ranch.”
They returned to the ministry of Silent Word Ministries in 1991. But it wasn’t until 1998 that Deaf Evangelist Allen Snare encouraged Dr. Camp to allow him to become a member of their ministry. Reed and Donna Condra, hearing missionaries to the Deaf in the Bahamas returned to the USA and felt God calling them to also join SWM. Jim and Terry Bracelin were added in the Northeast USA, and Mike and Kim Green, both Deaf, also came on staff. In the year 2000, Jon and Diane Barr came on board. Jon is a graduate of BJU and a Certified Interpreter. Jon is presently the President of SWM.
In March 2004, the SWM team held a Fantastic Saturday at Southside Baptist Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina. David and Vicki Bennett, on furlough from their ministry in Brazil, and being members of Southside, were in attendance.
During the day, Dr. Ted Camp mentioned the need for missionaries to the Deaf in both China and the Ukraine. This, of course, burdened the hearts of the Bennetts since they have been missionaries for 25 years, serving faithfully in Brazil, South America. David approached Brother Ted several times during the day and on Sunday about the need for SWM to begin their own foreign missions program.
This began a chain of events involving the Bennetts, their sending church pastor, Dr. Ken Walters, Dr. Ted Camp, and others. God used several people and circumstances to make it clear to the Bennetts that God wanted to use them to open an International Missions Department with SWM. David shared his burden with three of the leaders of SWM. After a period of prayer and consultation God led Dr. Camp and the SWM leadership to invite the Bennetts to work with them in reaching the Deaf worldwide under the new ministry of Silent Word Ministries International (SWMI).
SWMI operates with its own Executive Committee, as well as its own set of Principles, Policies and Practices for missionaries serving with our new foreign mission board. SWMI seeks to send out American missionaries to foreign fields, as well as to train national pastors and leaders on there fields, to more effectively evangelize and disciple the Deaf internationally.