EBM International was founded by pioneer missionary
Mr. Bustin was born July 22, 1903, at Forrest, Mississippi, USA. As a young lad, growing up on the farm, he learned quickly the disciplines as well as the rewards of hard work and early rising.
While in his late teens, he committed his life to God and immediately felt called to the ministry. Consequently he enrolled at Trevecca Nazarene College in Nashville, Tennessee where he tended huge furnaces and shoveled snow to pay his tuition.
Mr. Bustin began his preaching career in 1922 and took his first pastorate at age 23. That same year he met and married a young schoolteacher, Lura May Cox, of Bono Arkansas. Together they pioneered home mission churches in the South for several years. He also served as District Superintendent for the Pilgrim Holiness Church, being appointed to that position by Rev. Seth C. Reese. This was during the depression and times were hard.
In 1937, Rev. Bustin felt the call to overseas missions and circled the globe, preaching to eager throngs in Australia, India, Egypt, Scotland and England. Upon his return home 17 months later, his zeal for world missions was so strong he would never again settle down to the comforts of America.
At the beginning of World War II, G.T.Bustin took his wife and four young children to begin a mission work in the Bahamas. This became the birthplace of what is today know as EBM International. In 1945, again taking his family, he launched a new missionary work in Haiti. Later he established a powerful and influential Christian radio station (4-VEH) there.
In 1948 Rev. Bustin felt led of God to pioneer a mission work among stone-age people in the Highlands of New Guinea. The people, though uncivilized and considered dangerous, took a great liking to this strange “red-man.” Today there is a thriving work with over 500 national churches continuing the ministry he started in Papua New Guinea.
Shortly after pioneering the work in New Guinea, G.T.Bustin returned to Haiti where his wife, Lura May, also a devoted missionary, had been leading the work in his absence. Only two weeks after his return home, Lura May passed away suddenly leaving a grief stricken husband and six children to carry on with a growing missionary work in three countries, Bahamas, Haiti, and New Guinea.
About one year after the passing of Lura May, Rev. Bustin was united in marriage with Alma E. Platt, a registered nurse. For more than forty years they ministered together in many countries around the world.
In 1956, Mr. Bustin purchased a farm in the central Florida town of Summerfield, with a herd of white-faced Herford cattle. The land was to become the home base of the mission. Sale of the cattle allowed for a debt-free property which is now headquarters for EBM International.
At age 90, Mr. Bustin was still not ready for retirement. He made one more sacrificial effort to launch a mission work—this time in Belize, Central America. He loved the dear Indians there and once more won the hearts of the people. They loved his snow-white hair and many thrilling stories and inspiring sermons.
On Saturday, July 22, 1995, on his 92nd birthday, after more than sixty years of missionary work, Rev. G.T.Bustin went to be the Lord and Savior he loved so well.When his wife, Alma, fell, breaking her hip, necessitating their return to the States, it was a sad disappointment. Alma needed a skilled nursing facility and Mr. Bustin was grateful to be a resident at Surrey Inn, next door, where he was free to visit his wife daily.
In 1985, Rev. G.T.Bustin’s youngest son, Gerald Thomas, who had served for over 20 years as a missionary to New Guinea, was elected by the Board of Directors to serve as the General Director of EBM International. That position has since been retitled, President.
Since 1985, under President Gerald Bustin’s leadership, EBM International has grown and expanded its ministries into 17 countries.