Foreign missionaries have been active in Thailand for over
190 years, and yet the Thai people remain unreached with only 0.77% of the
population count themselves as a believer in Jesus Christ. In a country of over
65 million people there are just a little over 500,000 Christians. Only 6% of the over 85,000 villages in
Thailand have a church.
To change this situation, our research shows the most effective people to reach Thailand for Christ are Thai citizens. In fact, Thai Christians start more churches in two weeks then 300 missionaries will start in a year. In addition, Thai Christians can plant a church for much less money than it takes for a missionary to plant a church.
That is why we know the best way to make a significant impact in reaching Thailand for Christ is to encourage, resource and enable Thai Christians to become effective church planters to their own people. This is our primary goal and purpose in all we do and why we partner with the Thai church in all our activities.
Our ministry in Thailand started in Dwight and Mary Kay Martin in December of 2006. However, its origin can actually be traced to 1948, when Dwight’s parents came to Thailand and were the first Protestant missionaries in Nakorn Phanom province with the Christian & Missionary Alliance. Dwight was born when his parents served in this remote province on the Mekong River and is where he would develop a connection with Thailand and its people. Dwight has dual Thai-US citizenship.
After high school, Dwight left Thailand to attend college in the US. He married Mary Kay, started a business career, raised a family and received an MBA in Technology Management. Eventually, he founded a successful software company. Though away from Thailand for many years, he never forgot the place where he had grown up and, as had his parents, began to sense God’s call to serve the Thai people. In 2006 he and Mary Kay moved to Thailand.
The Martins quickly connected with the Church and people of Thailand due to Dwight already having a personal knowledge of the language and culture and his being able to establish some key relationships with leaders who had been impacted by his parents’ ministry. Using the business skill and experience gained from thirty years in the software industry, his initial focus was bringing “back to life” in digital form, thousands of Christian materials no longer accessible to the Thai people.
Within months of arriving in Thailand, the value of their work was recognized by Thai church leaders who asked Dwight to join them in other ministry projects including maintaining the statistics on the church in Thailand. Many other ministry projects requiring the business and technical skills he possessed soon followed. This growth also increased Mary Kay’s ministry as she uses her background in library science and office experience to manage the office and serve as the ministry accountant. She has also been significantly involved in updating the Chiangmai Theological Seminary library and mentoring young ladies who work with her. As the ministry began to expand into other parts of Asia a ministry model was needed that allowed for expansion beyond Thailand.
The circle was now complete; the “missionary kid”, born in Thailand, “birthed” a mission agency, based in Thailand – that, in many ways, carries on the work of his parents. Dwight is ordained by the Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama. He and Mary Kay have two grown children who live and work in Minnesota.
“I enjoy working with Dwight on the Thailand Evangelism and Church Growth Committee. His cultural experience of growing up in Thailand and his ability to speak Thai has allowed him to be immediately accepted by the Thai pastors as one of them. The technical gifts he brings to the TEC are greatly needed and appreciated. The mapping and resourcing Dwight provides is fueling the national movement and helping leaders plan strategically to saturate the country with churches.”
Missionary in Thailand for 20 years
The work Dwight and his wife does for the national church is very important. Their leadership of the Thai Church resource center gives the church the data and maps needed to accurately track the growth of the Protestant church in Thailand. The digital library, on the Internet and USB drive greatly help pastors in their role of planting and growing churches throughout the country.”
Rev. Yuttasak Sirikul
Former President of the Thailand Evangelism & Church Planting Committee
“I am very encouraged to see Dwight come back to Thailand to serve the national church. Dwight’s parents played a big role in the early years of my ministry and were a great encouragement to my wife and I. We are excited what God is doing in Thailand these days and I am confident God called Dwight and Mary Kay to Thailand to play a significant role in these events”.
Dr. Thira Janepiriyaprayoon Senior Pastor Mahapawn Bangkok Church (Retired)
I do not know how many people let you know how valuable your work is, but let me be one of them. Your labor of love in the Lord is such a help in keeping the need of this precious nation in front of us. In a world of constant need, it becomes easy to miss the need right in front of us. It is easy to minimize the ongoing need of Thai people to know the God Who loves them through a relationship with Jesus. Thank you for your work and diligence to keep these important statistics and tools in front of us.
David R. King
Lead Pastor Evangelical Church Bangkok
“I commend you with the highest marks--this is a fantastic service. I’d think Christian leaders at least throughout the region will be jealous of this, and will want your services!”
Just want you to know the THAICHURCHES website has been INVALUABLE as a source of information for us as we do our church planting planning. You put out a LOT of good stuff!
Missionary in Thaiand
"I thank God for the ministry you do which is serving a lot of people who are trying to reach out to both physical and spiritual marginalized in the Mekong region"
Director Upland Holistic Development Program
“I appreciate all the work you put in keeping up with the stats on what God is doing here in Thailand. We’ve been church planting in Saraburi province for 32 years, so your information is so helpful.”
Dwight & Mary Kay Martin
115/72 Mu 7, T. Pa Daet,
A. Mueng Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai 50100
Thai: (+66) 892639332